Inadvertent reproduction of Eurocentrism in IR: The politics of critiquing Eurocentrism

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The study of Eurocentrism has become a hallmark of postcolonial International Relations theories. Of particular concern in this literature has been the resilience of Eurocentrism despite conscious efforts to move towards a post-Eurocentric understanding of world politics. This study argues that while existing works have highlighted many of the reasons why Eurocentrism persists today, it has not been sufficiently identified and conceptualised. In particular, why some policy actors, who have a vested interest in moving beyond Eurocentrism, inadvertently reproduce Eurocentrism? This article proposes to distinguish between different types of inadvertent reproductions. In particular it highlights rhetorical critique, deconstruction, decentring and dehierarchising, as different ways to critique, inadvertently reproduce and partially modify Eurocentrism. To illustrate this situation, this article looks at Turkey's migration policies and documents how Turkish governing elites have openly claimed the need to upend the Eurocentric order, yet have reproduced it in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-713
Number of pages22
JournalReview of International Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 30 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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