Energizing the International

  • Debbie Lisle


This intervention addresses the rather mundane question of method — of how we go about identifying, exploring, analysing, tracing and politicizing assemblages. Certainly the ‘materialist turn’ has energized the scholarly landscape by allowing us to recognize the political in a radically expanded landscape of sites, scales and temporalities. It has displaced humans as the dominant agents of political change and placed us in intense and deeply embedded relations with the non-human things in our proximity, but also at a distance. But what research methods are adequate to such a radical expansion of our research landscape? With such a critical understanding of how knowledge itself is produced, is it even possible to speak in terms of ‘research methods’ anymore? Are we supposed to reimagine more traditional research methods such as ethnography, or develop new approaches that embrace wonder, surprise, intuition and experimentation? while many of these questions prompt grand ontological statements, I want to push the more mundane outworkings of materialist thought through a constant refrain of: ‘yes, but how?’


International Relation Radical Expansion Unexpected Object Dominant Agent Traditional Research Method 
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Copyright information

© Debbie Lisle 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debbie Lisle
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Politics, International Studies and PhilosophyQueen’s University BelfastUK

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