Uncomfortable" knowledge: thinking about international relations from the margins

  • Tickner, Arlene Beth (PI)
  • Querejazu, Amaya (Student)
  • Oviedo, Martin (Student)
  • Sedano, Diana (Student)

Project: Research Project

Project Details


For the past 15 years, the field of international relations (RI) has been undergoing a process of "self-reflection" that has manifested itself, among others, in the study of the social, political, economic, cultural and historical conditioning factors of academic production. Among the findings of this exercise, the following stand out: the reproduction of an asymmetrical relationship between the West and non-West, North and South in terms of knowledge; gaps in the concepts, categories and theories of IR to understand the specific problems of non-Western countries and the South; and limits of academic practice itself to produce useful knowledge to address some of the great challenges facing the world. As a consequence, there has been a growing interest in academic production that occurs outside of power centers and academic centers, with the understanding that there it is possible to visualize new research agendas and different ways of creating knowledge. Feminism, postcolonialism and the decolonial turn have been especially acute in their analysis of the relationship between theoretical production and the specific geocultural locus from which thought takes place. What is particularly useful in the three perspectives when adopting a critical and self-reflective attitude is the way in which they problematize "place" and its emphasis on the epistemic advantages of the knowledge produced by marginalized social groups. Latin America is a particularly suggestive place to inquire into other existing knowledge about the "international". In addition to a long tradition of thinking about the "own" and "situated" knowledge in the experiences and identities of the region (in which neomarxism, indigenism and liberation theology/philosophy have especially participated), the decolonial turn has sought to explore the Latin American experiences of the "coloniality of power" in search of a decolonial science. In it, "uncomfortable" knowledge, derived from connoisseurs located outside the academy, becomes central.
Effective start/end date4/1/176/30/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • Competitive Funds
  • Starter Funds


  • Bogotá D.C.


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