Un-Diplomatic Podcast
Frontier Imperialism and Post-BLM International Relations, w/ Robbie Shilliam

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Frontier Imperialism and Post-BLM International Relations, w/ Robbie Shilliam

A special early drop for patrons of the newsletter!

After George Floyd’s police murder and the Black Lives Matter movement explosion in 2020, the field of international relations rushed to engage the topic of race after ignoring it for half a century. When they did, they largely acted as if early generations of international-relations scholars hadn’t engaged with or theorized the topic. But they had.

In this episode, I got to sit down with Robbie Shilliam, a multidisciplinary IR scholar and postcolonial theorist, to talk about:

  • What made Hans Morgenthau a theorist of race relations, not just international relations;

  • Why the field of IR has a racial blind spot in the first place;

  • Why IR’s leading journals, editors, and scholars re-engaged racial questions after 2020 but without drawing on what the discipline’s own canonical thinkers had to say about race;

  • Why the Gen Z and Millennial generation of scholars are possibly built differently when it comes to racial issues and historical IR;

  • How the concept of “frontier” unites Republicanism and imperialism in some of the early thinkers of IR like Frederick Jackson Turner, William Allen, and Merze Tate.

I was sick as a dog when we recorded this, but it was one of the most generative conversations I’ve ever had on the pod and Robbie is one soulful human being. Hope you enjoy this one!

Robbie Shilliam, “Republicanism and Imperialism at the Frontier: A Post-Black Lives Matter Archeology of International Relations,” https://robbieshilliam.files.wordpress.com/2023/03/frontier-2.0.pdf.

Epeli Hau’ofa, WE ARE THE OCEAN: SELECTED WORKS (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008).


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