In this short blog post I attempt to sketch out what I mean by the term ‘foreign policy as culturally embedded discourse‘, as well as what this conceptualisation might mean for the study of International Relations. Unfortunately, discourse and culture are two of the most complicated words in the social sciences and, perhaps, the English language. Moreover, the nature of ‘embeddedness’ requires careful unpacking.
- Discourses form when and where meaning is produced in a relatively systematic way. This may be, and often is, linguistic. But can, and usually does, include other things: images, buildings, body language, films, music, video games, books etc. Through dominant discourses ideas are shared, such that they might become an intersubjective background (perhaps tacit) knowledge upon which other decisions are made and actions take place, including the formulation of foreign policy. Foreign policy discourse, specifically, is the way in which the world is actively mapped out – spatialised – such that friends and enemies, safety and danger, risk and opportunity are given geographic address. Read more