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This chapter draws out implications for a defining element of a positivist approach – prediction. Prediction is the primary way positivist scholarship engages the future as well as one of the elements of analysis that define it as “scientific” rather than historical or critical. Presentism demonstrates that while those who do not study history may be doomed to repeat it, those who do study the past are not guaranteed to predict it. The chapter lays out how the presentist move implicates what I call “Disciplinary Prediction,” the predominant way that IR approaches and imagines the future. This chapter evaluates what happens if we divorce the concept of prediction from temporal assumptions that presume continuity and regularity. Once prediction’s temporal scope is allowed to be more limited, contingent, and indeterminate, projects that de-emphasize linearity, actively theorize temporal recurrences, incorporate cycles, and allow for contingency, emergence, and flexibility become increasingly viable. Predictions based on critically informed scholarship also become much more imaginable, enabling a better theorization of the politics of critique as action.
Making America Great Again, Again and Again focuses on a recent example of state behavior—US foreign policy during the Trump administration—to illustrate how these tools and concepts can enrich our understanding of the present moment. The Trump administration was viewed by many as historically novel and one whose actions might radically reorder the world, while others saw it as merely an extension of deep historical processes. How one positioned this present largely turned on their conception of past and future. By placing emergence and change as ontological constants, and centering this heterotemporality and discontinuity, we can better identify the temporal dynamics that characterized the Trump administration’s—and thus American—foreign policy. This chapter identifies four temporal dynamics that characterized the Trump administration—temporal othering, the production of simultaneity in a heterotemporal political environment, the accelerated pace and tempo of political action, and the (re)production of an indefinite present.
Chapter five, “The Time of War,” shifts the level of analysis from the system to interstate relations, focusing on the issue that arguably produced the discipline itself – war. It establishes that war is an intrinsically temporal concept, an event, and requires a number of contestable ideas to be resolved in a specific way in order to cohere in its contemporary form. It shows how ideas like heterotemporal coherence, temporal fluidity, and the production of temporal borders are constitutive elements of war that must be theorized. War requires a collective imaginary to even exist – otherwise, it is just a group of individuals engaged in lethal force. Attending to the temporal levels of analysis within and among these imaginaries as well as resisting the epistemological privileging of generalizability is vital to a better understanding of it. Our understanding of war is largely dependent on which presents are being analyzed, rather than the produce of timeless, objective mechanisms or objectively analogous situations.
This chapter contains four parts. To some, questions of time and politics may appear extraneous – they may be valid issues to study but not a central concern for contemporary IR, much less a necessary one. For them, it is just another area of study and deciding whether to pursue it is a matter of personal choice. The first section shows how international politics and time are already intertwined and argues that time impacts the main issues of concern for IR. The second shows how IR is “stuck in the past” – even as it furiously gestures toward the future – because it theorizes temporality and time as universal and linear, privileging the past, all while resisting thinking about the present. The third section briefly introduces what I call presentism, an alternative temporal imaginary for IR that explicitly values the present, thinks in time, and resists naturalizing the contemporary political dominance of universal, linear time. The final section outlines the rest of the book, identifying theoretical and conceptual implications, concretizing both by showing how it enables a different perspective on war, American foreign policy during the Trump administration, and IR’s primary theoretical architectures.
This chapter articulates the stakes involved for mainstream scholars and those interested in traditional international political concerns by using a presentist approach to critique the “theoretical programmes” that historically have dominated IR – realism, liberal institutionalism, and constructivism. Doing so provides a widely intelligible example that others can use to guide their own work, even if they have no interest in the particular theoretical architectures used here. Employing these tools makes new things visible, exposes different questions to ask and answer, and enables different ways of understanding what we believe we already know. Each of these examples illustrates how presentism’s approach is not an external critique but one that – if taken seriously – alters key assumptions and conclusions for concepts already considered central to IR’s systemic understanding of global politics. The chapter also draws out implications at the epistemological and ontological levels, defending ideas like temporally contingent epistemologies, ontological nonconsecutivity, and an ontology that fully embraces the present
This chapter concretizes the present as an ethos and sketches out elements of a future research agenda. It further develops the idea of the present as an analytical orientation, conceptual approach, and set of assumptions as well as offers a glimpse of a future where we take the present seriously when theorizing global politics.
This chapter places the scholar and their scholarship in time, exploring their temporal positionality, responsibilities, and political relevance. If the past is a construct of the present, the position of the scholar shifts from that of an actor engaged in a value-neutral, transhistorical process of knowledge accumulation to that of an actor intervening in a particular present. Thinking about this positionality from a temporal perspective centers scholarly reflexivity, elevating questions of intellectual responsibility alongside analytical concerns.
Time, and how we relate to it, is a persistent theme throughout Kierkegaard’s writings. Particularly striking is the way in which Kierkegaard depicts various pathologies of temporal experience, showing how various strategies for dealing with time are ultimately self-defeating. Either/Or is perhaps the single best example of a text in which Kierkegaard problematizes time and our responses to it. The book is famously presented as staging a clash between two views of life, the aesthetic and the ethical. But it can also be understood as presenting and critiquing two different ways of relating to time: one that tries to evade the responsibility entailed by living in time and one that tries to anchor itself in an eternity that is ultimately a denial of finitude. The text suggests both approaches to time are doomed, and that a different, specifically religious relation to time is required.
The conclusion compares Roman ideas about risk with their ideas about the future. It argues that they displayed a mixture of both basic and relatively sophisticated understanding. The areas where the greatest development can be found – in the military, financial and legal spheres – reflect a militaristic, legalistic and strongly hierarchical society where what mattered most were keeping control of great areas of territory, maintaining the social order that controlled the population and upholding the property rights of the few. There was no perceived need to develop the notion of risk outside of these areas.
Chapter 1 introduces the importance of metaphor to an understanding of time and, in that context, introduces two gaps in our understanding of spatial metaphors for time that the current volume aims to fill.
Either/Or is Kierkegaard's first major work and arguably his most virtuosic. It introduces many of the most important philosophical themes that define the rest of his authorship and showcases - through its several pseudonyms and genres - Kierkegaard's prodigious literary scope. In this Critical Guide, a diverse group of scholars strike new ground in our understanding of both this work, and Kierkegaard's authorship as a whole. Their essays highlight the text's philosophical range, with substantial discussions of issues in aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, phenomenology, and philosophy of religion. The volume will be essential reading for any person seeking to deepen their understanding of Either/Or and Kierkegaard's work more generally.
This chapter introduces the micro-sociological lenses to the study of peace talks. The chapter discusses how bodily and facial interaction shapes peace diplomacy and its potential for generating social bonds between participants. The chapter maps six different spaces in peace diplomacy: formal negotiations, informal space, formalized informal space, shuttle diplomacy space, press conferences, and virtual space; and how these make the character and dynamics of interaction possible in peace talks. The chapter shows that under the right spatial and interactional circumstances, peace talks can generate social bonds between the involved parties. However, the leaders of the respective parties often do not take part in peace talks and thus they are not the ones generating social bonds. The chapter further discusses the importance of interpersonal trust versus trust in the process, as well as how the social bonding being generated at the peace table is transferred to the society at large.
Across languages, time tends to be understood in terms of space. For instance, we might think of time as an unstoppable train heading towards us when we hear 'holidays are coming', or we might imagine time as a landscape that we move across as we 'approach the moment of truth'. In this pioneering book, Duffy and Feist bring together research from across disciplines to provide a more nuanced understanding of what metaphor is and how it underpins our conceptualizations of time. Illustrated with a wide range of authentic examples from natural language, the book offers a holistic understanding of metaphors for time, encompassing the varied ways in which people draw on spatial experiences, as well as the broader variety of 'human experience' on an individual level. In doing so, it highlights the importance of variation across cultures, across contexts, and across individuals for metaphoric conceptualization.
Romantic relationships occur within a larger social, political, and historic context. Although family historians have attended to the changing social meaning and role of romantic partnering across historical time, few scholars have considered that the psychosocial meanings individuals attribute to historic events may shape romantic relationships dynamics. In this chapter, we consider how linkages between historic events and shifts in the socio-political environment of the United States may influence romantic relationships. We begin by reviewing the work of family historians before discussing theories and concepts relevant to examining romantic partnering within a historical context. We provide illustrative examples to highlight the overlap between cohort and historic effects across relationship initiation, maintenance, and dissolution. We conclude by reflecting on the conceptual and empirical challenges and possibilities associated with examining relationships from a historical perspective.
This chapter offers a different take on the standard teleological story of Christianization in the Lushai Hills by focusing on what the missionaries themselves deemed an utter failure: their first decade of mission work. It views the earliest foreign missionaries to the Lushai Hills as uplanders did: first, as ‘sap vakvai’ - strange and insignificant wanderers; and, later, as ‘zosap’ - usable and incorporable newcomers, asking not what foreign missionaries wanted from highland people, but what highland people wanted from missionaries. The weakness and vulnerabilities of foreign missionaries opened up space for a first generation of young people with sensibilities spanning the Lushai Hills District and the globe. Upland populations became interested in Christianity - a new yet combinable spiritual power - as well as the knowledge dispensed on the mission compound because they were completely and inherently involved in its interpretation and dissemination. Everyday technologies, the studies and movements of students, regional meetings of nascent Christian groups, and ‘celebrations’ of empire began synchronizing time and both connecting and circumscribing space, all with profoundly far-reaching and unpredictable effects. Maps, schools, and the harmonization of space and time would help spark ideas about a wider, more integrated ‘Mizo’ identity. Children, adolescents, and youth were not only critical partners but also often operated in networks completely unmediated by the white missionaries, in channels of circulations that generated important redefinitions of space, time, and ethnicity in the uplands.
The mental lexicon offers a window into the configuration of conceptual domains such as space and time, which has been labeled as concrete the former and abstract the latter in the current embodiment approach to cognition. Space has a phonological and semantic value in sign languages, but not in spoken languages. Additionally, the representation of time by spatial means is robust in oral and sign languages. This research asks if Deaf signers and hearing nonsigners have the same conceptual organization of those domains. In their respective languages, sixty-two participants made a repeated free word association task. These results showed that the studied populations have a little overlap in the associates evocated for each clue. The analysis of the preferences of the semantic relations of the pairs clue-associate showed a greater tendency of the Deaf signers to establish thematic relations. In contrast, the hearing participants indicated a bias toward taxonomic relations. The results suggest that the abstractness or concreteness of concepts may be modulated by factors associated with linguistic modalities. However, in this compared free association norms factors related to the language deprivation of Deaf, the asymmetries in the cross-modal language contact and cross-modal borrowing were not exhaustively controlled.
When arriving by boat in Malta from Libya, migrants encounter a strong state and legal framework that shapes their mobilities and journeys. This chapter brings forward migrants’ lives in Malta’s reception structures. It reveals how people experience mobility as a form of stuckness, influenced by bureaucratic techniques of governance.
This chapter offers a temporal view on mobility: the ways in which migrants negotiate their longer-term futures in Malta’s state and legal system. Showing how onward movement is constrained by legal status and a bureaucratic landscape, it front stages the importance of the journey as an analytic for theorizing mobility.
Migrants’ journeys are often characterized by immobility and waiting. This chapter describes the experiences of migrants at a house in Libya as they prepare to take a boat to Europe. Furthering analyses of mobility economies, it brings economy into conversation with questions of time and immobility. The chapter reveals how a clandestine economy surrounding mobility intersects with intimate economies that reproduce the mobile body.
Alongside Ambrose, several prominent figures exemplify other forms of knowledge-shaping practices in catechesis. Zeno of Verona and Gaudentius of Brescia taught new Christians to re-imagine time and the natural world guided by Christian principles. Rufinus of Aquileia and Peter Chrysologus stressed the apophatic reserve necessary for initial inquiries into the nature of God.