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Conference | Roundtable

International Relations and the Idea of Merit

  • Sankaran Krishna
  • Gajendran Ayyathurai
  • Crystal Ennis
  • Hitomi Koyama
  • Hannah Graham-Brown
Monday 22 May 2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

In his recent article, Sankaran Krishna asks: how does IR address the glaring fact of inequality across nation-states? His answer is: through a discourse of meritocracy. IR theories construct world politics as a meritocratic space, where inequalities are reflections of innate differences in merit of nations/societies/states. Decolonizing IR, he argues, requires deep re-examination of the very idea of merit and meritocratic IR.

In this roundtable, we take Krishna’s provocation as a starting point to discuss the idea of merit in IR. How is IR as a discipline constructed for us in the classrooms and outside. Recent calls for ‘Global IR’ emphasize plurality as key to decolonizing IR, but is that enough? How do we move beyond, as Krishna says, ‘pluralizing the voices and diversifying the skin-tones’?

This roundtable is an invitation to think through these, and similar, questions.

Students and scholars working in IR and connected disciplines are welcome to attend.

Event co-organised by Leiden University Centre for International Relations, History and International Studies Research Specialization (Institute for History), Institute of Political Science.


Please register for the event and drinks:

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