Provincializing Security community: On geopolitics of knowledge and epistemic privilege

Visiting Scholar Talks

Feb 12, 2024 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Common Room (#136), 2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA,


Kasira Cheeppensook | Associate Professor, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University; HYI Visiting Scholar, 2023-24


Manjari Chatterjee Miller | Associate Professor, International Relations, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University


Jeremy Menchik | Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Boston University; Director of CURA: The Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs

Co-sponsored with the Asia Center

One of the widely recognized (albeit, by no means foolproof,) measurements of analytical usefulness of a theoretical concept is whether it could ‘travel’, i.e. whether it will be applicable beyond particular historical, political, or geographical context that it first emerged. The concept of “security community”, a community of states and by extension of people that neither expect nor prepare for war with one another due to shared common belief that conflicts will be resolved peacefully was popularized in the 1950s and primarily intended for the areas termed “North Atlantic”: the US, Canada, the UK and most of continental Europe. Numerous scholars since then re-imagined the concept and tested it in other regions to try to extend its use in International Relations. The key question remains: to what extent could an idea born out of seemingly insular imagination of history and imbued with privilege of conceptual invention while already being a part of what success should look like partake in increasingly global IR?

This research poses questions to preconditions interwoven in the construction process enabling some concepts to ‘travel’ as well as contributes to the debate regarding Eurocentrism at the heart of International Relations discipline.