Utmost Listening: Feminist IR as a Foreign Language

Park-Kang, Sungju (2011) Utmost Listening: Feminist IR as a Foreign Language. Millennium - Journal of International Studies, 39 (3). pp. 861-877. ISSN 0305-8298

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0305829811403024


This article attempts to problematise the conventional notion of dialogue, proposing ‘utmost listening’ as an alternative approach in International Relations (IR) dialogue. More specifically, I argue that we need to regard IR as a foreign language; I particularly explore the proposed approach in terms of feminist IR. Having a dialogue as a ‘non-native’ speaker demands hard work and consistent training. Most of all, a starting point would be to listen carefully to dialogue partners. This is different from the conventional approach in dialogue which presupposes that listening and speaking are situated almost equally in epistemological terms. In this sense, I reflect on myself as a ‘provisional-straight man’ researcher who engages with feminist IR. I also consider other men scholars, such as Robert Keohane. Finally, I introduce Momo — a fictional character in Michael Ende’s novel — as an ‘utmost listener’. What happens if we follow Momo in the IR community?

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