Fictional IR and imagination: Advancing narrative approaches

Park-Kang, Sungju (2015) Fictional IR and imagination: Advancing narrative approaches. Review of International Studies, 41 (02). pp. 361-381. ISSN 0260-2105

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In the field of International Relations (IR), narrative approaches and an alternative way of writing seem to have gained growing attention in recent scholarship. Autoethnography and autobiography can be taken as primary examples. The article aims to advance this growing scholarship by proposing the concept of fictional IR. The idea is concerned with how to use the imagination in IR. I suggest that fiction writing can become a method for dealing with lack of information and contingency surrounding it. Fictional IR is more than reading and using fiction as a reference source or vehicle for analysis. It can incorporate the employment of fiction writing in IR scholarship. One of the benefits could be to articulate sensitive and complicated problems in a more flexible and imaginative way, making the most of the power of story and imagination. It should be stressed that the focal point is to write fiction; it is not to write about fiction. To support this suggestion, the article offers a short fictional-factual story. By using imagination, creating characters, combining data with fictional narrative, or with one's own experience, I believe that more original and empathetic IR writing is possible.

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