Becoming a humanitarian state: A performative analysis of ‘status-seeking’ as statecraft in world politics
Status-seeking is ubiquitous in world politics and the literature is currently dominated by state-centrism and rationalism, which is almost exclusively focus on state elites. This results in a thin and limited understanding of what ‘status-seeking’ is, where it works and how it is affected. This article challenges the existing approaches by introducing a performativity framework and offers an overhaul of how ‘status’ can be studied. It suggests replacing ‘status-seeking’ with ‘status performances’ that are conceptualised as part of ‘statecraft’ process. Drawing from the poststructuralist and queer approaches as well as aesthetics in International Relations, it is argued that status performances participate in the production of the state itself as a subject in world politics so all states are ‘status-seekers’. This subject production process occurs in multiple political sites including the academic IR discourse in a country and visual presentations in the media. It is concluded that there is no ‘status’ beyond the subject and it can never be achieved because it always needs repetitive performances. The argument is illustrated by analysis of the production of ‘Turkey’ as a humanitarian state, and demonstrates how this is effected in state pronouncements, IR scholarship in Turkey, and visual representations.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- International Relations, Politics and History
Published inReview of International Studies
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Author(s)
Publisher statementThis is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.