Critical Security in the 21st Century: The Resonating Voices of Thucydides

James Rochlin
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Abstract


What makes Thucydides' work so incredibly alive and relevant for global politics today is the analytic of how the story is told. Three points stand out in this regard. First, the The Peloponnesian War features a momentous epistemological jump. One facet of this, among so many, is that divinity is swept aside and humans become the masters of their own destiny. Next, despite its recent reputation for being a classic text of Realism, Thucydides' work is not subject to the stultifying shackles of ideological boundaries. It is vastly eclectic and non-doctrinaire. Finally, the unraveling of the 27-year epic war is told through a multitude of competing voices that evokes the reader to interpret the text's ultimate meaning. It is this element that injects so much life into the text, since rather than being subjected to the dictation of 'truth' through an author's monologue, the reader must assume the role of judge and truth producer. These themes of epistemic rupture, human agency, eclecticism and situated truth are vital in relation to analyzing the current juncture in world politics, especially regarding the opportunities and perils of navigating through a sweeping transformation of the global constellation of power.

Keywords


Thucydides, critical theory

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