Documenting World Politics: A Critical Companion to IR and Non-Fiction Film (Popular Culture and World Politics)

Documenting World Politics: A Critical Companion to IR and Non-Fiction Film (Popular Culture and World Politics)

Language: English

Pages: 250

ISBN: 1138797782

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


As a central component of contemporary culture, films mirror and shape political debate. Reflecting on this development, scholars in the field of International Relations (IR) increasingly explore the intersection of TV series, fiction film and global politics. So far, however, virtually no systematic scholarly attention has been given to documentary film within IR.

This book fills this void by offering a critical companion to the subject aimed at assisting students, teachers and scholars of IR in understanding and assessing the various ways in which documentary films matter in global politics. The authors of this volume argue that much can be gained if we do not just think of documentaries as a window on or intervention in reality, but as a political epistemology that – like theories – involve particular postures, strategies and methodologies towards the world to which they provide access.

This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of international relations, popular culture and world politics and media studies alike.

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documentary about the trial of Jean Pierre Bemba. The film works without voice-over or underpinning music, thus opening up more space for the people involved in the documentary to appear as people with their own lives and stories. Rather than portraying the ICC as the embodiment of humanity, the documentary shows the problems that come with building a legal case after villages have been subjected to mass violence, including the mismatch that can exist between the experiences of victims and the

www.huffingtonpost.com/robyn-hillmanharrigan/emthe-reckoning-em-int_b_230516.html (accessed 21 October 2014). 15 A field which later in the documentary appears to be located somewhere in East Congo. 16 The triad of icon, index and symbol were introduced by the founding father of semiotic theory, Charles Sanders Pierce, for whom the three corresponded to his phenomenological categories of firstness, secondness and thirdness. In documentary theory, Pierce’s work has been taken up inter alia by

Virtue, Fortune and Faith: A Genealogy of Finance. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. de Goede, Marieke (2014) ‘Preemption Contested: Suspected Spaces and Preventability in the July 7 Inquest’, Political Geography, 39, 48–57. Guerra, Charles (n.d.) ‘Introduction’, Embedded Fieldwork and Global Oil Circulation: Black Sea Files. Available at: www.geobodies.org/books-and-texts/texts (accessed 29 January 2014). Langley, Paul (2008) The Everyday Life of Global Finance: Saving and

lens of the camera until the last two decades, is sexual violence.2 My focus in this chapter is on documentaries of military sexual assault. The documentary genre has been closely related to issues of the state; since their origin, documentaries have affirmed or contested state power or more recently provided revisions of conceptions of power and subjectivities (Nichols 2001: 582, 609). An underexamined issue in this field has been the role of the state in relation to sexual violence. In

camera does this treatment signify? What theories and/or epistemologies are involved in establishing authenticity, and how does filmic technique support or disrupt this quest? To understand the epistemological workings of documentary film, it is helpful to think of well-known (IR) theories. Many expository documentary films operate in a theoretical modality that we are familiar with from Marxist theory and other theories that emerged out of Enlightenment thinking (including liberalism and some

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