17.12.2015

Korvela, Palonen & Björk - The Politics of World Politics

Nimeke: The Politics of World Politics

Toimittanut:Paul-Erik Korvela, Kari Palonen & Anna Björk

ISBN: ISBN:978-951-39-6284-5

Julkaisija: University of Jyväskylä

Julkaistu: 2015

JYX

 


On August 21st 2015 Pekka Korhonen, Professor of World Politics at the University of Jyväskylä, reaches the age of 60 years. In order to celebrate the event and pay homage to Pekka’s career, this collection of articles was edited. Keeping in mind Pekka’s research interests in world politics and other forms of political science, the book is aptly named ”The Politics of World Politics”. One part of the Jyväskylä profile is to avoid a strict dividing line between different ‘subfields’ in the study of politics, and also the PhD theses supervised by Pekka would not elsewhere always be counted to world politics or international relations. The interest in rhetoric, languages, concepts and narratives is part of the Jyväskylä profile, but Pekka’s own and inimitable colour enriches this profile to an important direction.

Pekka’s MA thesis on Hans Morgenthau (1983) deconstructs a lot of the textbook view on Morgenthau, which is no mere caricature but completely misleading for those who know Morgenthau’s early work in international law in German and French. Johan Galtung was the next author Pekka was studying in his licentiate thesis. In Galtung’s work, in the early study on Gandhi’s political ethics and Galtung’s work on Japan and China in the 1970s we can also detect the origins of the ‘Asian turn’ of Pekka Korhonen’s work, based on 2-year scholarship to Japan from 1987 to 1989. With his 1992 dissertation, in revised form published by Routledge in 1994 and the follow-up work on pacific romances (1998), Pekka created the groundwork for his later internationally recognised research profile, the appointment to professor at the University of Jyväskylä (from January 2004) and numerous research visits above all in Japan and China. The book includes contributions from his colleagues within the confines of world politics, Asian studies and political theory, all very broadly understood. Despite of belonging to the Festschrift-genre, this collection of articles is a genuine contribution to the debates of world politics, its limitations, boundaries and theories. Given Pekka’s interest in Asia and geopolitics, the collection also includes articles addressing these topics.

As has been common in Jyväskylä political science, politics in this collection is considered an aspect in lieu of a strictly defined sector. Therefore the articles address a wide variety of issues that can be considered relevant to world politics – even the very notions of ”world” and ”politics” are scrutinized in the articles, and emphasis is also given to translating of concepts and naming of practices.