Unsettling the World

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Jeanne Morefield synthesizes Palestinian American theorist and cultural critic Edward Said’s critical humanism as a conceptual approach for addressing crises in contemporary global politics that demands reflection about historical context and the nature of the collective public before considering solutions to perceived problems. Said’s approach to humanistic inquiry speaks directly to the way scholars of international ethics who speak from a liberal internationalist perspective react to global crises by fixating on the international status quo, often advocating global order for global order’s sake. In the process, Said’s humanism transforms the very idea of what it means to theorize global ethics in a postcolonial age and offers a clarifying way to navigate through foreign policy discussions with conflicting interest groups and ideologies.