My dissertation contributes to this project by taking up a particularly thorny issue in IR, political theory, and historical sociology: the general causal significance of group identity. Although we recognize that non-state identities – such as racial, ethnic, religious, and ideopolitical identities that traverse states and societies – shape historical development, International Relations theorists lack a general theory of how this is possible. My research addresses this lacuna by constructing a framework that grasps in theoretical terms the irreducible effects of group identity. I argue that historical development is driven by the transformative interactions of different kinds of structured entities – states, societies, collectivities (defined by group identity), and individuals – across distinct ontological registers. To ground this argument, I engage the literatures of critical realism, psychoanalytic theory, and “uneven and combined development.” The result is a novel theoretical framework that offers an expansive account of the “the international,” contributing to canonical debates in IR and social theory about structure/agency, individual and social ontology, causation, and emotions in politics.
- Also published in New Directions in Uneven and Combined Development, eds. Justin Rosenberg, Jack Brake, Tatiana Pignon, and Lucas de Oliveira Paes. New York: Routledge. 2021. https://www.routledge.com/New-Directions-in-Uneven-and-%20Combined-Development/Rosenberg-Brake-Pignon-Paes/p/book/9781032152691#