Martin Weber



Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Political Theory, University of Queensland (Australia)

Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
June – October 2018

Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
»Normative Grammars in International Political Theory«

Project outline:
This project builds on a series of research articles that have dealt with different aspects of the social-philosophical implications of IR theory’s turn to sociological analytical inventories under the constructivist heading. In this paper, I take some of the insights and criticisms developed in the previous work further, and into the direction of explicating the contours of a relationally reconceptualised International Political Theory. The article comprises three main parts: The critical-reconstructive first part traces the implications of what I call the positional orientation of classical political theory in IR theorizing; focusing on the construal of »rule« in this mode, I demonstrate how the positional orientation structures both, mainstream constructivist research outlooks, as well as a surprisingly wide range of heterodox approaches. The second part of the article deals with the literature that has registered some discontent with this, focusing specifically on attempts to pad out the register of recognition, more reflexive approaches to questions of legitimacy, and instances of the increasingly more self-conscious deployment in International Political Theory of the language of the relational. Again focusing on how »rule« is construed in such contexts, I show that by failing to explicate the constrictive conceptual implications carried along, these attempts too fall short of making good on the promises of relational analysis. The third part spells through the constructive possibilities of construing »rule« on the basis of a more thoroughly conceptualized relational political theory. To make such a move plausible, I draw on the social-ontological premises underpinning recognition-theory. (Martin Weber)

Research partner:
Martin Weber follows the invitation of Gunther Hellmann (Professor of Political Science, Goethe University) and the Cluster of Excellence »The Formation of Normative Orders«.

Scholarly profile of Martin Weber


Martin Weber is a Senior lecturer in International Relations and Political Theory at the University of Queensland. He also was a member of the Global Development Section (GDS) Committee for Constituting The »Edward Said Award« for Best Graduate Paper.

Furthermore Dr. Martin Weber is currently working on the Collaborative Research Project: »Namibisch-deutsche Beziehungen und normative Herausforderungen: Beyond the Constrictions of International Development and International Relations?« with Prof. Dr. Gunther Hellmann and Dr. Heloise Weber.
For further information click here.

Main areas of research:
Political Theory and Social Theory. Political Ecology. Global Governance and Global Environmental Change. Transnational Social Movements and Politicisation. Critical Theory. International Political Economy, Trade and Environment.

Selected publications:
  1. »On the history and politics of the social turn«, in: Review of International Studies, 41/4 (2015), p. 693-714.
  2. »Between ›isses‹ and ›oughts‹: IR constructivism, Critical Theory, and the challenge of political philosophy«, in: European Journal of International Relations, 20/2 (2014), p. 516-543.
  3. »As if 'relations' mattered: how to subvert positional bias in social science with a lot of help from 'others'«, in: Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought (2013).
  4. (with Frank Mols) »Laying sound foundations for social identity theory-inspired European Union attitude research: beyond attachment and deeply rooted identities«, in: Journal of Common Market Studies, 51/3 (2013), p. 505-521.