Beate Jahn is Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex.
Jahn is interested in the role of liberalism in world affairs. Her publications fall into three related areas. First, she analyzes the foreign policies of liberal states – modernization policies, democracy promotion, (humanitarian) intervention – as well as the role of liberalism in the constitution of the current world order. The paradoxical outcome of these policies and their internal contradictions, Jahn argues, have their roots in the international – specifically imperialist – origins of liberalism. Yet, by ignoring or downplaying the constitutive role of imperialism, liberalism turns into an ideology.
The second pillar of Jahn’s work thus explores the role of ideology in the constitution of the discipline of International Relations itself and the workings of liberal ideology in a variety of theoretical approaches within the discipline. This work has led to a third pillar of research exploring the nature of ideology as such and appropriate methods for its analysis. Here, Jahn systematically uses the work of classical authors such as Vitoria, Locke, Pufendorf, Vattel, Burke, Paine, Tocqueville, Kant as interlocutors whose alternative temporal, spatial, and disciplinary standpoint serves to highlight the limitations inherent in contemporary ideologies. Jahn is currently working on a comprehensive study of liberal internationalism.
Jahn has also been Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of International Relations (EJIR) from 2013-2017 and and President of the European International Studies Association (EISA) from 2019-2021.
The Theory Seminar will be led by Research Professor at NUPI Halvard Leira. The event lasts from 13:30 to 15:00.