Pioneering a hermeneutic methodology for analyses of global governance, this is the first monograph that makes Hans-Georg Gadamer’s and Paul Ricœur’s hermeneutic philosophy relevant for global politics research. Drawing on the concept of "horizon" as the element that captures the dynamics of understanding in social interaction in order to analyse processes of international politics, this book shows that what is required is the embeddedness of meanings and ideas in human action and reflection. By advancing theory-building with regard to particular questions of global governance, it reconceptualises international relations as "politics among people". Providing a contextualised constructivist approach that highlights the importance of processes to which people are central, it challenges the use of collective concepts such as "state" and "nation" as units of analysis which continue to dominate international relations but which cloud the details of interaction processes.

The two case studies of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and Germany in NATO’s mission "Operation Allied Force" in Kosovo in 1999 are structured around this contextualised constructivist approach developed in the monograph. The studies reveal how interaction processes can be made accountable, leading to new vantage points of our understanding of governance problems.

This book will be of interest to scholars interested in global governance, the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricœeur and hermeneutic philosophy, the UN, humanitarian interventions, and foreign policy analysts.

chapter 1|20 pages

Introducing Politics among People

chapter 2|22 pages

Hermeneutic approaches to meaning

chapter 3|18 pages

The topoi of interpretive research

chapter 4|22 pages

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

chapter 6|13 pages

Horizons of politics