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The political and academic worlds are fractured by two competing discourses: the universalism of human rights and cultural relativism. This fracture is represented by the deep separation of cultural analysis and theories of international politics. Derek Robbins in a brilliant interrogation of European thinkers from Montesquieu to Pierre Bourdieu seeks to replace cultural relativism with cultural relationism as a step towards reconciling Enlightenment universalism and anthropological insistence on cultural difference.
The strength of this book lies in the capacity of Robbins to excavate from six quite diverse thinkers in different historical periods and quite varied intellectual cultures selected elements for reflecting on the culture and politics theme.
The book is recommended for all those who have an interest in understanding world affairs in an intellectually satisfying narrative. It is a very good presentation of modern political thoughts as developed in the past three centuries.
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