Abstract

This article outlines two theoretical and methodological approaches that take a queer intellectual curiosity about figurations of “homosexuality” and “the homosexual” as their core. These offer ways to conduct international relations (IR) research on “the homosexual” and on international relations figurations more broadly, for example, from “the woman” to “the human rights holder.” The first approach provides a method for analyzing figurations of “the homosexual” and sexualized orders of IR that are inscribed in IR as either normal or perverse. The second approach offers instructions on how to read plural figures and plural logics that signify as normal and/or perverse (and which might be described as queer). Together, they propose techniques, devices, and research questions to investigate singular and plural IR figurations—including but not exclusively those of “the homosexual”—that map international phenomena as diverse as colonialism, human rights, and the formation of states and international communities in ways that exceed IR survey research techniques that, for example, incorporate “the homosexual” into IR research through a “sexuality variable.”

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