Mr Aslak-Antti Oksanen

Mr Aslak-Antti Oksanen

Mr Aslak-Antti Oksanen
Assistant Teacher

11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
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School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

The Question of Truth in Moral International Relations Theory

Registration details: Assistant Teacher


My PhD thesis is titled The uneven and combined ‘solution’ to Eurocentrism and its exterior problems: Seeing beyond states and development through the case of the Sámi people. The thesis explores the problem of Eurocentrism in IR theory and efforts to overcome Eurocentrism from within the historical materialist branch of IR, with a focus on the latest claimed solution to the problem of Eurocentrism through the application of Leon Trotsky’s theory of uneven and combined development (U&CD) as an approach to IR. The thesis argues that though U&CD is in many regards a step forward in relation to the problem of Eurocentrism in IR, it also has significant limitations, stemming from its reliance on the concept of ‘development’ which presupposes that societies can be ranked as more or less ‘developed’ on a linear scale. Such ranking has problematic normative and political implications for non-state and non-sedentary societies, which the thesis explores through the case of the Sámi people (the indigenous people of the Nordic countries) and their relations to the Nordic states. The thesis proposes Enrique Dussel’s Philosophy of Liberation (PoL) as an alternative approach to IR historical materialism that overcomes the particular shortcomings identified in U&CD.  Dussel’s PoL provides an ethically driven analytical framework that is particularly designed to illuminate the realities and ethical needs of marginalised peoples through the concept of exteriority. In the context of international politics such marginalised exterior peoples include stateless peoples like the Sámi, who do not enjoy the same level of recognition as peoples represented by a state. The thesis provides a demonstration of how PoL can illuminate the Sámi as an entity and agent of the international system. 

Fields of interest

International Relations theory. Philosophy of Social Science.

Latest publications

  1. Oksanen, A-A, 2016, ‘Sámi Pastoralism under the Heel of ‘Development’’.
  2. Oksanen, A-A, 2015, ‘The Conceptual Limits of Uneven and Combined Development and the Exterior of the International’. in: Aberystwyth Lancaster Graduate Colloquium.

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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