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13.3: Conclusion

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  • The development of queer theory in IR suggests that more rigorous questions of the impact of LGBT issues in international politics have begun to be successfully answered. It highlights the valuable contribution to analysing IR through until now unrecognised perspectives on sexual and gender expression. Queer theory has also proven to be theoretically inclusive in ways that LGBT and feminist scholarship sometimes has not. A question that remains is whether queer theorists can recognise – and perhaps transcend – their own racial, class and Western-centric orientations. Such broadening would also make it easier to find common cause with other affected minorities – not least to move from a purely critical or deconstructive mode to a more transformative and productive one. Precisely because queer theory is able to transcend the focus on sexuality and gender through general analytical principles, it lends itself to interrogating a wide range of IR phenomena. In a time when IR is often accused of being parochial, queer theory is a necessary corrective to powerful myths and narratives of international orders.