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16.3: Conclusion

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  • As International Relations is an increasingly popular subject, particularly in Asia where IR courses have become a staple at many universities, there is a need for it to become a truly global discipline that appreciates political and cultural difference but also reflects a shared history and humanity. In light of the uncertainties and anxieties accompanying the rise of non-Western powers like China and India, IR scholarship must act not only as a lens for analysing real-world phenomena but also as a useful and practical guide for how we should act within a changing global environment. That said, ‘Asia’ is as much a social construct as ‘the West’ and one that could potentially become as monolithic and hegemonic. As such, we need to be wary of creating simplistic categories that give rise to an unhelpful ‘self–other’ binary. For the sake of initiating meaningful dialogue, it is vital that scholars continue to work towards an inclusive outlook that reconciles East and West, capturing both the diversity and unity of insights to be gained from mainstream as well as Asian IR perspectives.