Normative political theory has witnessed a renaissance in International Relations (IR), with the principle of justice and its meaning for the global sphere being prominently debated. Within these discussions, it is foregone conclusion that “poststructuralist approaches” have no normative potential. This paper takes issue with this conclusion and outlines how a poststructuralist approach to ethics can inform global politics. The paper elaborates an alternative reading of justice, arguing that justice is an empty normative signifier with universal aspiration aiming at discursive closure. To deal with closure, a just practice is necessary. It is a practice that constantly aspires to achieve justice while being aware of the impossibility of justice. The global discourse on drugs illustrates how an IR-poststructuralist approach yields insights in the possibility of ethical action in global politics.
- international relations
- just practice
- discourse on global drug prohibition