This article aims to examine one aspect of the "local" that has been little considered in IR: the concept of home and its significance as a place of meaning and as a site of resistance. Existing studies of the concept of home in other disciplines include their study as "profound centers of human existence" in human geography and as the place of "many cultural practices that forge social memory." More recently, the plight of refugees has thrown into sharp relief both the need for an examination of home and its current under-theorization. After a wider examination of the meaning of home and in particular the significance of home in an IR context, this article will examine the construction of home in everyday life and its potential use as a site of resistance before analyzing the significance of this analysis to the wider field of IR.

Author Bio(s)

Ali Watson is Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews and also Managing Director and co-founder of the Third Generation Project, a think tank based in the School of International Relations dedicated to community-oriented collaboration, research and advocacy. A trained economist, she has published heavily on the positionality and place of children in international relations and the international system. Today, her research and teaching focus on collective rights and the impact of ongoing colonialism. She is a current National Geographic Explorer for a joint project documenting human migrations.


The author would like to thank Bennett Collins and Oliver Richmond for their insights during the writing process, and for ongoing discussions into the nature of the rights regime. She would also like to thank colleagues for their suggestions made during presentations of this paper at the University of St. Andrews and further afield. All errors remain the authors own.


home; resistance; place; local; liberal peace

Publication Date






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