The 'I' in IR: An autoethnographic account

Oded Löwenheim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Autoethnography is a way and method to reflect on the mutual constitution of the self and the social. It allows one to consider how her/his personal and professional subjectivity was constructed and how her/his actions in the world reproduce or change this world. Autoethnography enables one to acquire an agentive role in the world by highlighting one's uniqueness and voice. It also aims to create mutual empowerment among people, ordinary individuals, by means of identification, connectivity, and empathy. In this article I explore some conceptual issues relating to autoethnography and then present my personal account of why I study International Relations (IR) and how I decided to bring myself more openly into my texts and lectures. I conclude by arguing that autoethnography made me more confident in sounding my voice in print and in class, and that, consequently, I became much more aware of the human capacity to make a difference.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1023-1045
Number of pages23
JournalReview of International Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


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