I base this paper primarily on my teaching of introductory international relations since 1979. Introductory international relations instructors need to give disability issues more attention. First, I look at participants in international relations: states and their leaders; global governance—particularly the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and transnational actors-particularly Disabled Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs). I then examine issues: rights, war and peace, and development. Second, I examine two approaches from the disability studies literature: disability as a deficit demographic category (based on a medical model), and disability as the basis for a social movement (based on a social model). Third, I examine the quantity and quality of discussion of disability issues. I present results from a cursory content analysis of three international relations periodicals and of three leading introductory international relations texts. The approaches have implications for international relations teaching. Fourth, I describe three futures: 1. A “realist” future in which states and blocs battle for hegemony; 2. A “neoliberal” future with winners and losers; and 3. A participatory, pluralistic rights-based future. In all three futures but especially the last, attention to disability issues is vital.
Blaser, Art, "Introducing International Relations: Placing “Disability”" (2017). Political Science Faculty Articles and Research. 23.