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International Relations And Scientific Progress

Author: Patrick James
Publisher: Ohio State University Press
ISBN: 9780814209004
Size: 28.18 MB
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International Relations and Scientific Progress contends that a theory focusing on the structure of the international system explains a wider and more interesting range of events in world politics than other theories. Such theorizing appears to be out of favor as the result of the apparent failure by structural realism, the most prominent system-level theory over the last two decades, on any number of fronts--most notably an inability to anticipate the ending of the Cold War and its aftermath. This new book is put forward as the most comprehensive and innovative theoretical work on paradigms in international relations since the publication of Theory of International Politics, which created structural realism, more than two decades ago. With appropriate revisions, however, structural realist theory can compete effectively and reclaim its primacy. The first part of International Relations and Scientific Progress assesses the meaning of progress in the discipline of international relations, a process that culminates in the creation of a new concept, the scientific research enterprise. The second part reviews structural realism within that context and identifies a lack of connection between theory and research that links power-based indicators to international conflict, crisis, and war. This part of the book makes the case for an elaboration of structural realism by showing that a system-level theory based on structure has great unrealized explanatory potential. By comparison, the current overwhelmingly research oriented agenda on state dyads imposes severe limitations on understanding that are not currently appreciated. Part Three sums up the work and explores new directions, most notablyas related to empirical testing of an elaborated version of structural realism that focuses on both continuity and change in the international system.

Progress In International Relations Theory

Author: Colin Elman Miriam Fendius Elman
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262262552
Size: 17.34 MB
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All academic disciplines periodically appraise their effectiveness, evaluating the progress of previous scholarship and judging which approaches are useful and which are not. Although no field could survive if it did nothing but appraise its progress, occasional appraisals are important and if done well can help advance the field.This book investigates how international relations theorists can better equip themselves to determine the state of scholarly work in their field. It takes as its starting point Imre Lakatos's influential theory of scientific change, and in particular his methodology of scientific research programs (MSRP). It uses MSRP to organize its analysis of major research programs over the last several decades and uses MSRP's criteria for theoretical progress to evaluate these programs. The contributors appraise the progress of institutional theory, varieties of realist and liberal theory, operational code analysis, and other research programs in international relations. Their analyses reveal the strengths and limits of Lakatosian criteria and the need for metatheoretical metrics for evaluating scientific progress.

Evaluating Progress In International Relations

Author: Annette Freyberg-Inan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317201426
Size: 63.40 MB
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This edited volume offers a systematic evaluation of how knowledge is produced by scholarly research into International Relations. The contributors explore three key questions: To what extent is scientific progress and accumulation of knowledge possible? What are the different accounts of how this process takes place? And what are the dominant critiques of these understandings? It is the first publication to survey the full range of perspectives available for evaluating scientific progress as well as dominant critiques of scientism. In its second part, the volume applies this range of perspectives to the research program on the democratic peace. It shows what we gain by accommodating and enabling dialogue among the full range of epistemological approaches. The contributors elaborate and defend the epistemological position of sociable pluralism as one that seeks to build bridges between soft positivism, critical theory, and critical realism. The underlying idea is that if the differences between the various approaches used by different communities of researchers can be understood more clearly, this will facilitate meaningful cross-cutting communication, dialogue, and debate and thereby enable us to address real-world problems more effectively. This timely and original work will be of great interest to advanced-level students and scholars dealing with philosophy of science and methodological questions in International Relations.

International Studies

Author: P. Aalto
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230342930
Size: 53.11 MB
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Presenting International Studies as a wide, plural and inherently interdisciplinary field of research, this book shows its links with philosophy, peace research, history, geography, globalization studies, international political economy, political psychology, sociology and social theory, linguistics, strategic or war studies and anthropology.

Scientific Cosmology And International Orders

Author: Bentley B. Allan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110827143X
Size: 69.93 MB
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Scientific Cosmology and International Orders shows how scientific ideas have transformed international politics since 1550. Allan argues that cosmological concepts arising from Western science made possible the shift from a sixteenth century order premised upon divine providence to the present order centred on economic growth. As states and other international associations used scientific ideas to solve problems, they slowly reconfigured ideas about how the world works, humanity's place in the universe, and the meaning of progress. The book demonstrates the rise of scientific ideas across three cases: natural philosophy in balance of power politics, 1550–1815; geology and Darwinism in British colonial policy and international colonial orders, 1860–1950; and cybernetic-systems thinking and economics in the World Bank and American liberal order, 1945–2015. Together, the cases trace the emergence of economic growth as a central end of states from its origins in colonial doctrines of development and balance of power thinking about improvement.

Explanation And Progress In Security Studies

Author: Fred Chernoff
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804792291
Size: 12.33 MB
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Explanation and Progress in Security Studies asks why Security Studies, as a central area of International Relations, has not experienced scientific progress in the way natural sciences have—and answers by arguing that the underlying reason is that scholars in Security Studies have advanced a range of different notions of "explanation" or different criteria of "explanatory superiority" to show that their positions are better than rival positions. To demonstrate this, the author engages in in-depth content analysis of the generally recognized exemplars of explanation and explanatory superiority in three of the core debates in the disciplines: Why do states pursue policies of nuclear proliferation? Why do states choose to form the alliances they do? And why do liberal democratic states behave the way they do toward other liberal democracies? The book reveals that authors in the debates that have shown the most progress use similar criteria in arguing for and against the key explanations. In the nuclear proliferation debate, there is wide divergence in the criteria the most visible authors use, and there is wide divergence in the explanations offered. In the alliance formation/balance-of-power debate, there is some overlap of criteria the most important authors use, and there has been some limited movement toward consensus. In the democratic peace debate there has been much more overlap of criteria the most prominent authors use, and there is agreement on both some positive and negative conclusions.

Scientific Approaches To The Study Of International Relations

Author: Jan-Henrik Petermann
Publisher: GRIN Verlag
ISBN: 3656061521
Size: 72.82 MB
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Essay from the year 2006 in the subject Politics - International Politics - General and Theories, London School of Economics (Department of International Relations), language: English, abstract: Since the behaviourist turn of the 1960s, questions concerning the appropriateness and desirability of a positivist research agenda have been at the forefront of meta-methodological debate within the social sciences. The evolving 'science wars' between positivists and normativists have also presented enormous challenges to the epistemological identities and professional self-images of scholars working in the academic field of International Relations (IR). Whereas positivists maintain that the overarching aim of science is the experimentally guided explanation of empirical phenomena under 'covering laws', normativists and traditionalists hold that social scientists cannot - and, in fact, should not - emulate the causal models of the natural sciences. According to this view, it is virtually impossible to study the influences of distinct variables in complex social interactions, and statistical aggregation merely obscures the fact that the true 'causes' of events are rarely obvious in the social world. Hence, the purpose of political and social research ought to be a desire to understand processes 'from within' rather than to explain them 'from outside'. Yet the traditionalist critique of social scientific positivism did not imply that positivists would be entirely oblivious to the importance of norms in international life. IR does not only deal with descriptive, but with political (and, ultimately, prescriptive) aspects of the social world. Thus, it might appear worthwhile to ask: how scientific are so-called 'scientific' (positivist) approaches to the study of IR - if their theoretical premises and empirical achievements are taken at face value and judged by their own standards of 'scientific' neutrality and precision? To answer this question, I will first describe the sp

Guide To The Scientific Study Of International Processes

Author: Sara McLaughlin Mitchell
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118277929
Size: 65.61 MB
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Dedicated to the empirical analysis of data from the world of international relations, SSIP scholars tend to focus on interstate conflicts, civil wars, and conflict management. The range of perspectives in this edited volume provide a comprehensive introduction to SSIP theory and methodology. Fresh approach traces intellectual development of research approaches rather than merely summarizing results Features original SSIP material not found in other books Includes a number of essays with a broader assessment of SSIP methods - ideal for younger scholars interested in the approach Includes recent SSIP analyses exploring issues such as civil wars

European Approaches To International Relations Theory

Author: Jörg Friedrichs
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134319738
Size: 76.94 MB
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A well-established community of American scholars has long dominated the discipline of international relations. Recently, however, certain strands of continental theorizing are being introduced into the mainstream. This is a critical examination of European approaches to international relations theory, suggesting practical ways of challenging manistream thought. Freidrichs presents a detailed sociological analysis of knowledge production in existing European IR communities, namely France, Italy and Scandinavia. He also discusses a selection of European schools and approaches.

Groupthink Versus High Quality Decision Making In International Relations

Author: Mark Schafer
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231520182
Size: 41.24 MB
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Are good and bad outcomes significantly affected by the decision-making process itself? Indeed they are, in that certain decision-making techniques and practices limit the ability of policymakers to achieve their goals and advance the national interest. The success of policy often turns on the quality of the decision-making process. Mark Schafer and Scott Crichlow identify the factors that contribute to good and bad policymaking, such as the personalities of political leaders, the structure of decision-making groups, and the nature of the exchange between participating individuals. Analyzing thirty-nine foreign-policy cases across nine administrations and incorporating both statistical analyses and case studies, including a detailed examination of the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, the authors pinpoint the factors that are likely to lead to successful or failed decision making, and they suggest ways to improve the process. Schafer and Crichlow show how the staffing of key offices and the structure of central decision-making bodies determine the path of an administration even before topics are introduced. Additionally, they link the psychological characteristics of leaders to the quality of their decision processing. There is no greater work available on understanding and improving the dynamics of contemporary decision making.