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Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

1. International Relations and Social Science  

Milja Kurki and Colin Wight

This chapter focuses on the major debates within International Relations (IR) theory with regard to the philosophy of social science. The philosophy of social science has played a key role in the formation, development, and practice of IR as an academic discipline. Issues concerning the philosophy of social science are frequently described as meta-theoretical debates. Meta-theory primarily deals with the underlying assumptions of all theory and attempts to understand the consequences of such assumptions on the act of theorizing and the practice of empirical research. The chapter first provides an historical overview of the philosophy of social science in IR before discussing both the implicit and explicit roles played by meta-theoretical assumptions in IR. It then considers the contemporary disciplinary debates surrounding the philosophy of social science and concludes by analysing how theoretical approaches to the study of world politics have been shaped by meta-theoretical ideas.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

17. Still a Discipline After All These Debates?  

Ole Wæver

This chapter considers how the arguments associated with the different theories of International Relations discussed in the book sum up. More specifically, it asks whether IR is (still?) a discipline, and whether it is likely to remain one. The chapter examines the intellectual and social patterns of IR and the discipline as a social system, along with its relations of power, privilege, and careers. It also reflects on where, what, and how IR is today by drawing on theories from the sociology of science, whether IR can be regarded as a subdiscipline within political science, and the social structure of IR. It argues that the discipline of international relations is likely to continue whether or not ‘international relations’ remains a distinct or delineable object. It also contends that the core of the intellectual structure in the discipline of IR has been recurring ‘great debates’.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

11. Global Politics in the Anthropocene  

This chapter studies how the scope of global politics has been extended over the last half century or so to include the impact of human industrial activity on the environment. The environmental movement and ‘green theory’ have grown out of concerns with the deleterious impact of this activity and the capacity of the planet to carry the burden of ‘business as usual’ in a world driven by the imperatives of endless growth. Many now believe that the impact on the earth’s systems is so significant that the present geological period should be recognized as the ‘Anthropocene’. Climate change is probably the most prominent issue associated with the Anthropocene at present, but it is not the only one. The chapter examines a range of issues in global environment politics, starting with the reconceptualization of the present period. It then moves on to an account of the environmental movement, the emergence of various ‘green’ ideologies and theories, and the politics of science. This is essential background for considering the role of the state and its sovereign powers in the context of global environmental politics.

Book

Cover Foreign Policy

Edited by Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne

This text provides an introduction to the ever-changing field of foreign policy. Combining theories, actors, and cases, chapters provide an interesting introduction to what foreign policy is and how it is conducted. With an emphasis throughout on grounding theory in empirical examples, the text features a section dedicated to relevant and topical case studies where foreign policy analysis approaches and theories are applied. Chapters clearly convey the connection between international relations theory, political science, and the development of foreign policy analysis, emphasizing the key debates in the academic community. New chapters focus on such topics as public diplomacy, and media and public opinion. A new case study on Syria examines the forms of intervention that have and have not been adopted by the international community.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

14. Green Theory  

Robyn Eckersley

This chapter examines how environmental concerns have influenced International Relations theory. It first provides a brief overview of the ecological crisis and the emergence of green theorizing in the social sciences and humanities in general, along with the status and impact of environmental issues and green thinking in IR theory. It then investigates green theory’s transnational turn and how it has become more global, while critical IR theory has become increasingly green. It also considers the different ways in which environmental issues have influenced the evolution of traditional IR theory. It concludes with a case study of climate change to illustrate the diversity of theoretical approaches, including the distinctiveness of green theories.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

10. Major Issues in IPE: Economic versus Political Power, Development, Globalization, How to Study the Real World  

This chapter examines four major issues in International Political Economy (IPE). The first concerns power and the relationship between politics and economics, and more specifically whether politics is in charge of economics or whether it is the other way around. The second issue deals with development and underdevelopment in developing countries. The third is about the nature and extent of economic globalization, and currently takes places in a context of increasing inequality between and inside countries. The fourth and final issue concerns how to study the real world from an IPE perspective and it pits the hard science American School against the more qualitative and normative British School.