David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Human Studies 21 (2):157-186 (1998)
In recent years a number of writers have defended and attacked various features of structural, or neo-realist theories of international politics. Few, however, have quarrelled with one of the most foundational features of neorealist theory: its assumptions about the nature of science and scientific theories. In this essay I assess the views of science underlying much neorealist theory, especially as they are articulated in the work of Kenneth Waltz. I argue not only that neorealist theories rest on assumptions about science and theory that have been questioned by postpositivist philosophers and historians of science, but also that the failure to consider the work of these writers yields theories of international politics that are deficient in several respects: they are weak theories in the sense that they cannot illuminate crucial features of international politics, they presuppose and sustain a narrow view of power and power relations, they reify practices and relations in the international arena and they offer little promise of producing the sort of Copernican Revolution for which Waltz called (or, more modestly, even a minimally satisfactory theory of international politics). In light of these shortcomings, I sketch an alternative approach to the study of international affairs, one that has been termed prototype studies. I contend that such an approach provides scholars with a rigorous way of studying international politics, without being a theoretical science.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Modern Philosophy Philosophy of the Social Sciences Political Philosophy Sociolinguistics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Thomas S. Kuhn (1996). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
R. Rorty (1981). Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton University Press.
Ian Hacking (1983). Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
James N. Rosenau (2000). Thinking Theory Thoroughly: Coherent Approaches to an Incoherent World. Westview Press.
J. Samuel Barkin (2006). International Organization: Theories and Institutions. Palgrave Macmillan.
Christine Sylvester (1994). Feminist Theory and International Relations in a Postmodern Era. Cambridge University Press.
Volker Rittberger (2006). International Organization: Polity, Politics and Policies. Palgrave Macmillan.
Robert H. Jackson (1999). Introduction to International Relations. Oxford University Press.
Hans J. Morgenthau (2004). Political Theory and International Affairs: Hans J. Morgenthau on Aristotle's the Politics. Praeger Publishers.
Colin Wight (2006). Agents, Structures and International Relations: Politics as Ontology. Cambridge University Press.
Kimberly Hutchings (1999). International Political Theory: Rethinking Ethics in a Global Era. Sage Publications.
Peter R. Beckman & Francine D'Amico (eds.) (1994). Women, Gender, and World Politics: Perspectives, Policies, and Prospects. Bergin & Garvey.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads11 ( #312,966 of 1,907,930 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #462,165 of 1,907,930 )
How can I increase my downloads?