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Sociology and international relations: legacies and prospects

Lawson, George; Shilliam, Robbie
Fonte: Routledge Publicador: Routledge
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /03/2010 Português
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While sociological concepts have often been implicitly used in International Relations (IR), recent years have seen a more explicit engagement between IR and Sociology. As with any such interdisciplinary assignation, there are both possibilities and challenges contained within this move: possibilities in terms of reducing IR's intellectual autism and opening the discipline towards potentially fertile terrain that was never, actually, that distant; challenges in that interdisciplinary raiding parties can often serve as pseudonyms for cannibalism, shallowness and dilettantism. This forum reviews the sociological turn in IR and interrogates it from a novel vantage point—how sociologists themselves approach IR concepts, debates and issues. Three sociological approaches—classical social theory, historical sociology and Foucauldian analysis—are critically deployed to illuminate IR concerns. In this way, the forum offers the possibility of (re)establishing exchanges between the two disciplines premised on a firmer grasp of social theory itself. The result is a potentially more fruitful sociological turn, one with significant benefits for IR as a whole.

The construction of a ‘realistic utopia’ : John Rawls and international political theory

Brown, Chris
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /01/2002 Português
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After presenting a brief sketch of John Rawls’s theory of justice, his international political theory is outlined and evaluated. Rawls develops a classification of ‘peoples’ based on whether or not they are ‘well-ordered’. The Law of Peoples covers ‘liberal’ and ‘decent’ peoples who adhere to minimum standards of human rights and are not aggressive in their international relations. This is in the realm of ‘ideal’ theory; ‘non-ideal’ theory must cope also with societies that are not well-ordered, such as outlaw states and burdened societies. The long-term aim is that all should be part of a confederation of decent peoples. Rawls’s theory has been criticized by cosmopolitan liberals for its communitarian tendencies, but has much to offer scholars of international relations, including a systematic basis for classifying states, a helpful discussion of the distinction between reasonableness and rationality, and a powerful restatement of the importance of utopian thinking in international relations.

Rethinking benchmark dates in international relations

Buzan, Barry; Lawson, George
Fonte: SAGE Publications on behalf of the Standing Group on International Relations (SGIR) of the ECPR Publicador: SAGE Publications on behalf of the Standing Group on International Relations (SGIR) of the ECPR
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /06/2014 Português
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International Relations (IR) has an ‘orthodox set’ of benchmark dates by which much of its research and teaching is organized: 1500, 1648, 1919, 1945 and 1989. This article argues that IR scholars need to question the ways in which these orthodox dates serve as internal and external points of reference, think more critically about how benchmark dates are established, and generate a revised set of benchmark dates that better reflects macro-historical international dynamics. The first part of the article questions the appropriateness of the orthodox set of benchmark dates as ways of framing the discipline’s self-understanding. Sections two and three look at what counts as a benchmark date, and why. We systematise benchmark dates drawn from mainstream IR theories (realism, liberalism, constructivism/English School and sociological approaches) and then aggregate their criteria. Part four of the article uses this exercise to construct a revised set of benchmark dates which can widen the discipline’s theoretical and historical scope. We outline a way of ranking benchmark dates and suggest a means of assessing recent candidates for benchmark status. Overall, the article delivers two main benefits: first, an improved heuristic by which to think critically about foundational dates in the discipline; second...

The global transformation: the nineteenth century and the making of modern international relations

Buzan, Barry; Lawson, George
Fonte: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc. Publicador: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 01/09/2013 Português
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Unlike many other social sciences, International Relations (IR) spends relatively little time assessing the impact of the 19th century on its principal subject matter. As a result, the discipline fails to understand the ways in which a dramatic reconfiguration of power during the ‘long 19th century’ served to recast core features of international order. This paper examines the extent of this lacuna and establishes the ways in which processes of industrialization, rational state-building, and ideologies of progress served to destabilize existing forms of order and promote novel institutional formations. The changing character of organized violence is used to illustrate these changes. The paper concludes by examining how IR could be rearticulated around a more pronounced engagement with ‘the global transformation’.

Differentiation: a sociological approach to international relations theory

Buzan, Barry; Albert, Mathias
Fonte: SAGE Publications Publicador: SAGE Publications
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /09/2010 Português
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This article sets out an analytical framework of differentiation derived from sociology and anthropology and argues that it can and should be applied to international relations (IR) theory. Differentiation is about how to distinguish and analyse the components that make up any social whole: are all the components essentially the same, or are they distinguishable by status or function? We argue that this approach provides a framing for IR theory that is more general and integrative than narrower theories derived from economics or political science. We show why this set of ideas has so far not been given much consideration within IR, and how and why the one encounter between IR and sociology that might have changed this - Waltz's transposition of anarchy and functional differentiation from Durkheim - failed to do so. We set out in some detail how differentiation theory bears on the subject matter of IR arguing that this set of ideas offers new ways of looking not only at the understanding of structure in IR, but also at structural change and world history. We argue that differentiation holds out to IR a major possibility for theoretical development. What is handed on from anthropology and sociology is mainly designed for smaller and simpler subject matters than that of IR. In adapting differentiation theory to its more complex...

Gilbert Murray and International Relations: Hellenism, liberalism, and international intellectual cooperation as a path to peace

Wilson, Peter
Fonte: Cambridge University Press Publicador: Cambridge University Press
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2011 Português
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Gilbert Murray was one of the towering figures of 20th century cultural and intellectual life, and the foremost Hellenist of his generation. He was also a tireless campaigner for peace and international reconciliation, and a pioneer in the development of international intellectual cooperation, not least in the field of International Relations (IR). Yet in IR today he is largely forgotten. This article seeks to put Murray back on the historiographical map. It argues that while in many ways consistent with the image of the inter-war ‘utopian’, Murray's thinking in certain significant ways defies this image. It examines the twin foundations of his international thought – liberalism and Hellenism – and their manifestation in a version of international intellectual cooperation that while aristocratic and outmoded in some respects, nonetheless contains certain enduring insights.

For a public international relations

Lawson, George
Fonte: Wiley Interscience Publicador: Wiley Interscience
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2008 Português
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The last few years have seen an opening up of what is considered to be the legitimate terrain of international relations (IR). This move is, for the most part, extremely welcome. Yet, the multiple theoretical and empirical openings in IR since the end of the Cold War have failed to elucidate many of the puzzles, questions and problems posed by the contemporary conjuncture. There are a number of reasons for this failure ranging from the stickiness of Cold War problem fields to IR’s continued attachment to systemic-level theories. However, this article focuses less on symptoms than on treatment and, in particular, on how generating a more “public” international relations enterprise might help to connect IR with the core theoretical, empirical and normative terrain of “actually existing” world politics. Taking its cue from recent debates in sociology about how to generate a “public sociology,” the article lays out three pathologies that a public IR enterprise should avoid and four ground rules—amounting to a manifesto of sorts—which sustain the case for a “public” international relations.

Vigilantism in international relations: Kubálková, Cruickshank and Marxist theory.

Halliday, Fred
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //1987 Português
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Over the past few years Vendulka Kubálková and Albert Cruickshank have produced a substantial and wide-ranging oeuvre on the issue of Marxism and international relations. Their first work, Marxism–Leninism and Theory of International Relations, published in. 1980, stressed the importance of engagement between these two bodies of thought, and this theme is restated in a more composed manner in their later Marxism and International Relations. The themes of these books have been reiterated in article forms and most recently in their essay “The ‘New Cold War’ in ‘critical International Relations studies’” (in the July 1986 number of this Review). There is much that is disputable in their writings and their recent essay on the new cold war is no exception: but, before turning to some debatable aspects of their interpretation of the debate on the New Cold War, it may be worth emphasizing the points of more general value in their work.

Halliday's revenge: revolutions and international relations

Lawson, George
Fonte: Wiley-Blackwell Publicador: Wiley-Blackwell
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2011 Português
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Fred Halliday saw revolution and war as the dual motors of modern international order. However, while war occupies a prominent place in International Relations (IR), revolutions inhabit a more residual location. For Halliday, this is out of keeping with their impact-in particular, revolutions offer a systemic challenge to existing patterns of international order in their capacity to generate alternative orders founded on novel forms of political rule, economic organization and symbolic authority. In this way, dynamics of revolution and counter-revolution are closely associated with processes of international conflict, intervention and war. It may be that one of the reasons for Halliday's failure to make apparent the importance of revolutions to IR audiences was that, for all his empirical illustrations of how revolutions affected the international realm, he did not formulate a coherent theoretical schema which spoke systematically to the discipline. This article assesses Halliday's contribution to the study of revolutions, and sets out an approach which both recognizes and extends his work. By formulating ideal-typical 'anatomies of revolution', it is possible to generate insights that clarify the ways in which revolutions shape international order.

The Gulf War 1990-1991 and the study of international relations

Halliday, Fred
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //1994 Português
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The Gulf crisis of 1990–1991 was, by any standards, one of the more significant international crises of the post-1945 epoch. It involved the mobilization of around one million armed men, the diplomatic involvement of much of the international community, and a war that, for all its limited character, was a significant case of inter-state conflict. In what follows I do not want to dwell on the actual course of this war or to examine in detail specific aspects of the history, not least because the broad outline of what happened is already well known. I do, however, want to look at this conflict in broader perspective, and from two vantage points in particular, each pertinent to the study of international relations (IR).

The global transformation: history, modernity and the making of international relations

Buzan, Barry; Lawson, George
Fonte: Cambridge University Press Publicador: Cambridge University Press
Tipo: Book; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /02/2015 Português
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The 'long nineteenth century' (1776–1914) was a period of political, economic, military and cultural revolutions that re-forged both domestic and international societies. Neither existing international histories nor international relations texts sufficiently register the scale and impact of this 'global transformation', yet it is the consequences of these multiple revolutions that provide the material and ideational foundations of modern international relations. Global modernity reconstituted the mode of power that underpinned international order and opened a power gap between those who harnessed the revolutions of modernity and those who were denied access to them. This gap dominated international relations for two centuries and is only now being closed. By taking the global transformation as the starting point for international relations, this book repositions the roots of the discipline and establishes a new way of both understanding and teaching the relationship between world history and international relations.

Book review: gender and international relations

Novick, Natalie
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 04/10/2013 Português
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The third edition of Jill Steans’s popular textbook seeks to offer a comprehensive and up to date introduction to gender in international relations today. Across nine fully revised and expanded chapters, Steans covers the key issues, developments and debates in the field IR, including the state and citizenship, and gender, sexuality and human rights conflict. This text is well researched and provides many vantage points for analysing the intersections between gender and international relations, concludes Natalie Novick.

The eternal divide?: history and international relations

Lawson, George
Fonte: SAGE Publications on behalf of the European Standing Group on International Relations of the ECPR Publicador: SAGE Publications on behalf of the European Standing Group on International Relations of the ECPR
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /06/2012 Português
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On one level, history is used by all parts of the International Relations (IR) discipline. But lurking beneath the surface of IR’s approach to history lies a well-entrenched binary. Whereas mainstream positions use history as a means to fill in their theoretical frames (seeing history as a kind of ‘scripture’ of abstract lessons), many post-positivists reduce history to a pick-and-mix of contingent hiccups (a ‘butterfly’ of what-ifs and maybes). Interestingly enough, this binary is one reproduced throughout the social sciences. As such, there is a bigger story to the apparently ‘eternal divide’ between history and social science than first meets the eye. This article uses the various ways in which history is used — and abused — in IR to probe more deeply into the relationship between history and social science as a whole. This exploration reveals four frameworks, two drawn from history (context and narrative) and two drawn from social science (eventfulness and ideal-typification) which illustrate the necessary co-implication of the two enterprises. The article employs these tools as a means of re-imagining the relationship between history and social science (including IR), conceiving this as a single intellectual journey in which both are permanently in view.

Historical sociology in international relations: open society, research programme and vocation

Lawson, George
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /07/2007 Português
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Over the last 20 years, historical sociology has become an increasingly conspicuous part of the broader field of International Relations (IR) theory, with advocates making a series of interventions in subjects as diverse as the origins and varieties of international systems over time and place, to work on the co-constitutive relationship between the international realm and state–society relations in the processes of radical change. However, even as historical sociology in IR (HSIR) has produced substantial gains, so there has also been a concomitant watering down of the underlying approach itself. As a result, it is no longer clear what exactly HSIR entails: should it be seen as operating within the existing pool of available theories or as an attempt to reconvene the discipline on new foundations? This article sets out an identifiable set of assumptions and precepts for HSIR based on deep ontological realism, epistemological relationism, a methodological free range, and an overt normative engagement with the events and processes that make up contemporary world politics. As such, HSIR can be seen as operating as an open society, a research programme and a vocation.

The English School: a neglected approach to International Security Studies

Buzan, Barry
Fonte: SAGE Publications Publicador: SAGE Publications
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /04/2015 Português
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The terms ‘English School’ (ES) and ‘international security’ seldom appear in the same sentence. Yet the ES can and should constitute a general approach to International Security Studies (ISS) comparable to realism, liberalism, constructivism and several other approaches to International relations (IR). The article begins by sketching out how the ES’s idea of raison de système provides a general framing for ISS that counterpoints approaches focused on raison d’état. It then shows how the ES’s societal approach provides specific insights that could strengthen analysis of international security: by providing a normative framing for securitization; by showing the historical variability of key ISS concepts such as war, balance of power and human rights; by adding an inside/outside dimension to security relations based on differentiations within international society; and by complementing regional approaches to international security with its societal approach. The article aims to initiate a conversation between the ES and ISS by showing where the fruitful links are, and by introducing the relevant ES literature to ISS scholars.

Imperial ontological (in)security: ‘buffer states’, IR, and the case of Anglo-Afghan relations, 1808-1878

Bayly, Martin J.
Fonte: Sage Publications Publicador: Sage Publications
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 09/12/2014 Português
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This article offers a new perspective on ‘buffer states’ – states that are geographically located between two rival powers – and their effect on international relations with a particular focus on the imperial setting. The paper argues that such geographic spaces have often been analysed through a structuralist-functionalist lens, which has in some cases encouraged ahistorical understandings on the role of buffer states in international affairs. In contrast, the article offers an approach borrowing from the literature on ontological security and critical geopolitics in order to access the meanings that such spaces have for their more powerful neighbours. The paper draws upon the case study of Afghanistan and Anglo-Afghan relations during the nineteenth century and finds that in this case, due to the ambiguity of Afghanistan’s status as a ‘state’, and the failure of British policy-makers to establish routinized diplomatic engagement, Anglo-Afghan relations exhibited a sense of ontological insecurity for the British. These findings suggest previously unacknowledged international effects of ‘buffer states’, and may apply to such geographic spaces elsewhere.

A psychoanalytic approach to the study of international relations

Bettcher, Douglas
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /09/1997 Português
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This thesis tries to demonstrate that psychoanalytic principles, primarily those developed by Sigmund Freud, can be extrapolated from the individual to the collective level-of-analysis in order to formulate a paradigm of international relations. The first part illustrates that structural concepts of Freudian psychoanalysis provide a model of human psychology by which traditions of international political thinking, both Western and non-Western, can be compared and analysed; it is argued that the 'id-ego-superego' model provides a trans-cultural and trans-historical representation of political philosophy. Similarly, although Freud's writing on political and social themes did not examine the political philosophies of either Western or non-Western traditions in any depth, nor elaborate a theory of international relations, his analyses of political and social affairs, while limited, would seem to have applied his individual models of human psychology to analyse relations between group actors such as states, even though he did not make this explicit. Nonetheless, this thesis extrapolates psychoanalytic principles to the level of state and non-state groupings in order to develop a psychoanalytic theory of international relations based on four main themes: first...

Rage, rancour and revenge: existentialist motives in international relations

Brodersen, Rupert
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: text
Publicado em /08/2014 Português
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Emotions are gaining an increasingly prominent role in the study of International Relations. As a relatively new frontier, there is still considerable work to be done in streamlining various efforts into a systematic study. These efforts have largely circled on describing the cognitive and action potential of specific emotions, such as anger, fear and trust. This thesis is concerned with an extreme emotion, the emotion of rage. I stress the action potential of revenge, as well as the cognitive elements at play here, most specifically the issue of abrupt changes to morality. I use both Greek and Nietzschean philosophy to construct a binary approach to rage that acknowledges both the violent and bloody manifestation - we still witness today - as well as the silent, non-violent rancour that searches for an opportune moment before exploding into action.

Obligations beyond the state: the individual, the state and humanity in international theory

Linklater, Andrew
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //1978 Português
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This thesis is concerned with one way in which political philosophy and international relations might co-operate more closely with one another. The approach so formed, international relations theory, is particularly important in order to analyse and try to resolve one of the more fundamental questions in modern politics. This question concerns the right ordering of two types of obligation, the one asserting that a man's obligations are first and foremost to the state of which he is a citizen, the other asserting that as a man he has obligations to the whole of humanity and that these have first claim upon him. The first part of this thesis is concerned with these two theories of obligations and the way in which they are embedded within the theory and practice of the modern state. The argument attempts to set out the basic structure of these two points of view in order that their evaluation may take place in later parts of the thesis. In the second place, the theories of Pufendorf and Vattel are considered in order to discover the manner in which they deal with these two points of view of obligation. Their theories are found to be unsatisfactory and a more adequate theory of international obligation is traced in the writings of Kant. The third part of the thesis attempts to build upon Kant in order to take some further steps towards a theory of international relations. This section begins with the argument that the philosophy of international relations is to be understood as part of a wider enterprise...

Domestic analogy in proposals for world order, 1814-1945: the transfer of legal and political principles from the domestic to the international sphere in thought on international law and relations

Suganami, Hidemi
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //1986 Português
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The ways in which legal and political principles obtaining within states can profitably be transferred to the relations of states are among the contentious issues in the study of international relations, and the term 'domestic analogy' is used to refer to the argument which supports such transfer. The 'domestic analogy' is analogical reasoning according to which the conditions of order between states are similar to those of order within them, and therefore those institutions which sustain order within states should be transferred to the international system. However, despite the apparent division among writers on international relations between those who favour this analogy and those who are critical of it, no clear analysis has so far been made as to precisely what types of proposal should be treated as exemplifying reliance on this analogy. The first aim of this thesis is to clarify the range and types of proposal this analogy entails. The thesis then examines the role the domestic analogy played in ideas about world order in the period between 1814 and 1945. Particular attention is paid to the influence of changing circumstances in the domestic and international spheres upon the manner and the extent of the use of this analogy. In addition to the ideas of major writers on international law and relations...