Critical international relations theory

Critical international relations theory

Critical international relations theory is a diverse set of schools of thought in International Relations (IR) that have criticized the theoretical, meta-theoretical and/or political status quo, both in IR theory and in international politics more broadly — from positivist as well as postpositivist positions. Positivist critiques include Marxist and Neo-Marxist approaches and certain ("conventional") strands of social constructivism. Postpositivist critiques include poststructuralist, postcolonial, "critical" constructivist, Critical Theory (in the strict sense used by the Frankfurt School), neo-Gramscian, most feminist and some English School approaches, which differ from both realism and liberalism in their epistemological and ontological premises.

Such theories are now widely recognized and taught and researched in many universities, but are as yet less common in the United States. They are taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in many major universities outside the US, where a major concern is that "a myopic discipline of IR might contribute to the continued development of a civil society in the U.S. that thinks, reflects and analyzes complex international events through a very narrow set of theoretical lenses"[1]


See also


  1. ^ Smith, Steve (2002). "The United States and the Discipline of International Relations: Hegemonic Country, Hegemonic Discipline?". International Studies Review 4 (2): 67–86. doi:10.1111/1521-9488.00255. 


  • Critical Theory and International Relations: A Reader, ed. Steven C. Roach, Routledge, 2007, ISBN 0415954193
  • Women, Culture, and International Relations (Critical Perspectives on World Politics) ed. By Vivienne Jabri, Eleanor O'Gorman, Lynne Rienner Publishers, US, 1999, ISBN 155587701X
  • Campell, David & George, Jim, 1990. ‘ Patterns of Dissent and the Celebration of Difference: Critical Social Theory and International Relations’, International Studies Quarterly Vol 34, 1990: 269-293.
  • Cox, Robert W, 2001. ‘The Way Ahead: Toward n New Ontology of World Order’, in Wyn Jones, Richard, ed, Critical Theory & World Politics. Boulder, Colorado: Lyenner Rienner.
  • Devetak, Richard, 2005. ‘Critical Theory’, in Burchill, Scott et al., Theories of International Relations, Third Edition. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Jenny Edkins, Poststructuralism & International Relations: Bringing the Political Back in (Critical Perspectives on World Politics), Lynne Rienner Publishers, US, 1999, ISBN 1555878458
  • Cynthia Enloe, The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire (Paperback), University of California Press 2004, ISBN 0520243811
  • Emin Fuat Keyman, Globalization, State, Identity/Difference: Toward a Critical Social Theory of International Relations, Prometheus Books, 1997, ISBN 1573926051
  • Linklater, Andrew, 1986. ‘Realism, Marxism and critical international theory’, Review of International Studies Vol 12, 1986: 301-312.
  • Linklater, Andrew, 1992. ‘The Question of the Next Stage in International Relations Theory: A Critical-Theoretical Point of View’, Millennium Vol 21, No 1, 1992: 77-98.
  • Linklater, Andrew, 1996. ‘The achievements of critical theory’, in Booth, Ken, Smith, Steve & Zalewski, Marysia, eds, International Theory: Positivism and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Linklater, Andrew, 1997. ‘The transformation of political community: E.H.Carr, critical theory and international relations’, Review of International Studies Vol 23, 1997: 321-338.
  • Carne Ross, Independent Diplomat: Despatches from an Unaccountable Elite (Crisis in World Politics), C. Hurst & Co, 2007, ISBN 1850658439
  • Christine Sylvester, Feminist international relations: an unfinished journey. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 2002
  • Cynthia Weber, International Relations Theory. A Critical Introduction, 2nd edition, Taylor & Francis, 2004, ISBN 0415342082

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • International relations theory — attempts to provide a conceptual model upon which international relations can be analyzed. Each theory is reductive and essentialist to different degrees, relying on different sets of assumptions respectively. As Ole Holsti describes them,… …   Wikipedia

  • Marxist international relations theory — International relations theory  • Idealism  Liberalism   …   Wikipedia

  • Great Debates (international relations theory) — In international relations theory, the Great Debates refer to a series of disagreements between international relations scholars.[1] Ashworth describes how the discipline of international relations has been heavily influenced by historical… …   Wikipedia

  • Classical realism in international relations theory — Classical realism is a school of thought in international relations theory associated with thinkers such as Machiavelli and Hobbes.[1] References ^ Jackson, Robert, Sorensen, Georg, Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches …   Wikipedia

  • English school of international relations theory — The English School of international relations theory, also known as Liberal Realism, Rationalism or the British institutionalists, maintains that there is a society of states at the international level, despite the condition of anarchy (literally …   Wikipedia

  • International relations — See also: Foreign affairs Part of the Politics series Politics …   Wikipedia

  • international relations — a branch of political science dealing with the relations between nations. [1970 75] * * * Study of the relations of states with each other and with international organizations and certain subnational entities (e.g., bureaucracies and political… …   Universalium

  • Constructivism (international relations) — International relations theory  • Idealism  Liberalism   …   Wikipedia

  • Neoliberalism in international relations — In the study of international relations, neoliberalism refers to a school of thought which believes that nation states are, or at least should be, concerned first and foremost with absolute gains rather than relative gains to other nation states …   Wikipedia

  • Neorealism (international relations) — Neorealism or structural realism is a theory of international relations, outlined by Kenneth Waltz in his 1979 book Theory of International Politics. Waltz argues in favor of a systemic approach: the international structure acts as a constraint… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”