2017
DOI: 10.1017/s175297191700001x
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The conduct of history in International Relations: rethinking philosophy of history in IR theory

Abstract: IR scholars have made increasingly sophisticated use of historical analysis in the last two decades. To do so, they have appealed to theories or philosophies of history, tacitly or explicitly. However, the plurality of approaches to these theories has gone largely unsystematized. Nor have their implications been compared. Such historical-theoretic orientations concern the 'problem of history': the theoretical question of how to make the facts of the past coherently intelligible. We aim to make these assumption… Show more

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Cited by 16 publications
(5 citation statements)
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References 96 publications
(77 reference statements)
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“…Furthermore, the literature lacks a useful definition of what a time perspective is. Although the existence of these issues may be attributed to such reasons as differing perceptions of time or a limited awareness and understanding among readers about various aspects of time embedded within theories they (ir)regularly use and critique, 50 this article suggests that it is still potential to develop common criteria, methods and definitions related to time perspectives. The next section addresses these issues specifically because they are essential to unpacking the relationship between a theory's time perspectives and a theory's inadequacy.…”
Section: The Knowns and Unknowns Of Time Perspectives In Irmentioning
confidence: 96%
“…Furthermore, the literature lacks a useful definition of what a time perspective is. Although the existence of these issues may be attributed to such reasons as differing perceptions of time or a limited awareness and understanding among readers about various aspects of time embedded within theories they (ir)regularly use and critique, 50 this article suggests that it is still potential to develop common criteria, methods and definitions related to time perspectives. The next section addresses these issues specifically because they are essential to unpacking the relationship between a theory's time perspectives and a theory's inadequacy.…”
Section: The Knowns and Unknowns Of Time Perspectives In Irmentioning
confidence: 96%
“…51 Moreover, it would be futile to look for generalisable regularities within these processes, to stipulate causal mechanisms, or to seek to predict their future development. 52 Rather, problematisations must be understood as emerging in a haphazard fashion, through multiple, dispersed, and frequently accidental processes. For empirical analyses of problematisations, this means paying attention to how an object such as war has been rendered problematic not by an ingenious stroke of the pen or at a pivotal meeting, but through manifold larger and smaller, gradual and abrupt changes unfolding over a period of time.…”
Section: Problems As Processes: Rereading Foucault On Problematisationmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…5 I am less interested here in the 'true' nature of history, that is, what it is, which constitutes the wider 'problem of history'. 6 Different conceptualisations and understandings of history, alternatively as an (1) objective context (a series of events), (2) individual memory and/or practical knowledge based on worldviews and value judgements or (3) social recollection of collective past experience, for example, in the form of cultural narrative, have permeated the philosophy and discipline of history and the wider social sciences. 7 I am more interested here in how these different conceptualisations of how history works have been and can be leveraged theoretically and methodologically to inform realist theory, and by extension explanatory theory in IR.…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…They 'shape and shove' the theoretical process in particular ways. 8 More specifically for the purposes of this article, I argue that they provide fruitful avenues of inquiry within and at the paradigmatic borders of realism. As I explore below, much of (neo)realism tends, because of its desire to glean from historical example universal rules of international politics, towards the first conceptualisation and to treating history like a pool of data.…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
confidence: 99%