1st Edition

After Theory, Before Big Data Thinking about Praxis, Politics and International Affairs

By Friedrich Kratochwil Copyright 2022
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book’s key purpose is to contribute to the ongoing "theoretical" discussion in the field of international relations (IR) concerning the status of grand theories.

    However, it also has a wider, critical mission: to challenge mainstream social science and its dominant methodology, as well as the unfettered optimism that the problem of social order can be solved by the "application" of scientific knowledge to our practical problems. The author uses rigorous philosophical analysis to focus on the unexamined assumptions that form the bedrock of many contemporary scholars in IR and demonstrates the unavailability of a universal "scientific" procedure for finding the facts, when we face practical choices and issues of social reproduction.

    This book will be of interest to upper-level students of IR, sociology, history, and philosophy of science; it will also speak to students of security, foreign policy making, migration, and political economy, in addressing the basis of their attitudes in thinking about the world and the role of scholarship.


    1. Three Stories to Ponder and One Gedankenexperiment

    2. (Alternative) Facts, Historical Narratives, and the Issue of "Objectivity" in the Social Sciences: A Conceptual Exploration

    3. Much Ado About What? Some Reflections on a Theory of Practice, Identity and Social (Re)-production

    4. The View to Nowhere and the Problem of Social Ordering


    Friedrich Kratochwil studied Philosophy, Politics, and Ancient History at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, and went as a Fulbright grantee to the USA where he received a MA in International Relations from Georgetown University and a PhD in Political Science from Princeton University. He taught at the universities of Maryland, Columbia, Denver, and Penn, before returning to Europe in 1995, serving as Chair of International Relations at the LMU in Munich and at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2003–2011). He was the editor of the European Journal of International Relations (2000–2004) and has served on editorial boards of political science, law, and sociology journals in the USA, Europe, and Asia. His most recent book was entitled Praxis: On Acting and Knowing (2018).