1st Edition

Critical Theory and International Relations
A Reader

Edited By

Steven C. Roach

ISBN 9780415954198
Published October 3, 2007 by Routledge
424 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

This innovative new Reader provides students, scholars, and practitioners with a comprehensive overview of essential works of critical theory and critical international relations (IR) theory, including the writings of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Habermas, Linklater, and Honneth, among others.

Steven Roach frames each chapter showing the major tensions of four periods of the extension of critical theory into critical IR theory. This rich narrative, telling the story of how critical theory entered into international relations theory, seeks to deepen the reader's historical and sociological understanding of the emancipatory project of critical IR theory. Postmodernist and feminist texts are included to give context to the question of whether the discipline is in crisis or is working toward a cohesive and reflexive framework.

Table of Contents

Introduction: From Critical to Critical IR Theory


1. The Roots of Critical Theory: German Idealism

Immanuel Kant, from Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals • Immanuel Kant, from The Metaphysic of Morals • Immanuel Kant, "Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose" • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Phenomenology of the Spirit, "Self-Consciousness" and "Reason" • Georg Wilhelm Friedich Hegel, The Philosophy of Right, "Civil Society and the State"


2. Internationalism, Hegemony and Orthodoxy

Karl Marx, from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 • Karl Marx, from Capital • Antonio Gramsci, "Hegemony and Problems of Marxism," from Prison Notebooks • Georg Lukacs, "What is Orthodox Marxism?" from History and Class Consciousness

3. Psychological Repression and the Perils of Modernity

Sigmund Freud, from Civilization and its Discontents • Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Genealogy of Morals • Max Weber, from Economy and Society


4. The Critique of Instrumental Reason: The Reification of Society

Max Horkheimer, "Traditional and Critical Theory," from Critical Theory: Selected Essays • Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, from Dialectic of Enlightenment • Theodor Adorno, from Negative Dialectics • Herbert Marcuse, from One Dimensional Man

5. State Capitalism: Its Limitations and Possibilities

Friedrich Pollock, "State Capitalism: Its Possibilities and Limitations" • Herbert Marcuse, "The Dialectic of the Soviet State," from Soviet Marxism


6. Communicative Action Theory: Hermeneutics and Recognition

Jürgen Habermas, from The Theory of Communicative Action • Jürgen Habermas, "Citizenship and National Identity (1990)", from Between Facts and Norms • Axel Honneth, "Disrespect and Resistance: The Moral Logic of Social Conflicts," from The Struggle for Recognition • Nancy Fraser, "Dilemmas of Justice in the Post-Socialist Age: From Redistribution to Recognition?," from Justice Interruptus

7. Critical IR Theory: Dialogic Communities, Ethics and Normativity

Mark Hoffman, "Critical Theory and the Inter-Paradigm Debate" • Mark Neufeld, from The Restructuring of International Relations Theory • Andrew Linklater, "The Question of the Next Stage in International Relations Theory: A Critical-Theoretical Point of View" • Mervyn Frost, "The Role of Normative Theory in IR"

8. Global Political Economy: Social Forces and Dialectic

Robert Cox, "Social Forces, States and World Order" • Justin Rosenberg, from The Empire of Civil Society • Claire Cutler, "Locating Authority in the Global Political Economy" • Stephen Gill, "Globalisation, Market Civilisation, and Disciplinary Neoliberalism" • Christian Heine and Benno Teschke, "Sleeping Beauty and the Dialectical Awakening: On the Potential of Dialectic for International Relations"


9. Postmodern Thought: Genealogy, Power/Knowledge and Deconstruction

Michel Foucault, "Two Lectures" from Power/Knowledge • Jacques Derrida, "Conjuring Marxism," from Specters of Marx • J.F. Lyotard, from The Postmodern Condition

10. Postmodernism and Feminism in IR

Richard Ashley and R.B.J. Walker, "Reading Dissidence/Writing the Discipline: Crisis and the Question of Sovereignty in International Studies" • Jens Bartelson, "The Problem: Deconstructing Sovereignty," from A Genealogy of Sovereignty • Christine Sylvester, "Empathetic Cooperation: A Feminist Method for IR"

11. Critical IR Theory and its Response

Richard Devetak, "The Project of Modernity and International Relations Theory"

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Steven C. Roach is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida.


"Critical Theory and International Relations will quickly become the standard reference for those interested in thinking dialectically about global politics. Roach covers the epistemological and theoretical diversity within critical theory with aplomb. A major accomplishment."

--Randolph B. Persaud, American University, Washington, D.C.

"Critical Theory and International Relations is in my view a significant contribution to the vigorous debates bearing on the interpretation of critical social thought and its relevance to international politics.  The introduction by Steven Roach is extremely clear, thorough, and helpful.  Topical, timely, and well-organized, this volume is a must-read for anyone interested in the power of critical theory to provoke challenging questions about the conditions and aims of global politics today."

--Patrick Hayden, University of St. Andrews


"Critical theory, broadly defined, is an integral part of contemporary international relations scholarship. With well-chosen selections from key texts spanning two centuries of critical theory, Roach traces the lineage of ideas animating some of the most exciting work in the field. This book provides an excellent introduction for the novice and a useful resource for the already initiated. It will be widely used."

--Mark Laffey, Department of Politics and International Studies SOAS, University of London


"In a period marked by the upsurge of militant ideologies—from dogmatic fundamentalism and jihadism to chauvinism and neo-imperialism—nothing seems more urgently required than a revival of critical questioning as exemplified by the tradition of "critical theory." At the same time, given the relentless process of globalization, there is also a need to rescue that tradition from a certain Eurocentric focus and extend its insights to the global arena. Steven Roach's reader seeks to meet both demands by offering a historical overview of critical theorizing from the Enlightenment to its present-day encounter with international politics. One can only hope that the volume will prompt widespread critical reflection on the profound dilemmas and inequities in the contemporary global disorder."

--Fred Dallmayr, University of Notre Dame, author of Dialogue among Civilizations