This edited volume offers a systematic evaluation of how knowledge is produced by scholarly research into International Relations. The contributors explore three key questions: To what extent is scientific progress and accumulation of knowledge possible? What are the different accounts of how this process takes place? And what are the dominant critiques of these understandings? It is the first publication to survey the full range of perspectives available for evaluating scientific progress as well as dominant critiques of scientism.
In its second part, the volume applies this range of perspectives to the research program on the democratic peace. It shows what we gain by accommodating and enabling dialogue among the full range of epistemological approaches. The contributors elaborate and defend the epistemological position of sociable pluralism as one that seeks to build bridges between soft positivism, critical theory, and critical realism. The underlying idea is that if the differences between the various approaches used by different communities of researchers can be understood more clearly, this will facilitate meaningful cross-cutting communication, dialogue, and debate and thereby enable us to address real-world problems more effectively.
This timely and original work will be of great interest to advanced-level students and scholars dealing with philosophy of science and methodological questions in International Relations.
Introduction : Progress, Consensus and Cumulation in IR Scholarship?
[Ewan Harrison, Annette Freyberg-Inan, and Patrick James]
Part I: Judging Progress in the Study of International Relations
Chapter 1 - The Bias of ‘Science’: On the Intellectual Appeal of Neopositivism
[Patrick Thaddeus Jackson]
Chapter 2 - Maps, Models and Theories: A Scientific Realist Approach to Validity
Chapter 3 - Substance, Form and Content: Scholarly Communities, Institutions and the Nature of IR
[Torbjørn L. Knutsen]
Chapter 4 - The Role of Theory for Knowledge Creation in IR: A Sociable Pluralist Discussion
Part II: Evaluating Progress in Democratic Peace Research – An Illustrative Case Study
Chapter 5 - Bounded Pluralism and Explanatory Progress in International Relations: What We Can Learn from the Democratic Peace Debate?
Chapter 6 - Systemism, Analytic Eclecticism and the Democratic Peace
[Jarrod Hayes and Patrick James]
Chapter 7 - Rethinking the Democratic Peace: Competing Accounts of ‘Scientific Progress’ in IR
Chapter 8 - The Normative Within the Explanatory: A Critical Take at the Democratic Peace Literature
Chapter 9 - The Closer You Look, the Less You See: Knowledge Cumulation in IR
Conclusion - Different Standards for Discovery and Confirmation
[Annette Freyberg-Inan, Ewan Harrison, and Patrick James]
The field of international relations has changed dramatically in recent years, with new subject matter being brought to light and new approaches from in and out of the social sciences being tried out. This series offers itself as a broad church for innovative work that aims to renew the discipline.