The Power of International Theory : Reforging the Link to Foreign Policy-Making through Scientific Enquiry book cover
1st Edition

The Power of International Theory
Reforging the Link to Foreign Policy-Making through Scientific Enquiry

ISBN 9780415429801
Published December 5, 2006 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

This new study challenges how we think about international relations, presenting an analysis of current trends and insights into new directions.

It shows how the discipline of international relations was created with a purpose of helping policy makers to build a more peaceful and just world. However, many of the current trends - post-positivism, constructivism, reflectivism, and post-modernism - share a conception of international theory that is inherently incapable of offering significant guidance to policymakers.

The Power of International Theory critically examines these approaches and offers a novel conventional-causal alternative that allows the reforging of a link between international relations theory and policy-making. While recognizing the criticisms of earlier forms of positivism and behaviouralism, the book defends holistic testing of empirical principles, methodological pluralism, criteria for choosing the best theory, a notion of 'causality,' and a limited form of prediction, all of which are needed to guide policy makers.

This is an essential book for all students and scholars of international relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Chapter 1 Policy-making, prediction and the theory of international behaviour; Chapter 2 Social science, naturalism and scientific realism; Chapter 3 Theory, observation and law; Chapter 4 Natural causation, social action and international politics; Chapter 5 Prediction, theory and policy-making; Chapter 6 Explaining agreement and disagreement in the natural sciences and social sciences; Chapter 7 Conclusions;

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Fred Chernoff is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program in International Relations at Colgate University, Hamilton, New York. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Political Science from Yale University. He is also the author of After Bipolarity.