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The development of International Relations theory in the UK: traditions, contemporary perspectives, and trajectories

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British International Relations (IR) theory is distinguished by a concern with institutions and norms, and by an emphasis on history, philosophy, and law rather than the formal methods of the social sciences; in both respects, but especially the latter, it differs from American IR theory. The origins of British IR theory are traced, and the importance of the ‘English School’ (ES) is stressed, partly because of the work it stimulates, but also because of its role as a brand which helps to establish the independence of British IR from the otherwise dominant American profession. Along with ES scholarship (pluralist and solidarist), political theory and IR, and critical theory, including critical security studies, are the major areas where contemporary IR theory in Britain is located. This is likely to persist, but the generally critical approach taken to social scientific theorizing may be changing, with the increasing importance of historical sociology and critical realist work. It may also be the case that the privileged status of IR theory in British IR may be under challenge.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/42698/

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