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Agents, Structures and International Relations
Politics as Ontology

AUD$65.95

Part of Cambridge Studies in International Relations

  • Date Published: October 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521674164

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About the Authors
  • The agent-structure problem is a much discussed issue in the field of international relations. In his comprehensive 2006 analysis of this problem, Colin Wight deconstructs the accounts of structure and agency embedded within differing IR theories and, on the basis of this analysis, explores the implications of ontology - the metaphysical study of existence and reality. Wight argues that there are many gaps in IR theory that can only be understood by focusing on the ontological differences that construct the theoretical landscape. By integrating the treatment of the agent-structure problem in IR theory with that in social theory, Wight makes a positive contribution to the problem as an issue of concern to the wider human sciences. At the most fundamental level politics is concerned with competing visions of how the world is and how it should be, thus politics is ontology.

    • Provides a comprehensive introduction to critical realism
    • Addresses the much discussed issue of the relationship between agents and structures in the study of international relations
    • Will appeal to scholars and advanced students of international relations theory as well as researchers in philosophy of social science and social theory
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521674164
    • length: 360 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.581kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. IR: a science without positivism?
    2. The agent-structure problem: from social theory to IR theory
    3. The agent-structure problem in IR theory
    4. Structure
    5. Agency
    6. The agent-structure problem: epistemology
    7. The agent-structure problem: methodology
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Colin Wight, University of Sheffield
    Colin Wight is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield.

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