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Rediscoveries and Reformulations


  • 26 b/w illus. 8 tables
  • Page extent: 488 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.88 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 320/.01
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: JA71 .A474 1996
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Political science--Philosophy
    • International relations--Philosophy

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521461306 | ISBN-10: 0521461308)

This book provides a distinctive and rich conception of methodology within international studies. From a rereading of the works of leading Western thinkers about international studies, Hayward Alker rediscovers a 'neo-Classical' conception of international relations which is both humanistic and scientific. He draws on the work of classical authors such as Aristotle and Thucydides; modern writers like Machiavelli, Vico, Marx, Weber, Deutsch and Bull; and post-modern writers like Havel, Connolly and Toulmin. The central challenge addressed is how to integrate 'positivist' or 'falsificationist' research styles within humanistic or interpretive ones. The author argues that appropriate, philosophically informed reformulations of conventional statistical and game-theoretic analyses are possible, and describes a number of humanistic methodologies for international relations, including argumentation analysis, narrative modeling, computational models of political understanding and reconstructive analysis.

• A rich and sweeping analysis of methodology in international studies, attempting to integrate scientific methods with philosophical ones • Alker is a real star. This ambitious book could not have been written by anyone else, and was long-awaited • Takes a broad historical sweep looking at thinker from ancient to modern times. Will have philosophy of social science and social theory audience


List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgments; Introduction: voyages of rediscovery; Part I: Recovering Western Antiquity: 1. The dialectical logic of Thucydides' Melian Dialogue; 2. Aristotelian political methodologies; 3. Toynbee's Jesus: computational hermeneutics and the continuing presence of classical Mediterranean civilization; Part II.The Humanistic Science of the Modern Classics: 4. The humanistic moment in international studies: reflections on Machiavelli and Las Casas; 5. Can the end of power politics be part of the concepts with which its story is told? A Leibnizian reply; 6. Rescuing 'reason' from the 'rationalists': reading Vico, Marx and Weber as reflexive institutionalists; 7. An Orwellian Lasswell: humanistic scientist; Part III. Contemporary Humanistic Reformulations: 8. Fairy tales, tragedies and world histories: testable structuralist interpretations; 9. Beneath Tit-for-Tat: the contest of political economy fairy tales within SPD protocols; 10. Emancipatory empiricism: toward the renewal of empirical peace research; 11. The presumption of anarchy in world politics: on recovering the historicity of world society; 12. The return of practical reason to international theory; References; Index.

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