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Knowing and judging in International Relations theory: realism and the reflexive challenge

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2010


This article addresses the notion of reflexivity in international theory through an attempt to transcend the dichotomy between knowledge and judgement. It intends to demonstrate that neither ‘philosophical’ nor ‘scientific’ approaches to world politics can reconcile cognitive and evaluative claims, but that such an endeavour may be envisaged within a certain conception of knowledge, science and facts. A comparison of Morton Kaplan's approach with Hans Morgenthau's and Kenneth Waltz's suggests what kind of theoretical alternatives can bring together these two seemingly incommensurable orders of discourse under a unified, foundationally reflexive epistemology.

Research Article
Copyright © British International Studies Association 2010

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34 Morgenthau, Scientific Man, p. 163.

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65 As illustrated by the re-publication of the book by the ECPR Press in 2005.

66 This could be explained by the combination of several factors: IR theorists' utilitarian focus on Kaplan's IR contribution, Kaplan's segregation of his philosophical writings from his IR publications, and the division of disciplinary labour in modern academia.

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80 Those that include states as unit-actors.

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82 Guzzini, ‘Reconstruction’.

83 Smith, ‘Self-Images’.

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