Looking back from somewhere: reflections on what remains 'critical' in critical theory
Title: Looking back from somewhere: reflections on what remains 'critical' in critical theory
Author: KRATOCHWIL, Friedrich
Citation: Review of international studies, 2007, 33, Special Issue, 25-46
This article revisits some of the theoretical debates within the field of IR since Ashley and Cox challenged the mainstream. But in so doing it attempts also to show that the proposed alternatives have their own blind spots that are subjected in the second part to discursive criticism. Neither Ashley's celebration of the wisdom of old realists nor their 'silence' on economics, nor the notion of 'internationalisation of the state' and of the world order are adequate for understanding politics in the era of globalisation. Instead, a critical theory has to examine the political projects that were engendered by the Hobbesian conception of order and rationality. Highlighting the disconnect between our present political vocabularies and the actual political practices, I argue that a critical theory has not only to 'criticise' existing approaches but has to rethink and re-conceptualise praxis, which is ill served by the analytical tools which are imported to this field from 'theory'. An electronic version of this article can be accessed via the internet at http://journals.cambridge.org
Subject: Critical theory; Globalization; Internationalization; Rationality; International politics; Discourse; Epistemology; International relations
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