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The development of international relations theory in the United Kingdom: traditions, contemporary perspectives and trajectories

Brown, Chris (2009) The development of international relations theory in the United Kingdom: traditions, contemporary perspectives and trajectories. International Studies, 46 (1-2). pp. 221-237. ISSN 0020-8817

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Abstract

British International Relations Theory (IRT) 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 IRT. The origins of British IRT are traced and the importance of the ‘English School’ 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 International Relations (IR) from the otherwise dominant American IR. Along with the English School scholarship (pluralist and solidarist), work on Political Theory and IR, and Critical Theory, including Critical Security Studies, are the major areas where contemporary British IRT is located. The article argues that this trend 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 IRT in British IR may be under challenge.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.sagepub.com/journals/Journal200842
Additional Information: © 2009 SAGE Publications
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JX International law
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2011 13:28
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/31265/

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