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IR as a social science: a response

Brown, Chris (2014) IR as a social science: a response. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 43 (1). pp. 351-354. ISSN 0305-8298

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0305829814540845


It was a privilege to be present at my colleague Iver Neumann’s Inaugural Lecture, and a pleasure to have the opportunity to comment on the written version.1 The range of scholarship and insight on display here is truly impressive, and to a great many of the positions presented one can only say ‘amen’. It was particularly satisfying to see such a strong case being made for the development of a constructive relationship between International Relations and the emerging field of evolutionary psychology, which has been an interest of mine for some years, and Neumann’s background in anthropology is also something that is clearly producing valuable synergies. Still, the Editors of Millennium did not expect me to produce a fan letter when they invited me to comment on Neumann’s lecture, so most of the rest of this response will be critical – constructively so, I hope, but critical nonetheless. And, in the spirit of the occasion, in responding to this Inaugural I will, rather presumptuously, attempt to channel two previous holders of the Montague Burton Chair, my friends Susan Strange and Fred Halliday, both sadly no longer with us, but both still very much a presence in our discipline and both scholars who cannot be accused of a narrowness of vision – like Iver Neumann, they ranged widely, but, I think, in somewhat different directions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 15:34
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:30

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