‘The Historical Sociology of International Theory’

One day workshop, Thursday 13th September 2012, University of Sussex

The BISA Working Group on Historical Sociology & IR and the Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT), University of Sussex warmly invite you to the one day workshop, ‘The Historical Sociology of International Theory’, taking place on Thursday 13th September 2012, University of Sussex.

The discipline of International Relations is home to a wide range of theoretical approaches and its history is characterized by (metaphorical) debates and competition between these theories. This theoretical pluralism; deplored by some and celebrated by others – does not only concern the substantive claims of particular theories but also the conception of theory itself. This refers us back to debates in the philosophy of social science. What counts as theory, what role theory can and should play and how it best fulfils this task is not a settled question in IR.

Moreover, inasmuch as the emergence and development of different theories is strongly influenced by their historical and sociological context, the same is true for conceptions of theory itself. Hence, the considerable recent changes within the international system – from the end of bipolarity, through the ideological hegemony of market democracy, radical fluctuation in the world economy, to open challenges to the institution of sovereignty – can be expected to affect the conception of theory (and consequently the development of theories) itself. This workshop seeks to explore the ways in which time and place impact on the conception of international theory and to develop an understanding of the nature of international theory and its implications at the beginning of the 21st century.

The day will be divided into two sessions, followed by a roundtable.  We attach the programme for your information and you can also find all the details here.

Registration is free but places are limited, so early registration is advised.

If you would like to register to attend please click here: Registration Form 


Please circulate to anyone who may be interested in the event.

If you require further information, please contact the CAIT Administrator Joanna Wood at cait@sussex.ac.uk

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