When one world is not enough. Patrick Jackson's 'The Conduct of Inquiry' as a narrative of IR meta-theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

This article evaluates Patrick Jackson’s recent book ‘The conduct of Inquiry in International Relations’. Jackson delivers a thoughtful and timely contribution to meta-theoretical debates in IR by highlighting the diverse landscape of incompatible philosophico-ontological positions. Specifically discussing the practical payoffs of Jackson’s taxonomy the article, though generally sympathetic to Jackson’s account, argues that he overlooks three interconnected areas: the myth-historical character of ‘International Relations’, the semantic heterogeneity or polysemy of his taxonomical categories and the scope and nature of translation necessary to sustain his suggested methodological pluralism. These shortcomings question the stability and practical usefulness of his taxonomy and call for a more versatile, less static delineation of philosophico-ontological positions and an embrace of a plurality rather than a pluralism in IR meta-theory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1177/0305829812463477
Pages (from-to)270-289
Number of pages20
JournalMillennium
Volume41
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • IR meta-theory, ontology, methodology

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