Sustainable Critique and Critical IR Theory: Against Emancipation

Daniel J. Levine

in Recovering International Relations

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916061
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980246 | DOI:
Sustainable Critique and Critical IR Theory: Against Emancipation

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How does sustainable critique differ from other appropriations of Frankfurt school social theory—the focus of “third” and “fourth” debate—into IR? The answer lies in differentiating the work of contemporary Frankfurt school theorists, in particular Jürgen Habermas and Axel Honneth, from that of their predecessors: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse. I argue that IR has been too quick to dismiss these earlier scholars. Building on Max Weber’s notion of a constellation and Graham Allison’s classic Essence of Decision, I suggest a basis for their re-consideration.

Keywords: Adorno, Theodor W; Allison, Graham; Booth, Ken; constellation; Essence of Decision (book); Habermas, Jürgen; Linklater, Andrew; Critical International Relations Theory, Critical Security Studies, Critical Theory; negative dialectics; sustainable critique; Wyn Jones, Richard

Chapter.  16379 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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