Article

State Theory in International Relations

Lucas G. Freire and Marjo Koivisto

in International Relations

ISBN: 9780199743292
Published online August 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0128
State Theory in International Relations

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The state is one of the most used terms in international relations (IR) theory, and yet IR scholars influenced by both sociology and political philosophy have complained that the state and the states-system have been inadequately theorized in the field. What does the discipline mean when referring to the state? Why should state theorizing be part of IR at all? Need all state theorizing in IR be “state-centric”? There are two kinds of thinking about the state and the states-system in IR. One strand examines the history of thought about the purpose of the state and the states-system as political communities. Another explains the causes of events and transformations in the state and the states-system. These two approaches to studying the state largely translate to (1) political theory about the state and the states-system, and (2) social scientific theories of the state and the states-system in IR. Recently, both traditions have been significantly revisited in IR, and new productive synergies are emerging.

Article.  5312 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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