Six Wishes for a More Relevant Discipline of International Relations

Steve Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of International Relations

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199219322
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:


 Six Wishes for a More Relevant Discipline of International Relations

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This article looks at how the discipline of international relations should develop over the next twenty years. It argues that international relations needs to be pluralistic, in the strong sense of valuing different intellectual approaches; not pluralistic in a weaker sense of ‘anything goes’. International relations should move toward being a truly international field, rather than being a field for one, dominant, part of humanity. It should reject simple dichotomies such as domestic/international, economics/politics, and public/private, and not accept that humanity is moving toward common identities and politics. It needs to understand the world of the powerless as well as the powerful, and be self-reflective as to the relationship between our scholarship, our stated ethical standards, and our location as scholars.

Keywords: international relations; pluralism; scholarship; intellectual approaches; common identities

Article.  3058 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations ; Political Methodology

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