Constructivism is Concerned with Norms, but is it Normative Theory?

Constructivism as an approach to International Political Theory is not a homogeneous or unified entity. More so than many other approaches it has great rifts between its individual theorists. This paper will focus mostly on the constructivism outlined by Wendt and, towards the end of of the paper, will briefly contrast it with that of Kratochwil.

How does Negri and Hardt’s Theory of the Limitations of Capitalist Subsumption of Production Differ from that of Žižek’s Theory?

This essay is a critical reading of Negri and Hardt’s ‘Empire’, focusing on how the ontological shifts in the production and socio-political disciplinarity function not as an immanent contradiction of globalised capital, but instead form a reified, zero-weight mode of infinite subsumption.

Understanding Russia’s Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Towards the EU and USA

Since the end of the Cold War, the policies followed by Russia towards the United States and the European Union have defied simple analysis. In the decade and a half since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has at times appeared an ally and at times has been much more hostile.

Contesting Neo-Realism and Liberal Idealism; Where do Hopes for a ‘Perpetual Peace’ Lie?

War has been an omnipresent aspect of the international order. Consequently, ‘realism’ sees conflict and war as the defining aspects of international relations. Conversely, ‘idealists’ posit that human reason/different forms of societal organization can curb or even eliminate belligerency. This essay draws on ‘critical theory’ to show that realism is essentially limited in its analysis of the world system.

Evaluating the Potential of Public-Private Partnerships in Global Governance

This essay deals with a central question regarding the value of Public-Private Partnerships: what governance functions can they accomplish that neither public nor private authority can accomplish independently? The question boils down to two subsidiary questions, which will be dealt with in turn: (1) What governance functions cannot be accomplished unilaterally by public actors on the one hand and private actors on the other? (2) How can PPPs overcome these governance problems?

Hobbes, Locke and the State of Nature

John Locke and Thomas Hobbes have submitted competing versions of the state of nature in Two Treatises of Government and Leviathan respectively, and they arrive at very different conclusions. An evaluation of their conception of pre-societal man accounts in large part for the divergence in their views on what form a Commonwealth should assume and what powers it should be endowed with.

Discuss Machiavelli’s Attitude to ‘the people’ and his View on the Degree to Which they Participate in Republican Governance

Niccolo Machiavelli, in addition to being a shrewd political theorist, is a keen observer of human nature. He is therefore in a unique position to discuss what role ‘the people’ should be entrusted with in republican governance. It will be found here that the people perform a crucial function and contribute significantly to Machiavelli’s ideal ‘vivere civile e politico.’

Considering Cognitivism’s Contribution: Possibilities for Constructive Cooperation between Rationalist and Cognitivist Theorists of International Regimes

All but the staunchest realist would agree that international regimes form an important part of the emerging mechanisms of global governance. In tandem with the study of international relations, the study of international regimes has long been dominated by interest-based or neo-liberal theories – both rationalist schools of thought. However, not rightfully so.

International Knowledge Institutions and the Generation of an Epistemic Function in Global Governance

Understanding the processes by which global knowledge institutions generate epistemic functions and impact governance requires inquiring into the construction of global problems, the legitimation of new institutions, and the complex dynamics of disseminating cooperative solutions.

Does Marxism Offer a Viable Basis for Analysing the Causes of War?

Marxism grants social and political theorists a most realistic, dynamic, and comprehensive framework that allows the study of the causes of war in its ‘totality’. Marxist theory applied in conjunction with the ‘three levels’ of analysis, which are, the individual, the state, and the international system, is relevant and significant to the study of international relations.

In What Sense do Liberal Internationalists Believe in International Progress?

Ever since the beginning of International Politics as a social science, there has been a perpetual discourse between “realists” and “liberals” about the nature of interstate relations. The two sides cannot agree on whether there is a possibility of progress in the relations between states. In the present essay, the liberal internationalists’ belief that international progress is indeed possible will be critically approached. It will be argued that “liberals” understand progress as a process of spreading a Western model of democracy.

Neo-liberal Policies and IGOs: Undermining National Government?

Neo-liberal Policies and IGOs: Undermining National Government?

This essay addresses how the power of national governments is undermined by neo-liberal policies. It argues that power is undermined in all states, although not in all equally. It will show how this fact can explain why strong states promote neoliberal policies even though their domestic power is diminished by it.