“The Great Debates”:
The Means of Structuring or Periodization of International Relations Theory?
Dr. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), Professor, Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Saint Petersburg State University, email@example.com
elibrary_id: 202300 | ORCID: 0000-0002-7257-6848 | RESEARCHER_ID: H-5469-2013
Dr. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), Professor, Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Saint Petersburg State University., firstname.lastname@example.org
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The article is a reflection on the paper of T.A. Alexeyeva (The Debates about “Great Debates.” How to Structure the Theory of International Relations – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No. 6. P. 9-21 (In Russ)). The questions raised by T.A. Alekseeva help to understand the origins of ideological and methodological crisis in international relations theory (IRT), which began 25-30 years ago, and has not been overcome until now. The authors emphasize that T.A. Alekseeva, standing on the position of social constructivism, shifts the discussion of the “Great Debates” to the sphere of discourse analysis in the framework of the IRT. Authors agreed with T.A. Alexeyeva in some conclusions: there are different points of view on the periodization and the content of the debate; the debate was sometimes held with some generalized set of ideas, rather than with specific scientists; the use of the “Great Debates” for the periodization of the evolution of IRT does not fully cover the diversity observed in its evolution. At the same time, the authors objected to the statement of T.A. Alekseeva, that the “Great Debates” are just a myth or some kind of half-truth, which reflects some aspects of corresponding discourse. The authors suggest a counter-statement by elaborating their own position in the questions of the IRT history and its evolution as a discipline, according to which the utility of constructivist approach is put into question.
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