Buzan&Little

Buzan&Little - ~ 4 INTERNATIONAL SYSTEMS IN WORLD...

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4 ~ INTERNATIONAL SYSTEMS IN WORLD HISTORY REMAKING THE STUDY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS BARRY BUZAN AND RICHARD LITTLE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
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4 '9 INTERNATIONAL SYSTEMS IN WORLD HISTORY REMAKING THE STUDY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS BARRY BUZAN AND RICHARD LITTLE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
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.-.~~:-:::::,'''::~:::~''';- Chapter 1 SYSTEMS, HISTORY, THEORY, AND THE STUDY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS One central aim of this book is to provide a new way of thinking about inter- national systems. Although there has been extensive analysis ofthe international system in mainstream IR, the concept remains deeply contested. Indeed, it is possible to argue that the most important methodological and theoretical debates that took place in IR during the second half of the twentieth century were all centred on attempts to identify the most appropriate way to conceptUalize and then analyse the international system (as we show in Chapter 2). These debates do tell us a good deal about why it is so difficult to conceptualize the international system. But they do not tell us how to develop an account of international systems from a world historical perspective. Mainstream con- ceptualizations of international systems in IR remain 'thin' and unidimensional, unable to assist in the task oftelling the full story that we think needs to be told. Although parsimony in theorizing is a virtue, we argue that without a 'thicker' form of theorizing, a complex phenomenon like international systems simply cannot be adequately understood. In the first section of this chapter we spell out some prevailing characteristics ofthe discipline that have prevented IR scholars from developing a 'thick' concep- tion of the international system. Then in section 2 we examine the historiography of the discipline to see why these factors have been promoted and suggest that some of the inadequacies in the concept ofthe international system employed in mainstream IR can be attributed, at least in part, to the Americanization ofiR that went on during the course of the twentieth century. The English school has developed along different lines, which can potentially give rise to a richer and more historicized conception of the international system. Finally, we show how world historical approaches transcend the history/theory divide that has had the effect ofholding back the task oftheorizing in IR.
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1.8 iNTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY 1. THE UNDERDEVELOPED C.ONC.EPTION Of THE INTERNATiONAL SYSTEM D,,,ito mo" dun'"nMYofinton,ivedi"""io n ,boutth'n'to" o"h'int"· n,tion,) ,,,,tom, "i'dilli'UU to d,ny how und"developed the ,on"pt rontinu" to b'. EV<n th' roo" ",ph"titatod ",oun~ of th' intern'tion'l ",«em fuil to 'dd"" ",m' of th' mo,t ,I,m,n"'y q~,tion,. W,I" 1'979' 9'1, fo< ,ump", tal'" ,bout th' intorn,tio ,) politi tal ,,,,tom in t"m' of indep,nd,nt uni~ ro n ,ctin,. but h'd05 not,p,dfy how mu,h into"ttio n ,0' w!wt '>'P" i' n,M"'" on fo" ,,,,t<tU to ,ilitWill ""y 'nto"ttion ,ulli". 0< mu« w, identify' boun"'''' 10' p"h'P' btroDd'ri"l d,fin,d by lev"'. typO" ,nd """u,nd" of into"tti ?
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Buzan&amp;Little - ~ 4 INTERNATIONAL SYSTEMS IN WORLD...

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