Root cause explanations of International Relations don’t exist – methodological pluralism is necessary to reclaim IR as emancipatory praxis and avoid endless political violence. Bleiker 14 – (6/17, Roland, Professor of International Relations at the University of Queensland, “International Theory Between Reification and Self-Reflective Critique,” International Studies Review, Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 325–327) This book is part of an increasing trend of scholarly works that have embraced poststructural critique but want to ground it in more positive political foundations, while retaining a reluctance to return to the positivist tendencies that implicitly underpin much of constructivist research. The path that Daniel Levine has carved out is innovative, sophisticated, and convincing. A superb scholarly achievement. For Levine, the key challenge in international relations ( IR ) scholarship is what he calls “unchecked reification” : the widespread and dangerous process of forgetting “the distinction between theoretical concepts and the real-world things they mean to describe or to which they refer” (p. 15). The dangers are real , Levine stresses, because IR deals with some of the most difficult issues, from genocides to war . Upholding one subjective position without critical scrutiny can thus have far-reaching consequences . Following Theodor Adorno—who is the key theoretical influence on this book—Levine takes a post-positive position and assumes that the world cannot be known outside of our human perceptions and the values that are inevitably intertwined with them. His ultimate goal is to overcome reification, or, to be more precise, to recognize it as an inevitable aspect of thought so that its dangerous consequences can be mitigated. Levine proceeds in three stages: First he reviews several decades of IR theories to resurrect critical moments when scholars displayed an acute awareness of the dangers of reification. He refreshingly breaks down distinctions between conventional and progressive scholarship, for he detects self-reflective and critical moments in scholars that are usually associated with straightforward positivist positions (such as E.H. Carr, Hans Morgenthau, or Graham Allison). But Levine also shows how these moments of self-reflexivity never lasted long and were driven out by the compulsion to offer systematic and scientific knowledge. The second stage of Levine's inquiry outlines why IR scholars regularly closed down critique. Here, he points to a range of factors and phenomena, from peer review processes to the speed at which academics are meant to publish. And here too, he eschews conventional wisdom, showing that work conducted in the wake of the third debate, while explicitly post-positivist and critiquing the reifying
tendencies of existing IR scholarship, often lacked critical self-awareness . As a result, Levine believes that many of the respective authors failed to appreciate sufficiently that “ reification is a consequence of all thinking —including itself” (p. 68).
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