Beyond Positivism: Critical Reflections on International by Claire Turenne Sjolander

By Claire Turenne Sjolander

This paintings adopts the basis that the metatheoretical debates approximately positivists and post-positivists have reached an deadlock; it means that an process pushed by way of theoretical reflexivity bargains a foundation on which substitute understandings of diplomacy should be built.

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If the debate on the state has reached an impasse, as Halliday has suggested, one way to overcome this problem might be to integrate into international relations theory new developments in the theory of the state, to study them, and in so doing to theorize the state in an adequate way. It is this proposed solution to the problem of the state in international relations theory that will be discussed critically in what follows. 6 First, in regard to the ontological structure of the state, it is suggested that the state should be viewed as a potentially autonomous institutional agent with its own life and history.

11 In its failure to adequately deconstruct the West, malestream postmodernist international relations theory denies the inequalities of power between different groups of men and women that shape how dominant discourses and symbolic representations are imposed, in addition to assuming that men and women have shared equally in the benefits of Western imperialism. In addition to masculinist biases, some of the theorizing continues to be further articulated from white Western bourgeois perspectives, such as is the case with Richard Ashley's dialectical competence model, which attempts to synthesize the insights of critical theory and realism (Ashley, 1984).

41 42 The development of critical feminist international relations, then, takes as its starting point the awareness that "woman" as a social category is only meaningful "in reference to a fusion of adjectives which symbolize particular historical trajectories, material circumstances and cultural experiences and that our gender is constituted and represented differently according to our differential locations within the global relations of power" (Brah, 1991:59-60). Our insertion into these global relations of power is realized through a complex web of economic, political, and ideological processes.

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