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Critical International Relations Theory
Critical International Relations Theory
Shannon Brincat

In the 1980s the discipline of International Relations (IR) was subjected to a radical critique driven, in large part, by the entry of the ideas of the Frankfurt School (FS) into the field – a field dominated until then by unmitigated positivist assumptions. The new school of thought that emerged, Critical International Relations Theory (CIRT), exposed the deep relation between mainstream approaches to IR theory (specifically neorealism, rational-choice, and liberal institutionalism) and the dominant interests they served in world politics: the maintenance of bipolarity (with favour given to American preponderance), possessive individualism, and world capitalism. ‘Theory is always for someone, and for some purpose’ (Cox, 1981: 128), this new paradigm claimed – ...

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