4 Marxism (Critical Theory) (2016)Apunte Inglés
Critical Theory and Conclusions
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Theory IR 2016
4.2. INTERNATIONAL CRITICAL THEORY
4.2.1. THE SECOND DEBATE IN IR
There is a link between the way we study International Relations and the output of International
Relations. The way we study IR has an effect over reality: The way we study IR involves a direct
relation between knowledge and values.
If we keep studying IR under the theories we have been studying so far, we won’t generate anything new. The critical theory calls to study different in order to modify the system.
• Neorealism: The forces of anarchy force state behaviour.
• Neoliberalism: They focus on international institutions and they are promoting those who have more power inside these international institutions.
The second debate is between positivism and critical theory. Do we follow a positivist approach or a critical approach? All of these regarding the HOW question (the methodology, the way we study).
DEBATE ON THE MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS TRIAS He would be totally administrating the society not questioning wether the MWC is good or bad, but focusing on the benefits that brings to Barcelona COLAU She applies the critical theory, as she’s being critical with the existence of the MWC and also proposing a different agenda.
4.2.2. THE EMERGENCE OF THE SOCIAL ONTOLOGY Robert Cox (1981): Realists were focusing too much on the role of the states and the anarchical structure, while Liberals were focusing too much on the role of international organisations.
The focus of the study should be the alternative social forces, such as the civil society (the World Social Forum, puts forward a new way of social relations / 15M -Movimiento de los Indignados- raised many debates about the organisation of the State).
By studying these alternative social forces perhaps we can modify the system: Build a new system based on these new social forces.
The structure of the system is not as important as the agents of the system, as it is the only way to achieve a change in the system. If we keep focusing on the system, we won’t change the system.
But if we focus on the agents, on the components of the system, it is possible to modify it. — Agency over structures.
Emancipatory thinking: Alternative IR theories can lead to alternative social and political realities.
The Next Stage: What you need to do is make possible the new alternative social forces (such as the Indignados) rules a country. You have to empower these people if we want to change the system.
4.2.3. CRITICISM and IMPACT Marta Busquets Theory IR 2016 CRITICISM: • If you empower these social forces, you will reproduce a certain society that according to you is better but perhaps is not — It falls victim of its own success.
• Critical Theory equals to “dreaming the impossible dream”.
IMPACT: • Influence on constructivism: The role of agency over structure.
4.3. CONCLUSIONS A. It is a permanent and total critique of the discipline of IR. It means a change in the relation between knowledge and values.
B. Emancipation projects and the role of agency.
C. Widening the scope of the discipline: New issues in the agenda (domination, gender race, inequality, etc).
In Critical Theory they focus on the agent, not on the structure (as Realists). They focus on the social ontology of the agents. They consider these agents are social, which means that they interact. They interact and they shape the structure. There is a link between the way we study and the way things happen: Value-free theory.
Robert Cox introduced 2 new theories: 1. Problem-solving: For example, Realism, that takes the system as given.
2. Critical Theories: They question the system and look for alternatives. Emancipation from the current systems in order to create alternative systems — There is a willingness to change the system.
According to Neo-Realists, there is anarchy (no one superior to the state), which means that they focus on the structure.