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On Acting and Knowing

$108.00 USD

  • Date Published: July 2018
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108699525

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About the Authors
  • Praxis investigates both the existing practices of international politics and relations during and after the Cold War, and the issue of whether problems of praxis (individual and collective choices) can be subjected to a 'theoretical treatment'. The book comes in two parts: the first deals with the constitution of international relations and the role of theoretical norms in guiding decisions, in areas such as sanctions, the punishment of international crimes, governance and 'constitutional' concern, the second is devoted to 'theory building'. While a 'theorization' of praxis has often been attempted, Kratochwil argues that such endeavours do not attend to certain important elements characteristic of practical choices. Praxis presents a shift from the accepted international relations standard of theorizing, by arguing for the analysis of policy decisions made in non-ideal conditions within a broader framework of practical choices, emphasizing both historicity and contingency.

    • Provides a comprehensive and critical examination of the post WWII debates in the social sciences, and international relations in particular, through a detailed account of how the actual political and social practices changed
    • Draws on a wide, interdisciplinary range of sources, including political theory, history, philosophy, sociology, social psychology and communications studies
    • Presents a follow-up study to Kratochwil's earlier work, and one of the founding constructivist texts, Rules, Norms and Decisions (1989)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is the most compelling defence of a 'thick' constructivist approach to social, political, legal and international theory since the classic works by Kratochwil himself and Nicholas Onuf in the 1980s - but it is much more than that. Complex, challenging, very demanding but immensely rewarding, Friedrich Kratochwil's account of Praxis illuminates all aspects of an approach to social life that focuses on action, norms and ideas. This is a book that demands to be read and reread, a genuine classic.' Chris Brown, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'Friedrich Kratochwil displays a rare ability: to combine philosophy, international relations theory, and historical knowledge. By demonstrating how to apply the analytical tools of a practice account of law and politics to international relations, he invites the reader to take a thought-provoking tour d'horizon of international studies that summarizes a life-time of scholarship.' Christine Chwaszcza, University of Cologne

    'This book is a true magisterial tour de force – the sort of masterful work that one can only produce after the profound intellectual labor of a decades-long career of rumination and reflection. Kratochwil is one of the original architects of what has became known as 'constructivism' in international studies, but in this book he reaches out both before and after that label and that school to engage in a philosophically subtle and conceptually powerful re-thinking of our field from the ground up. That revisioned ground - the common life we share, and the meaningful, intention actions we engage in - is less a 'contribution' to the field than its comprehensive rearrangement. Read this book as you would listen to a symphony, and let the experience change your entire way of worlding for the better.' Thaddeus Jackson, American University, Washington, DC

    'In this extraordinarily learned treatise Kratochwil delivers a foundational critique of what passes for international relations theory these days. Drawing on several social sciences, philosophy, legal theory, jurisprudence, art, literature and even music, Praxis establishes the basis for a new way not only of acting and knowing but also of seeing and experiencing international politics. What an achievement!' John Gerard Ruggie, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2018
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108699525
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Constructivism and the practices of (international) politics: the case for a humean approach
    2. Constituting
    3. Changing
    4. Showing
    5. Guiding
    6. Sanctioning
    7. Punishing
    8. Remembering and forgetting
    9. Knowing and doubting
    10. Acting
    11. Judging and communicating.

  • Author

    Friedrich Kratochwil, European University Institute, Florence
    Friedrich Kratochwil has taught at the universities of Maryland, Columbia, Denver and Pennsylvania, prior to becoming chair of international relations at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich and later at the European University Institute, Florence (2003–11). He was editor of the European Journal of International Relations and has served as a member of the editorial boards for several leading European, American and Asian journals. He is the author of Rules, Norms and Decisions (Cambridge, 1989), The Puzzles of Politics (2011), and The Status of Law in World Society (Cambridge, 2014).

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