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Title: On neorealism and its progress
Author: Charalampopoulos, Dimitrios
ISNI:       0000 0004 5948 1224
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigates the philosophical presuppositions of Kenneth N. Waltz's Theory of International Politics focusing, primarily, on its epistemology and ontology. It offers a taxonomy of epistemological and ontological theories that is useful for providing an enhanced understanding of Waltz's theory but also for revealing some of its problematic features. These include the incompatibility between Waltz's ontology and his deductive approach and a number of occasions on which Waltz requires from the theories of others the fulfilment of a number of criteria that his own intellectual system does not meet. The argument is in part informed by a comparison (encouraged by Waltz himself) between International Relations and Physics. The thesis thus supplies an assessment of the 'internal' coherence of the theory and its 'external' applicability. It also addresses the issue of the extent to which the tradition that Waltz founded can be expected to lead to a promising intellectual path. In doing so, it discusses the question of what, if anything, 'progress' might consist in. This thesis does not aim at creating a new approach for appraising theories of International Relations. Its purpose is to clarify the nature of Waltz's philosophical commitments, and their appropriateness to the tasks he set himself, by making use of already existing philosophical standpoints. Its contribution lies more in examining Waltz's theory - and potentially other theories of International Relations - from an angle that, while available, has not been, so far, extensively used. The approach adopted may facilitate the appreciation of the benefits of drawing a useful distinction: that which separates those problems that are philosophical and have to be acknowledged as such from those that can more effectively be addressed by the discipline of International Relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available