chapter  6
11 Pages

International Political Theory

WithAnthony Burke

This chapter discusses the ‘traditional’ and ‘subversive’ approaches to International Political Theory, and attests to their general value. International political sociology has been an important development for international studies, at once pluralizing its disciplinary sources and continuing the broad tradition of critical theorizing in the field. Stefanie Fishel’s questioning of the critical potential of the responsibility to protect opens up the more profound critique of sovereignty, and thus a more metaphysically ‘cutting’ political theory. This is a hallmark of post-structuralist approaches to International Political Theory and a practical example of ‘ontopolitical’ that has opened three major lines of critical inquiry. One definition of political theory, offered by the editors of The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory, could be transposed to International Political Theory: a “field united by a commitment to theorize, critique, and diagnose the norms, practices, and organisation of political action in the past and present”.