This volume ws the winner of The International Studies Association Theory Section Book Award 2013, presented by the International Studies Association and The Yale H. Ferguson Award 2012, presented by International Studies Association-Northeast.

There are many different scientifically valid ways to produce knowledge. The field of International Relations should pay closer attention to these methodological differences, and to their implications for concrete research on world politics.

The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations provides an introduction to the philosophy of science issues and their implications for the study of global politics. The author draws attention to the problems caused by the misleading notion of a single unified scientific method, and proposes a framework that clarifies the variety of ways that IR scholars establish the authority and validity of their empirical claims. Jackson connects philosophical considerations with concrete issues of research design within neopositivist, critical realist, analyticist, and reflexive approaches to the study of world politics. Envisioning a pluralist science for a global IR field, this volume organizes the significant differences between methodological stances so as to promote internal consistency, public discussion, and worldly insight as the hallmarks of any scientific study of world politics.

This important volume will be essential reading for all students and scholars of International Relations, Political Science and Philosophy of Science.

chapter 1|23 pages

Playing with fire

chapter 2|17 pages

Philosophical wagers

chapter 3|31 pages


chapter 4|40 pages

Critical realism

chapter 5|44 pages


chapter 6|32 pages


chapter 7|25 pages

A pluralist science of IR