Special Event: “The End of IR Theory” Symposium

5 September 2013, 0546 EDT


It is with great pleasure that I announce the start of a special collaboration among the European Journal of International Relations, SAGE Journals, and the Duck of Minerva: The “End of IR Theory” Symposium.

A number of developments over the past few years spurred Colin Wight, Lene Hansen, and Tim Dunne to dedicate a special issue of EJIR to the subject of the state of International Relations (IR) theory. If all goes smoothly, that issue has been released and will be ungated for the next month. The Duck of Minerva is publishing a companion symposium. Our aim? To spur discussion, provoke debate, and providing a forum for post-publication review.

The symposium will consist mainly of (1) short posts written by contributors to the special issue and (2) responses written by a mix of junior and senior scholars. There will also be a companion podcast with Colin Wight.

We will run a pair of posts each day. The symposium kicks off tomorrow with Wight, Dunne and Hansen riffing on their introduction and Inanna Hamati-Ataya offering comments and criticisms.

The schedule will, barring unforeseen circumstances, follow the order of the table of contents. The symposium will conclude on 18 September — the first day of the 8th Annual Pan-European Conference on International Relations — with a reaction to the entire special issue by Felix Berenskoetter.

I hope that you enjoy this opportunity to engage on major issues concerning the past, present, and future of IR theory. Between the authors of the articles and their respondents, we have a terrific lineup.

I’d like to take a moment to thank Colin, Lene, and Tim for putting the special issue together and supporting the symposium. Special thanks to the folks at SAGE: Katie Baker, David Mainwaring, and Ruth Chalmers.

On a personal note, the end of the symposium will mark my departure from the Duck of Minerva masthead. I can’t think of a better way to go out. If you like what you see here, stay tuned. PTJ’s got a lot of good stuff planned for the International Studies Quarterly blog.

The schedule is below the fold.

1. The end of International Relations theory? Tim Dunne, Lene Hansen and Colin Wight. Response: Inanna Hamati-Ataya. 6 September 2013.

2. Leaving theory behind: Why simplistic hypothesis testing is bad for International Relations.” John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. Response: Dan Reiter. 7 September 2013.

3. “The mother of all isms: Causal mechanisms and structured
pluralism in International Relations theory.” Andrew Bennett. Response: Stacie E. Goddard. 8 September 2013.

4. “The poverty of Grand Theory.” Chris Brown. Response: David Edelstein. 9 September 2013.

5. “Constructivism or the eternal return of universals in International Relations.” Charlotte Epstein. Response: Vivienne Jabri. 10 September 2013.

6. “The ends of International Relations theory: Stages of reflexivity and modes of theorizing. Stefano Guzzini. Response: Cameron Thies. 11 September 2013.

7. “International theory in a post-paradigmatic era: From substantive wagers to scientific ontologies. Patrick Thaddeus Jackson and Daniel Nexon. Response: Janice Bially Mattern. 12 September 2013.

8. “Theory is dead, long live theory: The end of the Great Debates and the rise of eclecticism in International Relations.” David A. Lake. Response: Phil Arena. 13 September 2013.

9. “Beyond metatheory?” Christian Reus-Smit. Response: Milja Kurki. 14 September 2013.

10. “Experiencing the end and afterlives of International Relations/theory.” Christine Sylvester. Response: Lauren Wilcox. 15 September 2013.

11. “Core, periphery and (neo)imperialist International Relations.” Arlene B. Tickner. Response: Naeem Inayatullah. 16 September 2013.

12. “In the beginning: The International Relations enlightenment and the ends of International Relations theory.” Michael C. Williams. Response: Daniel Levine. 17 September 2013.

13. Response to the Special Issue. Felix Berenskoetter. 18 September 2013.

Entries in the symposium — when available — may also be reached via the “EJIR Special Issue Symposium” tag.