Causation in International Relations: Reclaiming Causal by Milja Kurki

By Milja Kurki

International political methods, corresponding to wars and globalisation, are engendered via advanced units of explanations and prerequisites. even supposing the belief of causation is key to the sphere of diplomacy, what the concept that of reason ability or involves has remained an unresolved and contested subject. In fresh a long time ferocious debates have surrounded the assumption of causal research, a few students even wondering the legitimacy of using the thought of reason within the research of diplomacy. This booklet means that underlying the debates on causation within the box of diplomacy is a suite of not easy assumptions (deterministic, mechanistic and empiricist) and that we must always reclaim causal research from the dominant discourse of causation. Milja Kurki argues that reinterpreting the which means, goals and techniques of social medical causal research opens up multi-causal and methodologically pluralist avenues for destiny diplomacy scholarship.

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Chapter 1 introduces the philosophical problem of causation, the Humean solution to it and the nature of causal theorising in twentieth-century philosophy of science. In chapter 2 philosophy of social science debates over causation are examined: it is seen that the controversy over causes in the social sciences has been informed by a distinctly Humean understanding of causation. Chapters 3 and 4 examine how the Humean framing of the concept of cause has penetrated IR theorisations and what consequences this has.

Arche referred to those principles that pre-existed concrete entities (yet in some way co-existed with them) and provided a reason for their existence. 3 This was something that Plato came to reject. Plato critiqued the materialist philosophies of nature through developing the so-called theory of forms,4 which divided the world into distinct spheres: the ideational reality – the world of forms – and the sense-world, which was seen as the imitation of the ‘real’ unobservable world of forms. Interestingly, the ‘idea-ist’ philosophy of Plato made a crucial contribution to defining the notion of cause.

Since all we can know is what we observe, questions about the nature or constitution of objects beyond observability cannot be talked about meaningfully. For example, questions concerning the ‘nature’ and ‘properties’ of the billiard balls, let alone the ‘powers’ and ‘capabilities’ of the players, the table, or gravity, fall outside the limits of justifiable empiricist knowledge. Third, the Humean definition denies the notion of ‘natural necessity’, that is, the idea that causes and effects are linked ontologically.

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