Positivism and Normativism in the Theory of International Relations

  • Petr Kratochvíl
Keywords: Theory of international relations, philosophy of social science, positivism, postpositivism


This text is a polemical contribution to the debate on positivism and postpositivism in the study of international relations. It focuses on four aspects rendering Loužek's defence of positivism rather flimsy: first, the untenability of the positivism-normativism dichotomy. Second, a more detailed analysis of theories incorrectly grouped with normativism. Third is an analogous analysis of positivistic theories, and particularly their claims to an epistemologically neutral access to reality, and fourth, we discuss Loužek's ambivalent attitude to modernity, particularly to the notion of progress.

Author Biography

Petr Kratochvíl



Epistemology of Social Science Forum