On the Road to Irrelevance: Study of International Relations without Normativeness

  • Jan Růžička
Keywords: Social sciences, normativeness, international relations, E. H. Carr, Hans Morgenthau


This article presents the idea that the social sciences are by nature normative and so simply cannot exist without normativeness at all. Their purpose is to understand and help solve social problems. The choices of issues, problems and questions are neither random nor objective, but are the results of normative consensus of their specific social-scientific discipline, as well as the greater social environment in which social scientists make them. This argument is applied to the polemics between Marek Loužek and Petr Drulák. I show that contrary to Loužek's assertions, the realism of E. H. Carr and Hans Morgenthau is strongly and explicitly normatively oriented. It is therefore unjustified to distinguish between normative idealists and scientific realists. The final section deals with the question what this conclusion means for the study of international relations

Author Biography

Jan Růžička



Epistemology of Social Science Forum