The Role of Public Choice Theory in International Relations and European Studies

  • Jan Karlas
Keywords: Public choice theory, international relations, European integration, theories of international relations, social groups, EU eastern enlargement


While Marek Loužek has drawn attention to several issues important for International Relations (IR), his conclusions are highly controversial. In his identification of the basic theoretical approaches to international relations, Loužek disregards liberalism and radicalism, which, alongside the realism identified by Loužek, constitute the three basic approaches in IR. Loužek also inaccurately defines, and rather overestimates, the general significance of public choice theory (PCT) as a possible perspective on international relations and European integration. In this context, the real intellectual core of PCT does not lie in an emphasis on the role of individuals, as Loužek claims, but on the role of social groups. Moreover, a large number of other theories, both in IR and European Studies, emphasise the importance of social groups. Finally, Loužek's explanation of the EU's Eastern enlargement based on PCT lacks a well-developed methodology, has a narrow scope, and subsequently fails to convince.

Author Biography

Jan Karlas



Epistemology of Social Science Forum

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