International Relations Theory: the Case for Political Sociology
Conventional discussion of international relations theory has tended, in recent years, to focus on the relative merits of three main approaches: neo-realism, constructivism, postmodernism. In this presentation, Fred Halliday will argue that a fourth approach, one derived from political sociology has at least equal claims to be included in the range of contemporary theory. This approach combines the particular concerns of international relations with the work of writers such as Michael Mann, Theda Skocpol and Anthony Giddens. In making this case, he will examine a range of contemporary phenomena where the insights of political sociology can provide cogent explanations - from the Cold War and its demise, to the rise of Islamist fundamentalism and the contradictions of globalisation.