Critical Theory and World Politics

By Richard Wyn Jones | Go to book overview

3
THE WAY AHEAD:
TOWARD A NEW ONTOLOGY
OF WORLD ORDER
Robert W. Cox

One recurrent criticism of critical theory in international studies is that it has yet to deliver a substantive research agenda. Working from the general to the particular, the criticism goes in its broadest sense to the question of ontology. How do we describe the sphere of reality within which our study seeks to focus on the important issues? My initial proposition is that international relations (IR) is an inadequate and misleading way of describing the object of our search for knowledge. The institutionalization of a discipline in university departments, academic posts, and funding is one thing. There is no harm in this endeavor so long as we keep an open mind about what the term international relations may cover. My point is that the term gives a distorted impression of what should be included. What's in a name? A rose by any other name … But let us focus on the rose without, at least for the time being, trying to rename it—and thereby raising all the issues of material subsistence and institutional rigidity that will come in their time.

There are two meanings of ontology. The primary meaning is an affirmation of the ultimate reality of the universe—what we can call Universality I. This meaning probably has its roots in monotheistic religion and was taken over in secular form by the European Enlightenment. Human beings invent the idea of God as the all-powerful creator; from that they reverse the process of invention to assume the human mind to be Godlike, that is, to have the potential for understanding the truth of the universe. 1 Universality I can take the form of affirmation of the kind of truth embodied in religious revelation or in the certainties of Enlightenment philosophy. It can also, in a spurious form, apply to affirmations of universality that are manifestly products of a particular historical situation but not recognized to be such for lack of critical self-appraisal. Neorealism is a good example.

-45-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Critical Theory and World Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 259

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.