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Updated on 22 November 2019. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 04 July 2020

Summary and Keywords

Coming from an empirical historical tradition, English School theory has a strong inductive core, represented in its historical narratives, and a positive approach to international law. But its core text is strongly deductive: Hedley Bull derived the basic precept of international society from a set of logical premises to which he attached a truth value. Its methodologies have varied accordingly, between agent-centered and structure-centered approaches, and it has deployed a variety of methods in respect to each, including anthropological interpretivism with regard to agents and historical and sociological institutionalism with regard to structures. Its focus on the state and institutions means that it shares method with regime theorists, and its focus on Great Powers and great power responsibility means that it shares some methods with regard to classical realism.

Keywords: British Committee on the Theory of International Relations, Hedley Bull, international society, methodological pluralism, institutionalism, constructivism, interpretivism, structuralism, structuration

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