English · Português
ISSN 0102-8529 (Print)
1982-0240 (Online)
PUC-Rio - Página inicial Instituto de Relações Internacionais Revista Contexto Internacional

Call for Papers - Specific Themes

Call for papers

40 years of critical theory on international relations: relevance, challenges and pitfalls


Forty years ago, in a theoretical context dominated by positivist approaches in International Relations (IR), Robert W. Cox and Richard K. Ashley published two seminal articles which started from distinct (meta)theoretical starting points. Robert Cox’s ‘Social Forces, States and World Orders’ (Millennium) and Richard Ashley’s ‘Political Realism and Human Interests’ (International Studies Quarterly) presented variants of Frankfurt School critical theory in order to cope with the international relations processes on that time. With such approach, they presented a robust critique of positivism and structuralism predominant in IR – such as, for example, Realism, some variants of Liberalism and World System Theory.

Since then, many other social theories began to inspire critical IR thinking, some of them in close dialogue with such “critical approach” and others struggling with it: such as Neo-Gramscianism, feminism, post- structuralism, post-colonialism, critical constructivism – to name a few. Forty years on, IR theory has passed through important transformations: metatheoretical and normative discussions as well as debates over the pertinence of IR theorization have emerged1, pointing to new challenges faced by IR theory.

In this context, a question emerges: is critical theory relevant after all these years? What are the possibilities to contemporarily thinking critically IR? Fifteen years ago, such entrepreneurship was taken with important insights.2 Now, forty years is good period to take a close look on the impact of critical theory in IR, just as the problems and challenges it has to cope with. This is the aim of this Special Dossier for the journal Contexto Internacional, and articles submitted to it should (but not exclusively) deal with issues related to critical theory legacy to IR in a broad sense.

Instructions to authors

Authors should hold a PhD, be enrolled in a PhD program, and/or have a strong professional/academic background in International Relations, Political Science or related field at the time of submission. In co-authored manuscripts, at least one of the authors should meet that criteria fully. Submissions from authors at early career stages are welcome.

The maximum word count for submissions is 10,000 words. The deadline for submission is 15 August 2020.

All submissions must be done through Contexto Internacional's ScholarOne Manuscripts website at https://mc04.manuscriptcentral.com/cint-scielo.

When submitting your article, select the option Research Articles and fill the title as 40 Years of Critical Theory. The title of your article should be in the uploaded file.

All submissions must include the author(s)'s title/institution and affiliation.

Manuscripts should be original and unpublished, and should follow the general instructions available at:https://www.scielo.br/revistas/cint/iinstruc.htm.

Questions should be sent by email to cintjournal@puc-rio.br (subject: Forum 40 years of critical theory on international relations).


Guest Editors:

Leonardo Ramos (PUC Minas - Brasil)
Ernesto Vivares (FLACSO - Ecuador)
Owen Worth (University of Limerick - Ireland)


Editors of Contexto Internacional:

Jimmy Casas Klausen (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro)
Paula Sandrin (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro)

1Dunne, T, L Hansen and C Wight (eds.) 2013. ‘Special Issue: The End of International Relations Theory?’. European Journal of International Relations 19 (3).

2 Rengeer, N and B Thirkell-White 2007. ‘Introduction Still critical after all these years? The past, present and future of Critical Theory in International Relations’. Review of International Studies 33 (S1): 3–24.


IRI Instituto de Relações Internacionais
Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 225 - Vila dos Diretórios, Casa 20, Gávea - Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brasil
Tel/Fax: +55 21 3527-1557 3527-1558 3527-1560