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

Vol. 40, N° 1, Jan/Apr, 2018

Reconstructive Methodology and Critical International Relations Theory

Gilberto Carvalho Oliveira


Drawing on the work of the latest generation of social philosophers institutionally or intellectually linked to the Frankfurt School, this article examines the critical-reconstructive- explanatory methodology that became a distinguishing feature of contemporary critical theory after its ‘reconstructive turn’. The article aims to show how these recent developments can contribute to overcoming the various criticisms that continue to challenge Critical International Relations Theory (CIRT) from a methodological viewpoint, such as its normative and interpretative emphasis at the expense of the empirical dimension of analysis, its inability to provide a substantive explanation of the social pathologies and mechanisms of domination it criticises, its insulation from issues of pluralism and multiculturalism, the absence of debate with outside approaches, and the lack of clarity on how theory connects to practice. After discussing the main aspects of the contemporary critical theory methodology, the article ends with a brief illustration of this methodology using as a basis the critique of the liberal peacebuilding.

Keywords: Reconstruction; Methodology; Frankfurt School; Critique of Liberal Peace; Critical Theory.

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