The Meta-Theoretical Foundations Of Practice Theory In International Relations

Document Type : Research Paper



Practice Theory (PT) is one of the latest theoretical achievements in International Relations. This theory consists of different theoretical approaches that focus on studying international practices as stuff of international politics. This article argues that Practice Theory is based on specific meta-theoretical and philosophical foundations, that make it a distinct theory from other International Relations theories. Then, the main objective is to explore and explain the ontological, epistemological and methodological foundations of Practice Theory. It is argued that Practice Theory is based on “foundational pluralism”; a pluralistic and eclectic ontology, epistemology and methodology that go beyond dualistic metatheory of some other International Relations theories like Constructivism. So that, in relational ontology of Practice Theory dichotomies of reality/mind, theory/practice, structure/agency, constitution/causation, and materialism/ideationalism are all dissolved. Practice Theory epistemology is a pluralistic on implying explanation and understanding, simultaneously. Pluralistic methodology of Practice Theory is a combination of experimentalism, interpretivism and abduction or inference to the best explanation.


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