Advertisement

General and Partial Theories

  • John C. Garnett

Abstract

Whereas the distinction between scientific and non-scientific theories is founded largely on the different analytical methods adopted by theorists, the distinction between ‘general’ and ‘partial’ theories is based on the scope, in terms of subject matter, of the theories themselves. Those theories which purport to provide more or less comprehensive explanations of inter-state behaviour are frequently referred to as ‘general’ theories, whereas those theories which aim more modestly at illuminating fragments of international life are described as ‘partial’ theories.

Keywords

Foreign Policy International Relation State Behaviour Analogical Reasoning World Politics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    I. Berlin, The Hedgehog and The Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1957) pp. 1–2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Q. Wright, ‘Development of a General Theory of International Relations’ in H. V. Harrison (ed.), The Role of Theory in International Relations (Princeton, New Jersey: D. van Nostrand, 1964) p. 20.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Q. Wright, The Study of International Relations (New York: Appleton, 1955).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Q. Wright in H. V. Harrison (ed.), op. cit., p. 17.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. D. Singer, ‘The Level of Analysis Problem’, World Politics, vol. XIV (October 1961) p. 92.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    K. Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies (Princeton University Press, 1950) pp. 444–53. See also his The Poverty of Historicism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957) p. 151.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Raymond Aron, Charles McClelland and David Easton have all either used the term ‘conceptualization’ or ‘conceptual framework’ to convey this idea of an over-arching framework for analysis: R. Aron, ‘Theory and Theories in International Relations: A Conceptual Analysis’, in N. D. Palmer (ed.), A Design for International Research: Scope, Theory, Methods and Relevance (Philadelphia: The American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1970) pp. 55–9; C. McClelland, ‘Conceptualization, Not Theory’, in N. D. Palmer, op. cit., pp. 72–5;Google Scholar
  8. D. Easton, The Political System: An Inquiry Into the State of Political Science (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1953) p. 57.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    H. J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956) p. 7.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    Ibid., loc. cit.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    Ibid., particularly ch. 1.Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    M. Oakeshott, Political Education. An Inaugural Lecture delivered at the London School of Economics and Political Science, 6 March 1951, reproduced in M. Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics (London: Methuen, 1962) p. 127.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    D. S. Zagoria, ‘Ideology and Chinese Foreign Policy’ in G. Schwab (ed.), Ideology and Foreign Policy: A Global Perspective (New York and London: CYRCO Press, 1978) p. 103.Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    J. Herz, ‘Power Politics or Ideology? The Nazi Experience’, in Schwab, ibid., p. 14.Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    L. T. Sargent, Contemporary Political Ideologies: A Comparative Analysis (London; Georgetown: The Dorsey Press, 1975) p. 3.Google Scholar
  16. 15.
    For a brief description of National Socialism see G. H. Sabine, A History of Political Theory, 3rd edn (London: George Harrop, 1951) pp. 709–54.Google Scholar
  17. For an interesting discussion of National Socialist ideology and its implications for German foreign policy see H. Rauschning, Germany’s Revolution of Destruction (London: Heinemann, 1939) pp. 195–240.Google Scholar
  18. 16.
    The basic tenets of Marxist thought are well known. Particularly good descriptions can be found in R. N. Carew Hunt, The Theory and Practice of Communism (New York: Macmillan, 1951).Google Scholar
  19. 17.
    I. L. Claude, Jr, ‘The Management of Power in the Changing United Nations’, International Organization, vol. 15 (Spring 1961) p. 220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 18.
    C. McClelland, ‘Conceptualization, Not Theory’ in N. D. Palmer (ed.), A Design for International Relations Research: Scope, Theory, Methods and Relevance (Philadelphia: American Academy of Political and Social Science, Monograph no. 10, 1970) p. 75.Google Scholar
  21. 19.
    H. J. Morgenthau, ‘The Intellectual and Political Functions of a Theory of International Relations’, in H. V. Harrison (ed.), op. cit., p. 108.Google Scholar
  22. 20.
    M. Banks, ‘Two Meanings of Theory in the Study of International Relations’, Yearbook of World Affairs 1966 (London: Stevens and Sons, 1966) p. 277.Google Scholar
  23. 21.
    The phrase was coined by W. R. Phillips in ‘Where Have all the Theories Gone?’, World Politics, vol. XXVI, no. 2 (January 1964) pp. 186–7.Google Scholar
  24. 22.
    See for example, D. Mitrany, The Functional Theory of Politics (London: Martin Robertson, 1975);Google Scholar
  25. E. B. Haas, Beyond the Nation State (Stanford University Press, 1964);Google Scholar
  26. K. W. Deutsch et al., Political Community and the North Atlantic Area (Princeton University Press, 1957);Google Scholar
  27. A. Etzioni, Political Unification (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1965).Google Scholar
  28. 23.
    Some of Martin Wight’s essays in international theory have been published in his Systems of States, edited by H. Bull (Leicester University Press, 1977).Google Scholar
  29. 24.
    B. Porter, ‘Patterns of Thought and Practice: Martin Wight’s “International Theory”’, in M. Donelan (ed.), The Reason of States (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978) pp. 64–74.Google Scholar
  30. 25.
    Q. Wright in H. V. Harrison (ed.), op. cit., pp. 31–41.Google Scholar
  31. 26.
    Ibid., p. 37.Google Scholar
  32. 27.
    Ibid., p. 30.Google Scholar
  33. 28.
    D. Vital, ‘Back to Machiavelli’, in K. Knorr and J. N. Roseneau (eds), Contending Approaches to International Politics (Princeton University Press, 1969) p. 153.Google Scholar
  34. 29.
    R. C. Snyder, H. W. Bruck and B. Sapin, ‘Decision-making as an Approach to the Study of International Politics’, in R. C. Snyder, H. W. Bruck, B. Sapin (eds), Foreign Policy Decision-Making (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962) p. 173.Google Scholar
  35. 30.
    See G. T. Allison, ‘Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis’, American Political Science Review, vol. LXII, no. 3 (September 1969).Google Scholar
  36. Also G. T. Allison and M. M. Halperin, ‘Bureaucratic Politics: A Paradigm and Some Policy Implications’, in R. Tanter and R. H. Ullman (eds), Theory and Policy in International Relations (Princeton University Press, 1972) pp. 40–79.Google Scholar
  37. 31.
    K. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Philippines: Addison-Wesley, 1979) pp. 60–78.Google Scholar
  38. 32.
    An excellent discussion of this problem is to be found in J. D. Singer, ‘The Level of Analysis Problem in International Relations’, in K. Knorr and S. Verba (eds), The International System (Princeton University Press, 1961) pp. 77–92.Google Scholar
  39. 33.
    A. Wolfers, ‘The Actors in International Politics’, in W. T. R. Fox (ed.), Theoretical Aspects of International Relations (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1959) p. 101.Google Scholar
  40. 34.
    Ibid., p. 94.Google Scholar
  41. 35.
    O. R. Young, ‘The Perils of Odysseus’ in R. Tanter and R. H. Ullman (eds), op. cit., p. 188.Google Scholar
  42. 36.
    O. R. Young, Systems of Political Science (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968) p. 105.Google Scholar
  43. 37.
    Quoted by M. Landau, Political Theory and Political Science (New York: Macmillan, 1972) p. 78.Google Scholar
  44. 38.
    J. Bronowski, The Common Sense of Science (Harvard University Press, 1953) pp. 21–2.Google Scholar
  45. 39.
    J. Bronowski, Science and Human Values (New York: Harper & Row, 1959) pp. 23–4.Google Scholar
  46. 40.
    E. Leach, ‘A Runaway World?’, The Reith Lectures, 1967 (London: BBC, 1968) p. 26.Google Scholar
  47. 41.
    K. W. Deutsch, The Nerves of Government (New York: The Free Press, 1963) p. 78.Google Scholar
  48. 42.
    Quoted by M. Landau in Political Theory and Political Science, p. 93. Landau’s essay ‘On the Use of Metaphor in Political Analysis’ in Deutsch, op. cit., pp. 22–50, contains an excellent discussion on the influence of metaphorical thinking in politics.Google Scholar
  49. 43.
    See K. Popper, ‘Of Clouds and Clocks: An Approach to the Problem of Rationality and the Freedom of Man’, in Objective Knowledge: An Euolutionary Approach (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972) pp. 206–55.Google Scholar
  50. 44.
    For a useful discussion of the scientific approach to the study of politics see G. A. Almond and S. J. Genco, ‘Clouds, Clocks and the Study of Politics’, World Politics, vol. XXIX, no. 4 (July 1977).Google Scholar
  51. 45.
    K. W. Deutsch, op. cit., p. ix.Google Scholar
  52. 46.
    M. Brodbeck, ‘Models, Meaning, and Theories’, in L. Gross (ed.), Symposium on Sociological Theory (New York and London: Harper & Row, 1959) p. 374.Google Scholar
  53. 47.
    W. H. Riker, The Theory of Political Coalitions (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1962) p. 7.Google Scholar
  54. 48.
    For a useful discussion of the relationship between ‘hypotheses’ and ‘laws’ see A. C. Isaak, Scope and Methods of Political Science. An Introduction to the Methodology of Political Enquiry (Homewood, Illinois: The Dorsey Press, 1969) pp. 80–1 and 91–4.Google Scholar
  55. 49.
    F. N. Kerlinger, ‘Problem Formulation and Hypothesis Generation’, in L. D. Hayes and R. D. Hedland (eds), The Conduct of Political Enquiry: Behavioral Political Analyses (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1970) p. 71.Google Scholar
  56. 50.
    G. A. Almond and S. J. Genco, ‘Clouds, Clocks and the Study of Politics’, p. 494.Google Scholar
  57. 51.
    L. Cronbach, ‘Beyond the Two Disciplines of Scientific Psychology’, American Psychologist, vol. xxx (February 1975) pp. 122–3. Quoted by G. A. Almond and S. J. Genco, op. cit., p. 513.Google Scholar
  58. 52.
    I. L. Claude, Jr, Power and International Relations (New York: Random House, 1962) p. 90.Google Scholar
  59. 53.
    Ibid., p. 91.Google Scholar
  60. 54.
    C. G. Hempel, ‘The Function of General Laws of History’, in C. G. Hempel, Aspects of Scientific Explanation (New York: The Free Press; London: Collier-Macmillan, 1965) pp. 232–3.Google Scholar
  61. 55.
    K. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies. Vol. II: The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx and the Aftermath (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962) pp. 264–5.Google Scholar
  62. 56.
    A. J. P. Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1961) p. 246.Google Scholar
  63. 57.
    V. Van Dyke, Political Science: A Philosophical Analysis (London: Stevens and Sons, 1960) p. 41.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John C. Garnett 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Garnett
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WalesUK

Personalised recommendations