Introducing International Practice Theory

  • Christian Bueger
  • Frank Gadinger


International relations scholars are increasingly interested in practice. Following a wider turn to practices in the social sciences, a broad movement of scholars is now engaged in practice-based study. In this introduction, we discuss what intrigues us about practice. International practice theory offers a genuine and novel perspective on politics and international relations, and promises to provide observers with a new lens through which to analyse the world. We show that four issue areas – the study of diplomacy, the production of insecurity, transnational governance, and state building and intervention – have been particularly important in developing the empirical research agenda of international practice theory. We also provide a brief overview of the seven core approaches discussed in the book. These approaches, ranging from Bourdieu’s praxeology to Boltanski’s pragmatic sociology, are the conceptual cornerstones of international practice theory. Finally, we introduce the notion of praxiography as the corresponding methodology for the study of international practices.


Practice turn Practice theory International relations theory Culture 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Bueger
    • 1
  • Frank Gadinger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Politics and International RelationsCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Centre for Global Cooperation ResearchUniversity of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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