Ir theory as an ‘areligious’ research field: The sources of and critical prospects to overcome the intellectual failure
Sula, İ. Erkam
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This study is built on an observation that ‘religion’ along with many other factors has a significant impact on international relations. However, religious factors are not incorporated in International Relations (IR) theoretical analysis. Hence, it is deemed necessary to ask: ‘When did IR scholars lose the track of religion in their theories and how to bring religion back in?’ An answer is provided through an analysis of the literature to find out the sources of such neglect and possible ways to overcome it. The study does so in two parts. First, it is argued that the adoption of natural sciences’ methodology in IR- the so-called ‘Behavioralist revolution’- has been quite influential in the lack of interest on religion. Secularism has been an unquestioned part of Behavioralism - the ‘positive science’ update package adopted by scholars of IR theory. The end of the Cold War brought ideational variables back in to the study of IR theory. This process is directed mainly by the emergent ‘Critical’, ‘Constructivist’ or ‘postpositivist’ turn in IR. Therefore, the second part focuses on the critical approaches to IR theory in the post-Cold War era with a specific focus on Critical Theory (CT) in order to develop a possible way to incorporate religion in IR theoretical analysis.