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Interpreting International Politics (Routledge, 2014) is a short and lively account of how international relations was founded and developed as an interpretivist discipline, and why it matters that it was. Its author, Cecelia Lynch, joins this episode of New Books in Interpretive Political and Social Science to discuss the interplay between interpretivist philosophies and realist, critical and feminist traditions in studies of international politics; the epistemological stakes for IR scholars embarking on new projects; and, the book’s location at a nexus between substantive questions, conceptual articulations, and ethical reflections about the role of the researcher in the study of international politics. Rather than a guide for how to interpret international politics and relations, this is a book that encourages researchers who feel a kinship or have an aesthetic inclination towards interpretive methods to identify and work with the rich materials that their discipline offers for robust and trustworthy interpretive social science.
This episode is the fourth featuring books in the Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods. The others are Interviewing in Social Science Research (Fujii), Elucidating Social Science Concepts (Schaffer), and Interpretive Research Design (Schwartz-Shea and Yanow).
Listeners to this episode might be interested to check out the Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa blog, which Cecelia Lynch co-edits.
To download or stream episodes in this series, please subscribe to our host channel: New Books in Political Science.
Nick Cheesman is a fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University, and a committee member of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group and convenor of the Interpretation, Method, Critique network. He co-hosts the New Books in Southeast Asian Studies channel.
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