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Title: Rethinking conflict studies: towards a critical realist approach
Authors: van Ingen, Michiel
Keywords: Conflict studies
Civil war
Critical realism
Philosophy of science
Social theory
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Michiel van Ingen
Abstract: The study of intra-state conflict has increased exponentially during the post-Cold War period. This has given rise to a variety of competing approaches, which have (i) adopted differing methodological and social theoretical orientations, and (ii) produced contradictory accounts of the causes and nature of violent conflict. This project intervenes in the debates which have resulted from this situation, and develops a critical realist approach to conflict studies. In doing so it rethinks the discipline from the philosophical ground up, by extending the ontological and epistemological insights which are provided by critical realism into more concrete reflections about methodological and social theoretical issues. In addition to engaging in reflection about philosophical, methodological, and social theoretical issues, however, the project also incorporates the insights of two largely neglected literatures into conflict studies. These are, first, the insights of the gender-studies literature, and second, the insights of decolonial/postcolonial forms of thought. It claims that the discipline is strengthened by incorporating the insights of these literatures, and that the critical realist framework provides us with the philosophical basis which is required in order to do so.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Sponsor: Department of Politics, History, and International Relations (Loughbrough University)
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/16202
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (PHIR)

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