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Description - Agency, Structure and International Politics by Gil Friedman

Debates surrounding agency and structure, and how these two concepts interrelate - debates which have long been of seminal importance to the social sciences as a whole - are of increasing and defining importance to international relations and politics as a field of enquiry and knowledge. Agency and structure - actors, social entities and the environments within which they exist - are defining components of society and of the explanation of social phenomena. The agent-structure problem refers to questions concerning the interrelationship of agency and structure, and to the ways in which explanations of social phenomena integrate and account for them. This work examines the ontology of agency and structure in the international system and derives from those ontological considerations a theoretical framework for the empirical analysis of international relations. Building on Most and Starr's view of opportunity (structural restraints and possibilities) and willingness (agency choice) as both necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for social action, Friedman and Starr argue that the causal interrelationships of agency and structure require these concepts to be defined autonomously, and to encompass explicitly delimited parameters of variability. From these, and from other meta-theoretical considerations, the authors derive and propose a methodologically individualist model of the relationship between, on the one hand, multi-dimensional and dynamic socio-political contexts and, on the other, particular international political elite choice processes. This is the first book to explore this subject in such depth; it is an important contribution to the study of international relations and politics.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415152594
ISBN-10: 0415152593
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 180
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 20-Nov-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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