Bronte Yardley, Tarleton State University

Theorizing About Theories: A Germany/EU Case Study

Abstract: What are the characteristics of a good international relations theory? What makes one competing theory better than another? This paper will take a theoretical approach to analyzing competing international relations theories, Realism and Liberalism, in regards to the general definition of what makes a “good theory” a good theory. The research will explore how the characteristics of a good theory affect the extent each of the competing theories works to answer the simple question: Which theory is better? Germany’s status within the European Union has been described by many as a reluctant hegemony. Under the Realism school of thought, Germany’s position is an indication of Hegemonic Stability Theory; in regards to Liberalism, it fits better within Neoliberalism Industrialization. This paper will attempt to answer which school of thought fits better and why through a select comparison of the characteristics of international relations theory outlined by Mingst and Arreguin-Toft.

Keywords:  IR Theory, Realism, Liberalism, Germany, European Union

Presentation Author(s):
Bronte Yardley*

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