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date: 16 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article calls for the accommodation of eclectic modes of scholarship in international relations that trespass deliberately and liberally across competing research traditions with the intention of defining and exploring substantive problems in original, creative ways. The article first outlines a pragmatist view of social knowledge in which intellectual progress is understood as expanding the possibilities for dialogue and creative experimentation. It elaborates on the definition of analytic eclecticism, identifying its distinctive characteristics and payoffs vis-à-vis those of preexisting research traditions. It then considers a small sample of scholarship in international relations that illustrates the meaning and value of analytical eclecticism with specific reference to issues of international security and political economy. It concludes that alongside, and in dialogue with scholarship produced in specific research traditions, analytic eclecticism is a necessary and valuable asset in enabling the discipline of international relations to evolve beyond recurrent metatheoretical debates and to hold forth some promise for having meaningful practical significance beyond the academe.

Keywords: international relations, research traditions, analytical eclecticism, eclectic scholarship, social knowledge

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