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"Recovering International Relations: The Promise of Sustainable Critique" by Daniel J. Levine


Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 27.4 (Winter 2013)

January 10, 2014

image of book cover - Recovering International Relations: The Promise of Sustainable Critique

Recovering International Relations: The Promise of Sustainable Critique, Daniel J. Levine (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 394 pp., $99 cloth, $34.99 paper.

Review by Richard Shapcott

One of the virtues of International Relations (IR) as a discipline is that it periodically engages in bouts of reflection upon its methods and directions. Daniel Levine's book is a contribution to this self-reflective practice. Like P. T. Jackson's recent work, The Conduct of Enquiry, Levine's Recovering International Relations seeks to acknowledge the diversity and strengths of various approaches to the study of IR and to simultaneously build something constructive out of this pluralism— in other words, to be both critical of the status quo and yet not reject it altogether. Levine’s goal is to "recover" IR's original vocation, or calling, and to reinvigorate it via the idea of “sustainable critique”—a project inspired by the work of Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School.

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