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Dr Adam Humphreys awarded British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr Adam Humphreys has been awardeda3-year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, beginning in September 2007. This highly competitive fellowship will provide an opportunity for Dr Humphreys to work on his project entitled `Confronting the Limits of Explanatory Theory in International Relations`.
The project will examine how theoretical ideas are drawn upon and applied in mainstream International Relations, exploring how scholars` practices deviate from the models used to describe them.Despite the challenges to positivist epistemology, mainstream scholarship in International Relations continues to employ a model of explanation in which theories identify causal, deductive links between independent and dependent variables. Yet no theory of international relations is deductively adequate: many avowedly explanatory theories can only be applied heuristically. Consequently, the manner in which scholars draw upon and apply theoretical ideas in International Relations is not captured by classical models of explanation. An account of how theoretical ideas are in fact drawn upon and applied will support empirical researchers in their use of theoretical ideas and will help to direct International Relations theory toward a closer focus on how theoretical ideas are used in practice.