The Critical Theory of Robert W. Cox: Fugitive or Guru? by A. Leysens

By A. Leysens

This publication, a few two decades after the e-book of Robert W. Cox's seminal creation, Power and global Order: Social Forces within the Making of background, bargains the reader an analytical and accomplished evaluate of his paintings and illustrates the ongoing relevance thereof for modern learn.

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Sample text

This means that they are primarily concerned with the particular interest of the group they represent. They will be supportive of a particular kind of hegemony, if their interests are accommodated. Those involved in transgovernmental relations are more directly concerned with the existing power relations that relate to hegemony. Third, those who may be able to take the initiative as ‘empathetic neutrals’. During a period, which is potentially conducive to hegemonic change, their role would be to act as mediators between hegemonic and counter-hegemonic forces, so as to arrive at a historical comprise.

This is an important point, and is related to Murphy’s (2007) conclusion that critical theory in IR/IPE has not managed to produce research that empirically incorporates and focuses on ‘mass constituencies’ (Cox’s, 1999a marginalised and precarious groups). Cox and Jacobson argue that an awareness of how global issues affect the welfare of the poor in developing states can only come about through the raising of consciousness and mobilisation. They conclude (optimistically), that broad-based participation in international organisations, though far off, should not be discounted (Cox and Jacobson, 1977: 367–70).

Cox, 1999b: 390). He began reading Gramsci, and returned to Giambattista Vico and Marx. The shift became apparent in his published work and was to culminate (during the next decade and a half) in the three publications (1981, 1983, 1987) that are representative of his core theoretical framework. The article ‘On Thinking about Future World Order’ (1976) published in World Politics, serves as a first example of this shift. In fact, it reflects many of the ideas that would be further developed in the first Millennium (1981) article.

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