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    IR and the Dialectic of Meaning

    21st Annual BCS-IRSG Colloquium on IR

    Glasgow. 19th - 20th April 1999


    C. Thornley & R. Leon


    The aim of this paper is to provide some elucidation of the tensions inherent in the problem of meaning and use this to inform both theoretical and pragmatic issues in IR.

    The difficulties of theory in IR are discussed and a new model of meaning as a dialectic is introduced. This model consists of two dialectics: objective versus subjective and individual versus shared.

    It is shown that this model assists IR in revealing some of the difficulties in its theoretical assumptions and thus provides a clearer focus for improvements in practice.


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