Foundationalism and Anti-Foundationalism in International Relations Theory: A Possible Synthesis?

Main Article Content

Scott Nicholas Romaniuk


Much has been written about the field of International Relations (IR) in both substantive and methodological terms. One of the most contentious aspects of the IR as a scholarly discipline revolves around one deceptively simplistic query: what is IR about? A number of so-called “Great Debates” have played out in the field yet few have assumed as prominent a position as the foundationalism (F)/anti-foundationalism (AF) debate. A considerable point of friction can be identified between competing theories responding to interpretations of the nature of IR. Some assert that common ground enabling academics to critique rival “truth claims” does exist. That same ground facilitates, however, an understanding that there can be none beyond a theory acting as a neutral arbiter between them. This article depicts this what Smith (1995) referred to as a “most exciting debate.” It presents a possible solution provided by Monteiro
and Ruby (2009), showing the problematique arising from their solution of postfoundationalism.

Article Details

Author Biography

Scott Nicholas Romaniuk, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Scott Nicholas Romaniuk holds a BA in History, and German Language and Literature from the University of Alberta, and an MRes in Political Research from the University of Aberdeen. His research interests include International Relations Theory, Military and Strategic Studies, and International Security and Politics.