Reflexive action in international politics

Jeffrey Berejikian, John S. Dryzek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Realist and liberal theories of international politics both assume that the essential parameters of international politics are fixed, though they differ as to the character of these parameters. We deploy decision psychology and discourse analysis to show how the seemingly limited choices of actors can and do affect these parameters. Thus realism and liberalism are poor guides to action, for they rest on empirical misconception and faulty logic. Intelligent international action is reflexive in that it attends to the world that actions help constitute, as well as take effect within. We show how actors can and do engage in reflexive action, and how they might do so more consciously and effectively. There are substantial implications for how states and other actors ought to behave in the post-Cold War world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-216
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


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