Milja Kurki (Aberystwyth University)
‘The normative and political dimensions of causal analysis’
Often the idea of causal analysis is separated from the analysis of normative issues and questions of moral and political responsibility, in IR and also in many circles in philosophy of social sciences. This tendency is generated by an unthinking acceptance and reproduction of a positivist fact-value distinction. When causal analysis is framed in non-positivist terms we can see not only that there is nothing a-normative or a-political about the analysis of causation, but also that complex issues arise concerning the exact relationship between the frameworks of causal analysis we use and our normative and political commitments. I will argue here that engaging in causal analysis is a deeply moral, normatively-loaded, and political matter, and moreover, that important issues are at stake in the kind of meta-theoretical frameworks we apply to causal analysis. Far from dismissing causal analysis as de-politicising, as has been the tendency in the interpretivist end of IR, we should recognise that it is around debates about causality, and frameworks of causal analysis, that much of the interesting moral and political debate in international relations takes place.
CERI, 5-7 pm (salle de conférences rez-de-chaussée)