Prof. Dr. Friedrich Kratochwil

Professor em. für Internationale Beziehungen

Juni bis Juli 2015

Praxis: on Acting and Knowing

In Zusammenarbeit mit Prof. Dr. Jens Steffek

Die Fellowship findet statt in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.
Friedrich Kratochwil gehört zu den bekanntesten Theoretikern der internationalen Beziehungen (IB) und gilt dort als einer der Begründer des sozialkonstruktivistischen Forschungsansatzes. Seine zahlreichen Publikationen bewegen sich im Grenzbereich zwischen IB, politischer Theorie und Rechtswissenschaften. Er war nach einer Promotion in Princeton unter anderem an der Universität Maryland, der Columbia University, der Pennsylvania State University, der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München und am Europäischen Hochschulinstitut in Florenz tätig. Nach seiner Emeritierung war Kratochwil Gastprofessor an der Central European University, sowie an Universitäten in Südkorea und Brasilien.
“In this project I attempt to answer some of the questions which were raised in two previous books: Rules, Norms and Decisions (CUP 1989) and The Status of  Law in World Society (CUP 2014), and in the subsequent discussions they have engendered. Both works used ‘law’ as a prism for understanding social and political action since the prevalent approaches in the field, as varied as they might be in regard to the research agenda or the methods, all seemed to share the epistemological conviction that a ‘theory of action’ has to satisfy the criteria of ‘theory’. It was however my suspicion that such a view - particularly well-articulated in positivist approaches to social analysis - was not only distorting but that it left important features of praxis unexplored. The new project, entitled Praxis: On Acting and Knowing, takes off from the earlier two books by arguing that a serious engagement with ‘praxis’ has to deconstruct the underlying metaphysical assumptions that privilege ‘theory’ and do justice to the peculiarities of action. Action is taking place in real (irreversible) time and is characterized by contingency instead of necessity and universality, as the ‘theoretical’ take presupposes. To that extent my analysis harks back to Aristotle but is actually more occasioned by the wonder why the idea of the ‘primacy’ of theory for generating useful knowledge and understanding the social world persisted even after the old ontology of the
‘chain of being’ was dislodged from its privileged position by the skeptics’ attack on the Cartesian quest for certainty. Thus, although the old ontological speculation was replaced by an epistemology that privileged the subject (rather than the object or the ideas), reason was again conceptualized as universal and a-historical (non-contingent), leaving the old privilege of a ‘timeless’ theory in place. In this project, I use Hume as my pivot to look back on the classical attempts of prudential reasoning and try to understand from his vantage point the conventional and historical character of social orders.” (Friedrich Kratochwil)

Veröffentlichungen (Auswahl):
The Status of Law in World Society: Meditations On The Role And Rule Of Law, Cambridge University Press, New York 2014.

The Puzzles of Politics: Inquiries Into the Genesis and Transformation of International Relation Religions, Taylor & Francis, New York 2010.
Rules, Norms, and Decisions: On the Conditions of Practical and Legal Reasoning in International Relations and Domestic Affairs, Cambridge University Press, New York 1991.

12. Juni 2015
Doktorandenworkshop am Exzellenzcluster „Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen"

3. Juli 2015

Vortrag an der Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main

After theory, before empiricism – or, how to think about praxis


Newsletter aus dem Forschungszentrum „Normative Ordnungen“

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