Waltz’s Modesty: Structures Never Tell Us All that We Want to Know – They Tell Us “A Small Number of Big and Important Things”

March 23, 2016

Abstract This essay classifies Waltz’s theory into a functionalist framework, very much like the economic theories it is inspired by. Waltz assumes that structure has primacy not because this is the case, but because it helps to theorize upon. His theory should therefore be measured by its predictive fruitfulness and simplicity, not by the empiric truth of its assumptions. Constructivist criticism, which mistakes Waltz’s concept of primacy as ontological primacy…

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