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International Relations in France by Henrik Breitenbauch

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2Theory

Legitimate forms of expression

Understanding the practice of social science necessarily entails looking at forms rather than content. This proposition may seem counterintuitive. Normally, when we account for disciplinary developments it is the content that matters. This is because meta-studies often have not liberated themselves from their field of origin – what they study. When an analysis is part of an intra-disciplinary discussion it risks leading to normative evaluations related to perceptions about correct, current scientific practice. This is the Whig history trap of meta-studies. Focusing on form, rather than the content which the discipline itself aims to produce and focuses on, gives us a promising way to go beyond the Whig trap. ...

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