Review of International Studies

Critical Realism

Critical Realism: some responses

COLIN WIGHT

I would like to thank the editors for giving me the opportunity to respond to some of the criticisms raised in the forum on Critical Realism, or what is sometimes known as scientific realism (CR/SR). In this short response I shall attempt to correct some of the misunderstandings of Critical Realism in the forum, but also highlight a fundamental philosophical disagreement that has important political consequences.

Colin Wight is Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His research interests originate in the desire to explore and understand the fragmented nature of International Relations Theory and to embed this understanding in wider intellectual and public debates.