Friday, October 29, 2010

Lecture - International Relations Theory in Debate - Samo Novak - 3rd Better World Conference 2010

Lecture - International Relations Theory in Debate - Samo Novak - 3rd Better World Conference 2010 from Alfred Snider on Vimeo.

Assessing the role and use of international relations theory in competitive debate, Samo Novak, University of Leiden, Netherlands

Theories of international relations (IR) represent an integral part of the academic study of world politics. They can be characterized as distinct, often mutually exclusive conceptual frameworks that allow researchers to systematically analyze events in the realm of international relations and give them a methodological tool for conducting relevant research. Different theories are used to help understand and explain events in fields of international relations, ranging from war, economy and international law, to the role of non-state actors such as NGOs and individuals in IR. The rationale for using international relations theory (IRT) as a preparation tool for debate lies in the fact that most international debate tournaments today include a variety of IR topics that are sometimes difficult to handle successfully even by political science students. This paper is an attempt to show that many if not all theories of IR have a direct role in the preparations for debate tournaments and an applicative value in the construction of individual debate cases. The first chapter addresses the value of IRT in social science in general and puts forward a short overview of the most commonly used theories in the field. The second chapter establishes a clear link between the purpose of IRT and competitive debate. It discusses its role in conducting research for debates, picking out the most appropriate pieces of evidence, and constructing cohesive arguments and consistent team lines. The final chapter illustrates the applicative value of IRT in competitive debate. Four major theories of international relations (Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism, and Marxism) are used to construct cases on four different topics from major international debate tournaments.

3rd International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment, October 2010, Maribor, Slovenia.

Further details can be found at the conference websites:
Basic information at​debateblog/​better/​Welcome.html
News blog at

The conference was organized by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor in Slovenia , ZIP, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga/Pro et contra, institute for culture of dialogue , and the World Debate Institute of the University of Vermont​debateblog/​wdi/​Welcome.html .

The organizers are grateful for the support of our sponsor QatarDebate .

Thanks to organizers Boris Vezjak, Alfred Snider and Bojana Skrt. Special thanks to Peter Mesarec, Monica Sobocan and Aljoša Polšak. 
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