Book chapter

The Logics of Systemic Theory (2017)

in: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics


The history of systemic theory in international relations is a tragedy of bad timing: Interest in systemic theory and awareness of its importance preceded widespread understanding of the methodologies needed to formulate and test it. In the intervening decades, dyadic studies dominated empirical studies of international relations to such an extent that the influences of the international system on actors' behavior and vice versa were all but forgotten. This need not be the case. Through the lenses of four methodologies, systemic theory can be surveyed to capture their logics in order to highlight the value and feasibility of systemic theorizing.