The art of the Possible

The scenario method and the ‘Third Debate’ in international relations theory
A masterthesis in international relations, University of Amsterdam, november 1998
by drs. Renate Kenter

“In this story I have discussed recent developments in international relations theory’s ‘Third Debate’ and the methodological consequences hereof. In this light I have discussed and slightly explored the use of the scenario method as a possible postpositivist and mainly postmodern method in the study of international relations, followed by some critical notes on the method itself.

To me, to practice science means to practice ‘the art of the possible’ and to maintain ‘the limit attitude’, while taking responsibility for and reflect on the continuous (re)creation of our powerful and not innocent myth. Scenarios are about ‘possible meaning’. They are an exercise in practising the ‘limit-attitude’ and the ‘art of the possible’ in their effort to subvert expectations and to open minds to different perspectives. I believe the scenario method qualifies as a post-positivist method and can be a useful tool for knowledge production regarding international relations.”

Read this thesis below.

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