Caiban Butcher

International Relations (2018)

caiban butcher

I am an MPhil student in International Relations at the University of Oxford, with research interests in International Relations meta-theory. More specifically, my research project will focus on positivist understandings of IR theory as an explanatory project sharply differentiated from normative preoccupations: i.e. of ‘Is’ and not ‘Ought’. I aim to explore the logic of such a perspective through the conceptual lens of ‘Analytical Singularism’ – the prospect of ‘One World, One Model’ within IR theory – and the epistemological and methodological prerequisites that would render such an idea plausible. I endeavour to explore the conceptual history of Singularistic notions within the discipline, from the hegemonic heydays of realism to the present pluralistic terrain; thereby drawing on a diverse range of historical and theoretical perspectives. Through my research, I aim to stress the practical utility of IR theory and to focus more broadly on the role of theoretical frameworks within social science, especially the challenges of explanation in complex systems.          

Prior to my studies at Oxford, I read Human, Social and Political Sciences as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, from 2015-18. Whilst at Cambridge, I was awarded a Boorman Scholarship and an Intermediate Exhibition prize for attainment in Parts I and IIA of Tripos.