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Critical Realism and the Strategic-Relational Approach.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2005
JournalNew Formations: A Journal of Culture, Theory, Politics
Journal number56
Number of pages14
Pages40-53
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article develops a distinctive critical realist analysis of structure and agency . It first describes Roy Bhaskar�s account of critical realism; then discusses critical realism in general; next introduces Anthony Giddens�s structuration theory and two particular applications of critical realism to structure and agency � those of Bhaskar and Margaret Archer; and, finally, presents a third such application based on the strategic-relational approach. The latter goes beyond conventional analyses of the duality, dualism, or dialectic of structure and agency by studying the recursive conditioning, mutual coupling, and complex co-evolution of structure and agency and, above all, by stressing the differential, spatio-temporal relationality of structure and agency. Its advantages over other approaches should emerge as we proceed.