The main challenge for critical theory then is to connect theory to practice, to be able to set up a theoretical lens that results in a real-world transformative outcome. By admitting that immediate security needs press humans to set up bounded communities and to act according to national loyalties, Linklater recognises the limits to cosmopolitan politics. The International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs seeks to document, connect, and support the various programs and projects that now represent critical theory across the globe. The idea originates from the work of authors such as Immanuel Kant and Karl Marx who, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, advanced different revolutionary ideas of how the world could be reordered and transformed. A second move is to promote civic initiatives capable of consolidating fairer and more balanced relations (solutions to the ‘crisis’) between those who seek refuge from harm and those who are in a position to guarantee protection from harm. Critical International Theory: A Comparative Advantage Framework, Reflections on Critical Theory and Process Sociology, Border Thinking and the Experiential Epistemologies of International Relations. Along the Cox/Linklater axis, current migration must be seen as forced upon individuals and the by-product of the current world order. It emerges first out of a long tradition of critical theory, especially that of the Frankfurt School. For Linklater, the historical development of citizenship attests to both the potential and the limitations of such a process of open discussion about rights – who is entitled to what in the context of the state system. Download your free copy here. This entails looking in particular to how the dynamics of global capitalism are producing failed states throughout Africa and the Middle East, not just as an unintended misfortune but as part of how power itself works. After talking for hours about the war and his expectations for the future, it was clear to me that ferry on the Aegean Sea was a metaphor of a global community plagued with obstacles to human freedom but holding the resources for its fulfilment. Someone wanting to pursue a critical line of inquiry about the refugee ‘crisis’ might want to start with Haman and his journey from Syria to Europe as a mirror image of the current plight of so many people in the Global South. Many of these now contain a range of essays on the intervention of particular critical theory perspectives, such as Marxism, Frankfurt school critical theory, post-structuralism, and feminism. It is Friday and he knows he must reach the Hungarian border before Tuesday or risk being trapped by the fence erected hastily in the previous days to block migrants on the Serbian side. The reward for someone following a critical line of inquiry is therefore to understand to the full that theory is always implicated in practice and that the way we conceive the refugee ‘crisis’ shapes the kind of solution we envisage for it. From a critical perspective, then, there is only a true solution to this ‘crisis’ when political actors embrace cosmopolitan criteria that balance the whole range of interests and respect the rights of everyone involved. A basic move is to distinguish which ones are and which are not compatible with cosmopolitan duties already enshrined in international law and upheld by many people and organisations in different societies. Through critical philosophy, Kant discussed the conditions in which we make claims about the world and asserted that the increasing interconnectedness of his time opened the door for more cosmopolitan (i.e. Therefore, power is understood in the context of a set of globalised relations of production demanding the transformation of the nation-state, and depends on the combination of material elements and ideas for acquiring legitimacy (Cox and Jacobsen 1977). When we speak of “process,” we are thinking about something which evolves over time. Although critical theory reworks and, in some ways, supersedes Kantian and Marxian themes, both authors remain at the base of the theory’s lineage. Full references for citations can be found in the PDF version, linked at the top of this page. Instead, he asserts that ‘theory is always for someone and for some purpose’ (Cox 1981, 128). For critical theory today, politics, knowledge and global orders are for people like Haman and should serve the purpose of freeing them from unnecessary harm and unfair or unbalanced globalised interactions. In the context of the current refugee ‘crisis’, critique is directed to the different norms and practices approved by states vis-à-vis incoming refugees. It is based on the idea that power is not equally distributed. University of Sofia, Sydney Workgroup on the Philosophy of Recognition, Biopolitical Studies Research Network University of Hong Kong, Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory Clearly, there is an existing framework within European politics to work with to reach a more just solution to the migration ‘crisis’ than the one advanced by those nations who closed their borders. Therefore, a critical perspective inquires deeper into how global economic forces, and related hierarchies of power, become complicit in creating the chaos and insecurity forcing people to leave their homes in different parts of the world. Moreover, critical theory examines the moral consequences (what must be done) of Haman’s journey and what kind of responsibility others might bear for Haman’s plight. In the modern era, both authors became foundational figures for theorists seeking to replace the modern state system by promoting more just global political arrangements such as a federation of free states living in perpetual peace (Kant) or communism as a global social and economic system to replace the unequal capitalist order (Marx). After all, Europe is a pertinent case here as it is the home of the European Union – a project that united the bulk of European states in a supranational, and relatively open-bordered, union in which all citizens are legally free to work and live wherever they please within the Union. The point is not simply to understand how the world is constituted by moral tensions opposing nationals to strangers, but to contribute to more equitable political solutions to the current refugee ‘crisis’ by taking to the negotiating table the most vulnerable and their legitimate security concerns.