When a theory is in its infancy it is sometimes difficult to be sure it is there at all. It is as if one were watching the waters receding after a great flood, to reveal at first no more than a few small isolated pieces of ground. Why should they be taken for anything more than the insignificant islands they seem to be? How should one believe that they are really the tops of great hills? By what power of insight is one to imagine the fertile plains that lie between, the clustered towns, the busy industry and thoroughfares that will spring into being when the waters have fallen away and the area has been peopled? It may be that the theory of international relations is in a similar state. Indeed the search for ‘islands of theory’ was put forward nearly twenty years ago as a rallying cry for students of international relations (Guetzkow, 1950).
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