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CONTAINMENT AND ENGAGEMENT AS MIDDLE-RANGE THEORIES

Gerda Jakštaitė
Keywords: Containment, engagement, middle-range theory, meta–theory ,

Abstract

In the studies of international relations containment and engagement are often understood as strategies of foreign policy. This article seeks to explore containment and engagement through a less frequently applied theoretical perspective: to find out what features of containment and engagement allow them to be called middle-range theories.
The article presents the main features of meta- and middle-range theories, draws attention to realism as meta-theory and then distinguishes the most characteristic features of containment and engagement in order to find their matches in the attributes of middlerange theories. The article concludes that containment and engagement can be called middle-range theories, since they are power balancing theories that analyze the phenomenon from a specific point of view (individual approaches to the instruments, regions, targets), they are comprehensive, and they stay within the field of power balancing analysis.