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Political Realism, Freud, and Human Nature in International Relations: The Resurrection of the Realist Man

Overview

In the tradition of political realism, this book provides an important reappraisal of the concept of human nature in contemporary realist international-political theory. With special reference to the anthropology of Sigmund Freud, a consequential yet terribly neglected and underestimated thinker in International Relations, Schuett demonstrates that analytical and normative theorizing of all international-political reality, its nature, tragedies, and potentialities, requires a sophisticated theory of human nature....

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Political Realism, Freud, and Human Nature in International Relations: The Resurrection of the Realist Man

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Overview

In the tradition of political realism, this book provides an important reappraisal of the concept of human nature in contemporary realist international-political theory. With special reference to the anthropology of Sigmund Freud, a consequential yet terribly neglected and underestimated thinker in International Relations, Schuett demonstrates that analytical and normative theorizing of all international-political reality, its nature, tragedies, and potentialities, requires a sophisticated theory of human nature. Developing a Freudian philosophical anthropology for political realism, he argues for the careful resurrection of the concept of human nature in the wider study of international relations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book makes an important contribution to the burgeoning literature that is currently re-examining the essential characteristics of political realism. Although the link between political realism and human nature has often been made, this ambitious book provides the first attempt to explore the link in a detailed and systematic fashion. Through a close analysis of published and unpublished sources, Schuett demonstrates a surprisingly close relationship between some of the key realist thinkers, Morgenthau in particular, and a Freudian view of human nature. This controversial assessment has important implications for how realist thinking will be assessed in the future.”—Richard Little, Professor Emeritus of International Politics, Department of Politics, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

"This book fills an intriguing gap in the history of International Relations and makes a challenging case for rethinking the significance of both Freud and human nature for international political theory today."— Michael C. Williams, Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Canada

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Robert Schuett has a Ph.D. from the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, UK. His research interests are primarily based in political theory of international relations and security/strategic studies, with a particular emphasis on political realism.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction The Human-Nature Question

1 Political Realism and the Strange Death of Human Nature 3

Part I Is Human Nature Dead?

2 Classical Realism on Human Nature and Freud 23

3 The Human Nature of Post-Classical Realism 55

Part II Ought Human Nature To Be Dead?

4 Human Nature and the Political: Criticism and Countercriticism 89

5 Human Nature, the Political, and the Virtues of Freudian Man 125

Conclusion In Defense of Human Nature

6 Resurrecting the Realist Man, Freud, and Human Nature 167

Notes 183

Bibliography 207

Index 233

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