Political Thought and International Relations: Variations on a Realist Theme

Political Thought and International Relations: Variations on a Realist Theme

by Duncan Bell
     
 

ISBN-10: 019955627X

ISBN-13: 9780199556274

Pub. Date: 01/26/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Political realism dominated the study of international relations during the Cold War. Since then, however, its fortunes have been mixed: pushed onto the backburner during the 1990s, it has in recent years retuned to the center of scholarly debate in international relations. Yet despite its significance in international relations theory, realism plays little

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Overview

Political realism dominated the study of international relations during the Cold War. Since then, however, its fortunes have been mixed: pushed onto the backburner during the 1990s, it has in recent years retuned to the center of scholarly debate in international relations. Yet despite its significance in international relations theory, realism plays little role in contemporary international political theory. It is often associated with a form of crude realpolitik that ignores the role of ethical considerations in political life.

Political Thought and International Relations explores an alternative understanding of realism. The contributors view realism chiefly as a diverse and complex mode of political and ethical theorizing rather than either a value-neutral branch of social science or the unreflective defense of the national interest. They analyze a variety of historical and philosophical themes, probing the potential and the pathologies of realist thought. A number of the chapters offer critical interpretations of key figures in the canon of twentieth century realism, including Hans Morgenthau, E. H. Carr, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Others seek to widen the lens through which realism is usually viewed, exploring the writings of Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and Leo Strauss. Finally, a number of the contributors engage with general issues in political theory, including the meaning and value of pessimism, the relationship between power and ethics, the role of normative political theory, and what might constitute political 'reality.' Straddling international relations and political theory, this book makes a significant contribution to both fields.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199556274
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/26/2009
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Under an Empty Sky, Duncan Bell
2. The Ancient Greeks and Modern Realism: Ethics, Persuasion, and Power, Richard Ned Lebow
3. A Theoretical Missed Opportunity? Hans J. Morgenthau as Critical Realist, William E. Scheuerman
4. Hans J. Morgenthau and the Legacy of Max Weber, Stephen P. Turner
5. E. H. Carr versus Hans J. Morgenthau: Conflicting Conceptions of Ethics in International Relations, Seán Molloy
6. The Ethic of Reality in Hannah Arendt, Patricia Owens
7. Towards a More Reflective Political Realism, Roger Spegele
8. Realism's 'Hidden Dialogue': Leo Strauss, War and Politics, N. J. Rengger
9. Pessimistic Realism and Realistic Pessimism, Joshua Foa Dienstag
10. Realism and the Politics of (Dis)Enchantment, Vibeke Schou Tjalve
11. Political Theory and the Realistic Spirit, Ze'ev Emmerich
12. Normative Political Theory: A Flight from Reality?, Andrea Sangiovanni

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