The 1954 Conference on Theory, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, featured a who's who of scholars and practitioners debating the foundations of international relations theory. Assembling his own team of experts, all of whom have struggled with this legacy, Nicolas Guilhot revisits a seminal event and its odd rejection of scientific rationalism.
Far from being a spontaneous development, these essays argue, the emergence of a "realist" approach to international politics, later codified at the conference, was deliberately triggered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The organization was an early advocate of scholars who opposed the idea of a "science" of politics, pursuing, for the sake of disciplinary autonomy, a vision of politics as a prerational and existential dimension that could not be "solved" by scientific means. As a result, this nascent theory was more a rejection of behavioral social science than the birth of one of its specialized branches. The archived conversations reproduced here, along with unpublished papers by Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Paul Nitze, speak to this defensive stance. International relations theory is critically linked to the context of postwar liberalism, and the contributors explore how these origins have played out in political thought and American foreign policy.
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Nicolas Guilhot is senior research associate at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and the author of The Democracy Makers: Human Rights and the Politics of Global Order.
Table of Contents
Introduction: One Discipline, Many Histories, by Nicolas Guilhot
1. Morality, Policy, and Theory: Reflections on the 1954 Conference, by Robert Jervis
2. Tensions Within Realism: 1954 and After, by Jack Snyder
3. The Rockefeller Foundation Conference and the Long Road to a Theory of International Politics, by Brian C. Schmidt
4. The Speech Act of Realism: The Move That Made IR, by Ole Wæver
5. The Realist Gambit: Postwar American Political Science and the Birth of IR Theory, by Nicolas Guilhot
6. Kennan: Realism as Desire, by Anders Stephanson
7. American Hegemony, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Rise of Academic International Relations in the United States, by Inderjeet Parmar
8. Realism and Neoliberalism: From Reactionary Modernism to Postwar Conservatism, by Philip Mirowski
Appendix 1. Conference on International Politics, May 7–8, 1954
Appendix 2. The Theoretical and Practical Importance of a Theory of International Relations, by Hans J. Morgenthau
Appendix 3. The Moral Issue in International Relations, by Reinhold Niebuhr
Appendix 4. International Relations Theory and Areas of Choice in Foreign Policy, by William T.R. Fox
Appendix 5. The Implications of Theory for Practice in the Conduct of Foreign Affairs, by Paul Nitze
Appendix 6. Theory of International Politics: Its Merits and Advancement, by Arnold Wolfers
List of Contributors
What People are Saying About This
An outstanding collection by top-drawer scholars that adds enormously to a growing literature on the evolution of a much misunderstood academic field. What emerges is a story altogether more complexand far more interestingthan we had been told about a subject whose history has been shrouded in myth, simplification, and plain misrepresentation. A volume that will surely redefine our understanding of the intellectual history of international relations theory, its relationship with power, and the central part played by such giants as Morgenthau, Nitze, Wolfers, Fox, and Niebuhr.
An important contribution to an authentic understanding of the origins and evolution of the field of international relations as well as to the history of political science as a whole. It also represents a significant advance in the study of disciplinary and intellectual history.
Indispensable. While this volume will be widely read, cited, and assigned within the discipline, it will also be important in American and world intellectual history and in the critical history of ideas about world organization and world politics.
Fascinating insights. Scholars of all stripes should read this carefully. It will help them better understand how they think about the world and might even help them refine theories of how states interact with one another.