Political Thought and International Relations: Variations on a Realist Theme

Editat de Duncan Bell
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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 02 Dec 2010
Political realism dominated the study of international relations during the Cold War. Since then, however, its fortunes have been mixed: pushed onto the backfoot during 1990s, it has in recent years retuned to the centre 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 thatignores the role of ethical considerations in political life. This book explores an alternative understanding of realism. The contributors view realism chiefly as a diverse and complex mode of political and ethical theorising rather than either a value-neutral branch of social science or theunreflective defence of the national interest. They analyse 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 andpolitical theory, this book makes a significant contribution to both fields.
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ISBN-13: 9780199556281
ISBN-10: 0199556288
Pagini: 254
Dimensiuni: 168 x 234 x 13 mm
Greutate: 0.43 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom


this collection is one of the most illuminating sets of commentaries on realism to have appeared for many years, some of the contributions standing out as having especial value
masterful introduction...the volume offers so much ... making it overall one of the highlights of IR theorizing in recent years.

Notă biografică

Duncan Bell is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Christ's College. His research interests span political theory, international relations theory, and the history of political thought.