THE application of game theory to international politics is hardly new, but there has been a recent increase in the popularity of the approach. This resurgence. introduction to the field of International Relations theory. In 20 short paperback and, uniquely for textbooks, also freely accessible in web and PDF formats. PDF | Acknowledgements 1. Four sociologies of international politics Part I. Social Theory: 2. Scientific realism and social kinds 3. 'Ideas all the.
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The Theory of International Politics. Therefore, the seeker after the truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition. pdf. WALTZ () - Theory of International Politics. Pages Theory of International Politics KENNETH N. WALTZ University of Califo rnia, Berkeley. Kenneth Waltz - Theory of International Politics - Free download as PDF File .pdf ), Text File .txt) or read online for free.
The Roots of the Realist Tradition 1. Most importantly, he asks whether relations among states to which power is crucial can also be guided by the norms of justice. His History of the Peloponnesian War is in fact neither a work of political philosophy nor a sustained theory of international relations. Much of this work, which presents a partial account of the armed conflict between Athens and Sparta that took place from to B. Nevertheless, if the History is described as the only acknowledged classical text in international relations, and if it inspires theorists from Hobbes to contemporary international relations scholars, this is because it is more than a chronicle of events, and a theoretical position can be extrapolated from it.
The theory is elegant and powerful. Simply stated and reductionist; theories that conceive of causes operating at the intemationallevel incorporating only a few elements, it claims to explain the most important of as well are systemic. In Chapter 2, I shall focus on reductionist theories. The effort to explain the behavior of a prevail.
The theory offers explanations and, unlike most theories in the social group through psychological study of its members is a reductionist approach, as is the effort to understand international politics by studying national bureaucrats and bureaucracies.
Essential to compatible. This chapter examines approaches to international politics that are both political and systemic. What is a systems approach? One way to answer the question is to compare analytic with systemic approaches. The analytic method, preeminently the method of classical physics and because of its immense success often thought of as the method of science, requires reducing the entity to its dis- Skepticism about the adequacy of reductionist theories does not tell us what sort crete parts and examining their properties and connections.
The whole is under- of systems theory might serve better. Explaining international politics in nonpo- stood by studying its elements in their relative simplicity and by observing the litical terms does not require reducing international to national politics. One must relations between them. By controlled experiments, the relation between each carefully distinguish between reduction from system to unit level and explanation pair of variables is separately examined.
After similarly examining other pairs, of political outcomes, whether national or international, by reference to some the factors are combined in an equation in which they appear as variables in the other system. Karl Marx tried to explain the politics of nations by their eco- statement of a causal law. The elements, disjoined and understood in their sim- nomics. Immanuel Wallerstein tries to explain national and international politics plicity, are combined or aggregated to remake the whole, with times and masses by the effects "the capitalist world-economy" has on them September One added as scalars and the relations among their distances and forces added accord- useful point is thereby suggested, although it is a point that Wallerstein strongly ing to the vector laws of addition see, e.
The interstate system is not the only international system that one may This is the analytic method. It works, and works wonderfully, where rela- conceive of. Wallerstein shows in many interesting ways how the world eco- tions among several factors can be resolved into relations between pairs of vari- nomic system affects national and international politics.
But claiming that eco- ables while "other things are held equal" and where the assumption can be made nomics affects politics is no denial of the claim that politics affects economics and that perturbing influences not included in the variables are small.
Because analy- that some political outcomes have political causes. Wallerstein argues that Jlin the tic procedure is simpler, it is preferred to a systems approach. But analysis is not nineteenth and twentieth centuries there has been only one world-system in exis- always sufficient. It will be sufficient only where systems-level effects are absent tence, the capitalist world-economy" p. The argument confuses theory or are weak enough to be ignored. It will be insufficient, and a systems approach with reality and identifies a model of a theory with the real world, errors identi- will be needed, if outcomes are affected not only by the properties and intercon- fied in Chapter 1.
An international-political theory serves primarily to explain nections of variables but also by the way in which they are organized. It also tells us something about the foreign poli- If the organization of units affects their behavior and their interactions, then cies of states and about their economic and other interactions.
But saying that a one cannot predict outcomes or understand them merely by knowing the charac- theory about international economics tells us something about politics, and that a teristics, purposes, and interactions of the system's units. The failure of the reduc- theory about international politics tells us something about economi.
In telling us something tems approach is needed. Where similarity of outcomes prevails despite changes about living beings, chemistry does not displace biology. Something works as a constraint on the agents or is inter- structed? Alan C. Isaak argues that political science has no theories and no theo- posed between them and the outcomes their actions contribute to.
In interna- retical concepts , p. The preceding discussion may have strengthened tional politics, systems-level forces seem to be at work. We might therefore try Reductionist and Systemic Theories 61 4 attributes of actors do not uniquely determine outcomes.
Just as peacemakers Reductionist and may fail to make peace, so troublemakers may fail to make trouble. From attri- butes one cannot predict outcomes if outcomes depend on the situations of the actors as well as on their attributes. Systemic Theories Few, it seems, can consistently escape from the belief that intemational- political outcomes are determined, rather than merely' affected, by what states are like.
Hobson's error has been made by almost everyone, at least from the nine- teenth century onward. In the earlier history of modem great-power politics, all of the states were monarchies, and most of them absolute ones.
Was the power- political game played because of international-political imperatives or simply because authoritarian states are power-minded? If the answer to the latter part of the question were "yes ," then profound national changes would transform inter- national politics.
Such changes began to take place in Europe and America most Chapters 2 and 3 are highly critical. Criticism is a negative task that is supposed strikingly in For some, democracy became the form of the state that would to have positive payoffs. To gain them, I shall in this chapter first reflect on the make the world a peaceful one; for others, later, it was socialism that would turn theoretical defects revealed in previous pages and then say what a systems theory the trick.
Not simply war and peace, moreover, but international politics in gen- of international politics comprises and what it can and cannot accomplish. I Political scientists, whether traditional or modem in orientation, reify their systems by reducing them to their interacting parts.
For two reasons, the lumping In one way or another, theories of international politics, whether reductionist or systemic, deal with events at all levels, from the subnational to the supranational.
First, the difference in the methods they use obscures the according to how they arrange their materials. Reductionist th"eories explain similarity of their methodology, that is, of the logic their inquiries follow. That internal forces produce external outcomes impression that the difference of methods is a difference of methodology. Tradi- is the claim of such theories. X is their pattern.
The international sys- tionalists emphasize the structural distinction between domestic and international tem, if conceived of at all, is taken to be merely an outcome.
The distinction turns on the A reductionist theory is a theory about the behavior of parts. Once the difference between politics conducted in a condition of settled rules and politics theory that explains the behavior of the parts is fashioned, no further effort is conducted in a condition of anarchy.
Raymond Aron, for example, finds the dis- required. According to the theories of imperialism examined in Chapter 2, for tinctive quality of international politics in lithe absence of a tribunal or police example, international outcomes are simply the sum of the results produced by force, the right to resort to force, the plurality of autonomous centers of decision, the separate states, and the behavior of each of them is explained through its the alternation and continual interplay between peace and war" , p.
Hobson's theory, taken as a general one, is a theory With this view, contrast J. David Singer's examination of the descriptive, about the workings of national economies. Giyen certain conditions, it explains explanatory, and predictive potentialities of two different levels of analysis: the why demand slackens, why production falls, and why resources are under- national and the international In his examination, he fails even to mention employed.
From a knowledge of how capitalist economies work, Hobson the contextual difference between organized politics within states and formally believed he could infer the external behavior of capitalist states. He made the unorganized politics among them. If the contextual difference is overlooked or error of predicting outcomes from attributes.
To try to do that amounts to over- denied, then the qualitative difference of internal and external politics disappears looking the difference between these two statements: "He is a troublemaker.
And that is indeed the conclusion that modernists reach. The differ- makes trouble. Perfect competition, complete collusion, 5 absolute control: These different causes produce identical results.
From unifor- mity of outcomes one cannot infer that the attributes and the interactions of the parts of a system have remained constant. Structure may determine outcomes Political Structures aside from changes at the level of the units and aside from the disappearance of some of them and the emergence of others.
Different "causes" may produce the same effects; the same "causes" may have different consequences. Unless one knows how a realm is organized, one can hardly tell the causes from the effects. The effect of an organization may predominate over the attributes and the interactions of the elements within it. A system that is independent of initial con- ditions is said to display equifinality. If it does, lithe system is then its own best explanation, and the study of its present organization the appropriate meth- odology" Watzlawick, et al.
Structure has to be studied in its own right as do units. To claim to be approaches mingle and confuse systems-level with unit-level causes.
Failure to mark and national politics does not fit the model closely enough to make the model useful preserve the distinction between structure, on the one hand, and units and pro- and that only through some sort of systems theory can international politics be cesses, on the other, makes it impossible to disentangle causes of different sorts understood. To be a success, such a theory has to show how international politics and to distinguish between causes and effects.
Blurring the distinction between can be conceived of as a domain distinct from the economic, social, and other the different levels of a system has, I believe, been the major impediment to the international domains that one may conceive of. To mark international-political development of theories about international politics.
The next chapter shows systems off from other international systems, and to distinguish systems-level how to define political structures in a way that makes the construction of a sys- from unit-level forces, requires showing how political structures are generated tems theory possible.
A system is composed of a structure and of interacting units. Definitions of structure must leave aside, or abstract from, the characteris- tics of units their behavior, and their interactions.
If the absence of government is associated with the threat of Anarchic Structures and violence, so also is its presence. A haphazard list of national tragedies illustrates the point all too well. The most destructive wars of the hundred years following the defeat of Napoleon took place not among states but within them.
Estimates of Balances of Power deaths in China's Taiping Rebellion, which began in and lasted 13 years, range as high as 20 million.
In the American Civil War some thousand people lost their lives. In more recent history, forced collectivization and Stalin's purges eliminated five million Russians, and Hitler exterminated six million Jews. In some Latin American countries, coups d'etats and rebellions have been normal features of national life. Between and , for example, thousand Colombians were killed in civil strife. In the middle most inhabitants of Idi Amin's Uganda must have felt their lives becoming nasty, brutish, and short, quite as in Thomas Hobbes's state of nature.
If such cases constitute aberrations, Two tasks remain: first, to examine the characteristics of anarchy and the they are uncomfortably common ones. We easily lose sight of the fact that expectations about outcomes associated with anarchic realms; second, to struggles to achieve and maintain power, to establish order, and to contrive a examine the ways in which expectations vary as the structure of an anarchic sys- kind of justice within states, may be bloodier than wars among them.
If anarchy is identified with chaos, destruction, and death, then the distinc- The second task, undertaken in Chapters 7, 8, and 9, requires comparing differ- tion between anarchy and government does not tell us much. Which is more pre- ent international systems. The first, which I now turn to, is best accomplished by carious: the life of a state among states, or of a government in relation to its sub- drawing some comparisons between behavior and outcomes in anarchic and hier- jects?
The answer varies with time and place. Among some states at some times, archic realms. Within some states at some times, the actual or expected occurrence of violence is high. The use of force, or the constant fear of its use, are not sufficient grounds for distinguishing inter- I national from domestic affairs. If the possible and the actual use of force mark both national and international orders, then no durable distinction between the 1. No human The state among states, it is often said, conducts its affairs in the brooding order is proof against violence.
Because some states may at any time use force, all states To discover qualitative differences between internal and external affairs one must be prepared to do so-or live at the mercy of their militarily more vigorous must look for a criterion other than the occurrence of violence.
The distinction neighbors. Among states, the state of nature is a state of war. This is meant not in between international and national realms of politics is not found in the use or the the sense that war constantly occurs but in the sense that, with each state deciding nonuse of force but in their different structures. But if the dangers of being for itself whether or not to use force, war may at any time break out.
Whether in violently attacked are greater, say, in taking an evening stroll through downtown the family, the community, or the world at large, contact without at least Detroit than they are in picnicking along the French and German border, what occasional conflict is inconceivable; and the hope that in the absence of an agent practical difference does the difference of structure make?
Nationally as to manage or to manipulate conflicting parties the use of force will always be internationally, contact generates conflict and at times issues in violence. The dif- avoided cannot be realistically entertained. Among men as among states, ference between national and international politics lies not in the use of force but anarchy, or the absence of government, is associated with the occurrence of in the different modes of organization for doing something about it.
A govern- violence. But in the history of the world surely most subjects.
If some use private force, others may appeal to the government. A rulers have had to bear in mind that their subjects might use force to resist or government has no monopoly on the use of force, as is all too evident.
An effec- Chapter 6 tude was well expressed by Trotsky, who, when asked what he would do as 7 foreign minister, replied, "I will issue some revolutionary proclamations to the peoples and then close up the joint" quoted in Von Laue , p. In a com- petitive arena, however, one party may need the assistance of others.
Refusal to Structural Causes and play the political game may risk one's own destruction. The pressures of competi- tion were rapidly felt and reflected in the Soviet Union's diplomacy. Thus Lenin, EconoDlic Effects sending foreign minister Chicherin to the Genoa Conference of , bade him farewell with this caution: "Avoid big words" quoted in Moore , p. Political contexts These shortcomings resulting from an omission to specify concrete areas of continuity and discontinuity can also be identified with regard to the political context of classical writings.
The Democratic Peace thesis, for instance, empirically identifies the absence or rarity of wars between contemporary liberal states. Hence, Martin Wight, International Theory. Similarly, the intelligent and thorough analyses provided by the authors in Clark and Neumann eds. Nonetheless, the conceptual continuity coupled with political discontinuity may yet provide a constructive basis for discussing the relevance of republican or liberal constitutions for peace and war in the contemporary world.
The political context of republican or liberal constitutions — absolutist states or liberal capitalist states — can provide an answer to the question of which interests are represented through these institutions. In the absence of a thorough recovery of the contemporaneous political context, however, International Relations uses classical texts simply to confirm contemporary assumptions.
Lineages This more or less inevitable interpretation of classical authors in the light of the intellectual and political context provided by the interpreter described above, points towards a final dimension of the use of classical authors which requires explicit reflection. For if it is the case that the contemporary use of classical authors tends to be shaped — to a greater or lesser degree — by contemporary concerns and debates, then classical authors will have gone through such a process of reception many times over before they enter the discipline of International Relations.
Many classical authors, for instance, have made their way into International Relations via Political Theory. By relying on the general interpretations of classical texts provided by Political Theorists which are then complemented by rereading select pieces deemed particularly relevant in the international context, International Relations again imports the modern disciplinary division of knowledge.
For Political Theory has neglected the international dimension of classical thought as much as International Relations has neglected its domestic dimension — and neither discipline provides a satisfactory account of the nature of their respective interrelations. Reflection on these motivations and interpretations is necessary on the one hand in order to relativize any single or hegemonic interpretation and to allow for alternatives.
On the other hand, these interpretations may have shaped core concepts in the discipline; and in this case a historical recovery of their roots is one way of opening up these concepts for critical reflection. For without this historical relativization the contemporary assumptions guide the inclusion and exclusion of authors and texts, issues and concepts, policies and theories on the basis of the established voices.
In sum, traditional interpretations and appropriations of classical authors in the discipline of International Relations have, despite an abstract recognition of the importance of both continuity and change, and despite repeated claims to recent historical change and rupture, prioritized historical continuity.
And they have done so not by specifying 21 Brown et al. Instead, more often than not, these interpretations stop short at the identification of certain continuous political and intellectual issues and debates. Stressing abstract historical continuities may well be a safeguard against claims for a radically unique present, but it may constitute simultaneously an arguably more serious hubris of the present — namely one in which the present is presented as timeless and thus naturalized and absolute.
Likewise, presenting contemporary theoretical or political positions as a dialogue reaching back into the past without reference to the differences does not create a space for creative synthesis.
Rather, it entrenches the contemporary positions and buries those dimensions of classical and contemporary thought which either cut across or do not fit the given paradigm. That is, insofar as intellectual or political discontinuities between a classical text and the modern world are noted, they are presented as developments or variations within the given framework rather than taken to question the application of the framework to the classical text and, by extension, potentially also the contemporary framework itself.
This widespread lack of reflection on historically specific — rather than general or continuous — political and intellectual interests shaping the production of social and political theory is not surprisingly also extended to the trajectories by which classical authors have entered the discipline of International Relations.
That is, the historically specific interests and perceptions of the translators and interpreters of classical texts on their way into the discipline remain likewise unspecified — thus depriving International Relations of the possibility of investigating the various historical transformations of these texts as well as the meanings and contradictions that may have become embedded in them over time.
Rather, they do so precisely because they recognize that contemporary concerns guide our interest in classical authors. Yet, these contemporary concerns can only be fruitfully illuminated and analyzed in the light of the concrete specification of continuities and change between classical and contemporary concepts, issues and debates.
In other words, the widespread claims to radical historical change mentioned at the outset of this discussion, as well as their equally passionately pursued refutation, can only be assessed if the nature and extent of this change can be specified.
And in order to achieve this aim, the intellectual and political context of classical texts and their lineages has to be rendered concrete, too. This approach overlaps with, and distinguishes itself from, two other cognate literatures.
Engagement with classical authors in International Relations is sometimes included in the subfield of International Political Theory. Such an approach, of course, fits the charge of presentism set out above and it is not shared by the authors of this book who insist on contextualization as an antidote to such anachronisms.
And this brings me to the second literature mentioned above. Cox and Timothy J. Sinclair eds. While this is important common ground which the authors of this book share, there are nevertheless tremendous differences between and even within normative, poststructuralist and intellectual history approaches. Moreover, not all International Political Theory need necessarily engage — or engage directly — with classical authors.
There is no space here for a general discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of Skinnerian contextualism for International Relations.
And yet, it neither propagates nor systematically adheres to the Skinnerian method. The most immediate reason for this is that the authors of this book take their cue from problems they identify with traditional interpretations and uses of classical authors in International Relations.
And in doing so they require a more flexible method. For unlike Political Theorists, scholars of International Relations do not necessarily claim to present an authoritative interpretation of classical authors as such. Inasmuch as authorial intention can be established, this may certainly be used to debunk traditional interpretations in International Relations.
Structure In accordance with the aim of reconstructing the intellectual and political context of classical theories as well as of their trajectories over time, this book is divided into three parts focusing respectively on the recovery of the intellectual context, the political context and the lineage of classical theories.
Before providing a more detailed description of the structure of this book and its individual contributions, it is important to emphasize that these divisions are by no means exclusionary. Similarly, investigating the lineages by which classical texts have entered the discipline of International Relations — or have been excluded from it — entails the recovery of the political and intellectual context of these trajectories. Hence, the structure of this book simply points towards the specific historical dimension each chapter focuses on without excluding any of the others.
Thus, the contributions in the first part of this volume focus on the recovery of the intellectual context missing from contemporary uses of Thucydides, Kant, Saint-Pierre and Rousseau. In Chapter 2, S. Sara Monoson and Michael Loriaux provide a close reading of Thucydides which pays particular attention to the central role of antithetical reasoning in The History of the Peloponnesian War as a whole as well as in the treatment of Pericles in particular.
Thucydides praises the statesman Pericles even while he continuously demonstrates the disastrous effects of his policies. And it may be argued that the recovery of a necessary connection between domestic and international politics as well as between prudence and morality is highly topical — not least for recent debates about American foreign and domestic policies.
Kant is most prominently used today in the explanation of the Democratic Peace and in the justification of liberal foreign policies. MacMillan argues that a more inclusive reading of Kant, in particular attention to the preliminary articles of Perpetual Peace, contradicts the Democratic Peace interpretation and it recovers the critical potential of Kant for judging contemporary international politics.
Here, it is argued that the attempt to reform international law and to accord unequal rights of sovereignty and non-intervention to liberal and nonliberal states can only be supported with reference to Kant on the basis of a highly selective reading.
In Kantian terms, however, private judgment is a characteristic of the state of nature rather than a route to increased legalization. Yuichi Aiko, in Chapter 5, demonstrates the importance of the contemporaneous intellectual debates for the interpretation of Rousseau. Aiko shows, however, that the intellectual debate to which Saint-Pierre and Rousseau contributed was concerned with natural law.
All four chapters respectively recover the rhetorical and theoretical context and the contemporaneous intellectual debates of Thucydides, Kant and Rousseau. The reconstruction of this intellectual context demonstrates in each case that contemporary distinctions between domestic and international politics do not apply to the classical texts.
Consequently, the integration of these spheres of social and political life in the classical texts leads in all four cases to a reintegration of morality and power.
If Thucydides and Rousseau integrate the domestic and the international as well as being crucially concerned with the mutually constitutive nature of power and morality, the question arises on what grounds they may be incorporated into the contemporary Realist school of thought. Most importantly, all four chapters contribute 19 Classical Theory in International Relations constructively to contemporary political and theoretical issues.
MacMillan and Franceschet, on the basis of their Kant interpretation, explicitly and critically challenge contemporary theory and practice of liberal foreign policies while simultaneously indicating more promising avenues for such policies. The chapters in the second part focus on the investigation of the political context of classical texts. Blaney and Inayatullah thus disrupt the substantive narrative of International Political Economy and the definition of the discipline by introducing an ethnological context.
They also demonstrate that such a contextual reading of Smith recovers an ethical dimension which allows for a critical judgment of contemporary capitalism. This theme is also taken up by David Boucher in Chapter 7.
Despite this international political background, Locke is generally seen as a domestic political theorist and hence widely ignored in International Relations. Boucher shows that with Locke himself, International Relations excludes the centrality of theories of property for the constitution of the modern international order. The chapter, thus, challenges the disciplinary divide between Political Theory and International Relations as well as providing the basis for a constructive investigation into the role of property in the constitution of contemporary international relations.
Liberal capitalist states and their foreign policies, however, have been theorized by John Stuart Mill, whose writings are widely neglected in contemporary International Relations or so selectively appropriated that his justification of imperialism — which perfectly mirrors contemporary liberal thought — is not discussed at all.
The contributions to this part recover the political context of classical texts for the purpose of illuminating generally neglected dimensions of contemporary international relations. Contemporary assumptions and disciplinary divides have led to the marginalization of Smith, Locke and Mill in the pantheon of classical authors with which the discipline engages.
The common themes of these authors, interestingly, all turn out to revolve around issues of property and political and economic inequality in the international system — in other words, around colonialism and imperialism. The relationship between European states and Amerindians or non-Europeans more generally played a constitutive role in the development of the modern international system as well as international theory.
Despite variations on this theme over time, the historical continuity of those conceptions as well as of their exclusion from explicit reflection constitutes a serious challenge to the discipline of International Relations. By reconstructing the political context in which these theories have first been developed, all three chapters open up the possibility of a constructive engagement with contemporary political and economic inequality.
And both subsumed this actual multilinear — or international — starting point under a unilinear universalizing philosophy of history in order to retain the possibility of Germany catching up with its more advanced neighbour.
Moreover, this reinterpretation also challenges poststructural and postcolonial positions. Edward Keene, in Chapter 10, reconstructs the way in which Grotius has turned from a jurisprudential theorist to a political philosopher of international society in contemporary International Relations. The roots of the latter interpretation, argues Keene, lie in the European reactions to the French Revolution.
In this context, Grotius was read as having anticipated the Westphalian concept of sovereignty and legal equality of states which gradually developed into the modern states-system. On the one hand, it marginalizes a whole body of jurisprudential thought which could provide a much more varied and rich picture of the — not always so natural, gradual and inevitable — development of the modern states-system. The focus on the Westphalian system, on the other hand, displaces alternative dimensions of political thought and practice like republicanism and imperialism — leaving the contemporary discipline firmly in the grasp of the ideological origins of the conventional understanding of Grotius.
In accordance with these authors, Williams develops an interpretation of Hobbes which stands in contradiction to the dominant Realist readings of this author either as a rational choice theorist or as a theorist of international society. The exploration of this neglected lineage does not only turn up an alternative interpretation of Hobbes; it also allows for a better understanding of contemporary neoconservatism which owes a lot in particular to Leo Strauss.
Finally, in Chapter 12, Julian Reid introduces a neglected lineage of the interpretation of Clausewitz. Clausewitz has been central to International Relations as a strategic thinker. Reid shows, however, that Clausewitz plays an equally important role in the development of modern counter-strategic thought.
By investigating the historical and political context of the lineages of classical thought, the chapters in this part demonstrate the limitations and historical burdens International Relations has unconsciously taken on.
Among these are the universalizing ethical responses of Kant and Hegel to the French Revolution and the counter-revolutionary conception of sovereignty produced by nineteenth-century interpretations of Grotius.
In both cases, the inclusion of these particular conceptions simultaneously implies the exclusion of alternatives — either in the form of an ethical position towards difference or in the form of more varied legal, historical and political discourses reflecting and shaping European development. Similar results are also achieved by focusing on lineages outside the discipline of International Relations. Hence, the analysis of lineages of classical thought opens up the possibility of alternative interpretations of Grotius, Hobbes, Kant, Hegel and Clausewitz and of the inclusion of hitherto neglected authors.
More importantly, however, it squarely puts such core concepts as sovereignty, difference and war back on the agenda and points towards the possibility of their radical reinterpretation. And such reinterpretation clearly entails the potential to transform the nature and definition of the discipline itself. This collection of interpretations of classical authors based on the analysis of their intellectual and political context as well as on the trajectories of their appropriation in the discipline aims to demonstrate the rich potential of classical texts for the study of international relations.
And this potential lies in three different but interrelated areas. Firstly, the analyses presented here all contribute to a broader conception of the discipline itself based on the recovery of the predisciplinary intellectual context of classical thought.
They show that — and how — political, economic, ethnological, philosophical, sociological, normative and legal dimensions are constitutive of international thought and practice even in the present-day world. Finally, the contextual interpretations throw a new and different light on such core concepts and issues of contemporary international thought and practice as sovereignty, morality, law, property, imperialism and agency, and thus provide the basis for further constructive research into these areas.
We are excited by the keen analysis, the apparent accessibility of the actors to rational interpretation, the ring of familiarity in the events the historian recounts. As good counsel, a theory, an example to avoid if so, how?
Having treated Thucydides as a forerunner of modern realism,2 International Relations scholars today better appreciate the complexity of his text and often challenge the Realist reading. Extensive revisions explain the change in title. Dougherty and Robert L.
Pfaltzgraff, Jr. Antithesis in the form of paired speeches e. Cleon and Diodotus and dramatic juxtapositions e. But the presence of antithesis in the treatment of Pericles, a part of the text usually thought to exhibit a more straightforward teaching, has commanded less attention.
Although Thucydides presents Pericles as singularly praiseworthy e. The fuller, more subtle treatment of Pericles as it emerges from the text as a whole, suggests tension between two antithetical yet complementary attitudes regarding the possibility of conducting ourselves wisely. The second is a conviction that moral norms must be buttressed by the effective application of coercive power. But in the ensuing narrative he reveals them to be social and intellectual constructs, which the protagonists of the drama, through ambition, fear and conceit, proceed to dash or erode.
Awareness of the importance of antithesis helps us not only appreciate his style but understand his political philosophy. Antithesis, when wielded with the skill and relentlessness of Thucydides, nourishes scepticism, doubt regarding anything and everything that one may have previously accepted as knowledge, wisdom or truth. This is 10 See, e. The text thus invites us to believe that good politics must be Periclean politics.