A Contemporary Perspective on Realism

Felix Roesch, Richard Ned Lebow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

106 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War realism has returned to its roots. Realist
scholars show renewed interest in their foundational thinkers, their tragic
understanding of life and politics, their practical concern for ethics and their
understanding of theory as the starting point for explanatory narratives or
forward-looking forecasts that are highly context dependent. Despite their
different perspectives on world politics, the writings of Thucydides, Niccolò
Machiavelli, Edward Hallett Carr, Reinhold Niebuhr, Arnold Wolfers, John
Herz, Hans Morgenthau and Hannah Arendt demonstrate a remarkable unity
of thought as they were driven by similar concerns about ‘perennial problems’
(Morgenthau 1962, 19). One of these problems is the depoliticisation of
societies. Realists were concerned that, in modern societies, people could no
longer freely express their interests in public, losing the ability to collectively
contribute to their societies. Consequently, realism can be perceived as a
critique of and ‘corrective’ (Cozette 2008, 12) to this development. It may
seem strange at first, but one way to see how realism relates to today’s world
is to look back to its roots – via its earlier scholars – rather than dwell on
some of the later developments in realist theory, such as neorealism. For this
reason, this chapter will revisit realism to offer a contemporary perspective on
what is, most probably, the oldest theory of IR and, most certainly, IR’s most
significant theory family
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Relations Theory
EditorsStephen McGlinchey, Rosie Walters, Christian Scheinpflug
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherE-International Relations
Pages138-144
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-910814-20-8
ISBN (Print)1910814199, 978-1-910814-19-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017

Fingerprint

Realism
Realist
Reinhold Niebuhr
Hannah Arendt
Thucydides
Neorealism
Depoliticisation
Modernity
Thinkers
Cold War
E. H. Carr

Keywords

  • International Relations Theory
  • Realism
  • Morgenthau
  • Classical Realism
  • International Relations

Cite this

Roesch, F., & Lebow, R. N. (2017). A Contemporary Perspective on Realism. In S. McGlinchey, R. Walters, & C. Scheinpflug (Eds.), International Relations Theory (pp. 138-144). Bristol: E-International Relations.

A Contemporary Perspective on Realism. / Roesch, Felix; Lebow, Richard Ned.

International Relations Theory. ed. / Stephen McGlinchey; Rosie Walters; Christian Scheinpflug. Bristol : E-International Relations, 2017. p. 138-144.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Roesch, F & Lebow, RN 2017, A Contemporary Perspective on Realism. in S McGlinchey, R Walters & C Scheinpflug (eds), International Relations Theory. E-International Relations, Bristol, pp. 138-144.
Roesch F, Lebow RN. A Contemporary Perspective on Realism. In McGlinchey S, Walters R, Scheinpflug C, editors, International Relations Theory. Bristol: E-International Relations. 2017. p. 138-144
Roesch, Felix ; Lebow, Richard Ned. / A Contemporary Perspective on Realism. International Relations Theory. editor / Stephen McGlinchey ; Rosie Walters ; Christian Scheinpflug. Bristol : E-International Relations, 2017. pp. 138-144
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