Breaking the Silence: European Émigré Scholars and the Genesis of an American Discipline

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an introductory overview of European émigré scholars’ impact on the foundation of American International Relations. Though being a relatively young discipline, there is an increasing interest in its own intellectual and academic development because the growing discomfort with positivism and the increasing complexity of multipolar world politics have led to a reconsideration of its classical scholars. However, the discipline is only at the beginning of further investigating this interest. It is argued that émigré scholars are of significance for International Relations, although the different ontological and epistemological traditions in Continental Europe and the United States led to their academic marginalisation and/or to an unjust paradigmatic canonisation of their thought relatively soon after their arrival in the 1930s and 1940s. Studying émigré scholars encourages students of International Relations to question the usual trajectories of the discipline as an American discipline, to reflect upon émigré scholars’ thought as an enrichment of world political theorising in the twenty-first century, and to enhance discussions of intercultural knowledge exchange by moving beyond conceptualisations of imposition towards amalgamation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationÉmigré Scholars and the Genesis of International Relations
Subtitle of host publication A European Discipline in America?
EditorsFelix Roesch
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-33469-5
ISBN (Print)9781137334688
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • international relations theory
  • history of international relations
  • emigre scholars


Dive into the research topics of 'Breaking the Silence: European Émigré Scholars and the Genesis of an American Discipline'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this