Policing Intellectual Boundaries? Émigré Scholars, the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on International Theory, and American International Relations in the 1950s

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

During the 1950s, several intellectual endeavors on both sides of the Atlantic aimed to further theoretical principles of IR. One of these endeavors was the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on International Theory that met between December 1953 and June 1954. It brought together scholars from across academic disciplines and professions, but particularly noteworthy is the involvement of émigré scholars. Tracing their contribution, this article takes a critical stance toward common historiographical accounts of the discipline in which émigrés’ involvement is characterized as a gambit to secure space for their alternative visions of scholarship in a hostile academic environment and that they had turned into critics of American liberal democracy due to their experiences with fascism in Europe. By contrast, this article calls for a reconsideration of the role of émigrés by arguing that their engagement in IR’s move to theorization was intended to help retain the discipline’s pluralism in an effort to bridge theory and practice. Getting involved in this interdisciplinary field constituted their attempt to sustain intellectual pluralism across American social sciences, as they believed that behavioralism could endanger American democracy by reducing the contingency, ephemerality, and relationality of human life to questions of social planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-624
Number of pages18
JournalInternational History Review
Volume42
Issue number3
Early online date22 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International History Review on 22/04/2019 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/ 10.1080/07075332.2019.1598464

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Keywords

  • Behavioralism
  • council on foreign relations
  • history of international relations
  • pluralism
  • Émigré scholars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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