Realism, the War in the Ukraine, and the Limits of Diplomacy

Felix Roesch

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Since the outbreak of the war in the Ukraine, realism has made a comeback in public discourses but it is not clear what realism actually means as it seems to stand for everything: from supporting the Ukraine against Russian aggression to the war is the West’s fault. This is the result of decades of not distinguishing between neorealism and classical realism and implicitly acknowledging neorealist storytelling of having systematized classical realist thought. The present paper is a further intervention to carefully distinguish between both theoretical perspectives to uncover what they can add to current world political problems. It finishes by asking if neorealist scholars like John Mearsheimer have a point that it is the West’s fault and a diplomatic solution needs to be found. They often refer to Hans Morgenthau not least because he was one of the most outspoken critics of the Vietnam War.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-218
Number of pages18
JournalAnalyse & Kritik
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

free to read on publishers page


  • Realism
  • Classical Realism
  • Ukraine
  • diplomacy
  • neo-realism
  • John Mearsheimer
  • Hans Morgenthau


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