The human condition of politics: considering the legacy of Hans J. Morgenthau for international relations

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    Classical realism and Morgenthau in particular have recently experienced a revived interest in International Relations (IR). The evolving debate has helped to contextualise and reconstruct Morgenthau's thought which until now had been misrepresented in structural realist and early poststructuralist interpretations. However, despite all of its achievements, we have yet to draw more attention to Morgenthau's contribution to contemporary IR theory. To contribute to the closing of this research gap this article considers a set of questions which Morgenthau himself asked at the beginning of his career as its conceptual framework. It is argued that Morgenthau was particularly concerned with the dehumanisation of socio-political life in modern democracies evoked through processes of ideologisation, technologisation, and scientification, which he countered by focusing on a re-introduction of the human factor to politics. This demonstrates that Morgenthau's work is a rich source for IR theory because his intellectual agenda was driven by concerns similar to what we find in post-structuralism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-21
    JournalJournal of International Political Theory
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    This article has been published by Edinburgh University Press in the Journal of International Political Theory.


    • dehumanisation
    • depoliticisation
    • Hans J. Morgenthau
    • international political theory
    • political realism
    • power


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