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  • Author: Chris Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: For better or worse, since the publication of E. H. Carr's Twenty years' crisis in Britain in 1939 , and Hans J. Morgenthau's Politics among nations in the United States in 1948 , 'Realism' has been the default setting for International Relations (IR) theory. The core insight of Carr, Morgenthau and their successors—that the international order and the foreign policies of states are, at a fundamental level, shaped by considerations of power and interest—has been repeatedly challenged but remains at the heart of the discipline of International Relations; it also, not coincidentally, tends to be the way in which both practitioners and informed publics think about matters international. But the price of this dominance is that the clarity which Carr and Morgenthau sought two generations ago has been lost. There are now many varieties of Realism on offer, and many theories that once were thought of as antithetical to Realism have adopted Realist ideas; navigating the field has become a job for specialists. The direct descendants of Carr and Morgenthau think of themselves as 'classical Realists' (or, if Reinhold Niebuhr is acknowledged as a major influence, 'Augustinian Realists') as opposed to the 'Structural Realists' who take their lead from Kenneth Waltz's master work Theory of international politics . Structural Realists in turn divide into 'defensive Realists' and 'offensive Realists', and are also closely related to 'neo-classical Realists'; to make matters worse, 'liberal institutionalists', who, in principle, are the modern version of the traditional opponents of Realism, have adopted from Waltz the notion of the 'anarchy problematic' and from some perspectives have become part of the Realist big tent. So confusing is this spectrum of theories that, on the one hand, John Vasquez can claim that the 'power of power politics' is such that Realism still dominates the field, while, on the other, liberal institutionalists Jeffrey Legro and Andrew Moravcsik can ask 'Is anybody still a Realist?'—and John Mearsheimer, perhaps today's most prominent Realist, can regard himself as a lone figure in an academic field dominated by 'idealism'.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ian Clark
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article is written in the general spirit of contributing to the development of the English School (ES) approach to International Relations (IR), and from the specific perspective of the work of Martin Wight. The literature on international society has greatly enriched our understanding of international order. However, it falls short in what it offers to one important contemporary debate. This deficiency results from its evasion of a central dilemma: how is the role of the Great Powers in managing international order best sustained when their number approximates to one single Great Power? Given the English School's attachment to the role of the Great Powers, it cannot afford to ignore this question. This article adapts ES theory to reflect a world characterized by a concentration of power. The concept of hegemony is central, and will be applied to the arguments about a putative succession between the United States and China. The case is made that their respective power trajectories need to be plotted, not just against relative material capabilities, but taking into account also the appeal of the international orders they come to represent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Claire Spencer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: North Africa may not be as stable as it looks: socio-economic and political pressures are fracturing the consensus between governments and governed and may overtake terrorism and criminality as the region's main destabilizing forces. With political leadership in the region effectively a lifelong position, the growth of authoritarianism is undermining the prospects for achieving political and economic liberalization. Despite the worsening global economic climate, a window of opportunity exists to accelerate socially sensitive and productive domestic investment and open space for greater autonomous political and economic development. Success depends on renegotiating the social contracts on which North Africa's states are based. A broadening of participation, above all through the extension of legal employment, targeted investment on education, health and skills, and the establishment of independent legal and regulatory frameworks, will go some way towards addressing socio-economic stresses. A change in the political environment, however, requires a re-evaluation of how the region's security climate is seen from outside, with adjustments in the kind of support given to regional governments by its key international partners, the European Union and the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Islam, International Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Arabia
  • Author: Richard Dalton(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The dispute over Iran's nuclear programme is deadlocked. Five years of negotiations, proposals, UN resolutions and sanctions have failed to achieve a breakthrough. As diplomacy struggles and Iran continues to advance its nuclear capabilities, the issue becomes ever more grave and pressing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Christopher P. Hood
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Ishihara Shintaro, known for his strong views particularly on Japan's relationship with the United States, became Governor of Tokyo on 11 April 1999. This paper considers the significance of his election, and whether it symbolizes a rise in nationalism in Japan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, Tokyo