The Invention of International Relations Theory: Realism, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the 1954 Conference on Theory by Nicolas Guilhot

The Invention of International Relations Theory: Realism, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the 1954…

byNicolas Guilhot

Kobo ebook | February 5, 2011

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The 1954 Conference on Theory, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, featured a "who's who" of scholars and practitioners debating what would become the foundations of international relations theory. Assembling his own team of experts, all of whom have struggled with the legacy of this conference, Nicolas Guilhot revisits a seminal event in the discipline and its odd rejection of scientific rationalism.

Far from being a spontaneous development, these essays argue, the emergence of a "realist" approach to international politics, later codified at the conference, was deliberately triggered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The organization was an early advocate of scholars who opposed the idea of a "science" of politics, pursuing, for the sake of disciplinary autonomy, a vision of politics as a pre-rational and existential dimension of the human condition that could not be "solved" by scientific means. As a result, the nascent theory was more a rejection of behavioral social science than one of its specialized branches. The archived conversations reproduced here for the first time, as well as some unpublished papers by Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Nitze, and others, speak to this defensive stance. International relations theory is therefore critically linked to the context of postwar liberalism, and contributors explore how these origins have played out in political thought and American foreign policy.

Nicolas Guilhot is senior research associate at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and the author of The Democracy Makers: Human Rights and the Politics of Global Order.
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Title:The Invention of International Relations Theory: Realism, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the 1954…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:February 5, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023152644X

ISBN - 13:9780231526449

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: One Discipline, Many Histories, by Nicolas Guilhot
1. Morality, Policy, and Theory: Reflections on the 1954 Conference, by Robert Jervis
2. Tensions Within Realism: 1954 and After, by Jack Snyder
3. The Rockefeller Foundation Conference and the Long Road to a Theory of International Politics, by Brian C. Schmidt
4. The Speech Act of Realism: The Move That Made IR, by Ole Wæver
5. The Realist Gambit: Postwar American Political Science and the Birth of IR Theory, by Nicolas Guilhot
6. Kennan: Realism as Desire, by Anders Stephanson
7. American Hegemony, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Rise of Academic International Relations in the United States, by Inderjeet Parmar
8. Realism and Neoliberalism: From Reactionary Modernism to Postwar Conservatism, by Philip Mirowski
Appendix 1. Conference on International Politics, May 7--8, 1954
Appendix 2. The Theoretical and Practical Importance of a Theory of International Relations, by Hans J. Morgenthau
Appendix 3. The Moral Issue in International Relations, by Reinhold Niebuhr
Appendix 4. International Relations Theory and Areas of Choice in Foreign Policy, by William T. R. Fox
Appendix 5. The Implications of Theory for Practice in the Conduct of Foreign Affairs, by Paul Nitze
Appendix 6. Theory of International Politics: Its Merits and Advancement, by Arnold Wolfers
List of Contributors
Index

Editorial Reviews

...a text that will be indispensable for the training of graduate students in IR and in diplomatic history broadly defined.