Since its inception, the discipline of International Relations has struggled to establish the rigour of its methodological base in the academy, and it has struggled to establish whether and how it might have any moral place in the world. At the end of the millennium both struggles have reached a high point. Methodologically, the discipline has begun a trans-Atlantic separation. On the one hand there has been a U.S. emphasis on neo-realism and neo-liberalism, which in both its categorisations and its positivistic tendencies is not a considerable departure from the inter-war debate between realists and idealists. On the other hand there has been a British concern not only for a ‘historicised’ discipline, but for the intellectual history of the discipline itself. Steve Smith has written on ten self-images that International Relations has held.
Christopher R. Cook
This article contributes to the discussion of internationalisation in higher education in the context of the international relations (IR) subfield of political science. The field of IR might seem by definition to be ‘internationalised’, but the underlying theoretical assumptions of the field, its social science rationalism and privileging of the unitary nation-state exhibit an American or Eurocentric bias. This Western bias with its emphasis on security issues is then replicated in research agendas and reproduced in higher education classrooms across the United States and beyond. I argue that the way forward to promoting internationalisation partially lies with promoting plurality and diversity within research and in the classroom or what Lamy calls ‘challenging hegemonic paradigms’ (2007).
A Neglected Aspect of the Early Modern Jurists and Edmund Burke
In this article, I deal with the issue of how the early modern thinkers dealt, over time, with the question of 'international law' and its enforcement. To draw out Burke's underappreciated view of enforcement, it recounts the law of nations ideas by some of the main jurists of the period such as Vitoria, Gentili and Suárez. As is well known, their differentiation of the law of nations from the law of nature led to the gradual emergence of the legal principle and moral right of intervention to prevent gross violations of the natural law in the discourse of international justice. Such ideas were refined by Grotius, who largely equated international law with punishment, something Pufendorf and Vattel would later criticise. I argue that it is nevertheless Edmund Burke to whom we must look to bridge the two concerns of international law: authority and enforcement. Burke provided the conceptual scope needed to plausibly resolve the issues of enforcement by prescribing specific common law foundations, binding the legal and the moral in international law and presenting it as domestic law. This way of looking at Burke is under-recognised and provides insight into some of the same concerns we face today with enforcement in international law.
The invention of railways in the nineteenth century changed the world, displacing older technologies and modifying how humans perceived space and time. Further, the implementation of the railroad coincided with the institutionalization of nation-states in Europe and the Americas. The creation of a nation consisted of three major tasks—formalizing national borders, creating institutions, and capitalizing on the international division of labor. Railways played a major role in each of these endeavors. They played a key role in aiding politicians and entrepreneurs in efforts to achieve specific economic growth and political consolidation. They also structured each country’s territory via infrastructural connection. Argentina and its neighbor countries each experienced these elements of railroad construction.
Valery B. Ferim
Spearheaded by pan-Africanists around the beginning of the twentieth century, the pan-African movement hosted a series of Pan-African congresses. Though the main objectives of the First Pan-African Congresses were to fight against the colonisation of Africa and the oppression of black people, the messages behind pan-Africanism have evolved over time. The central theme behind these Congresses, however, is to reiterate calls that African unity is the most potent force in combating the malignant forces of neocolonialism and entrenching Africa’s place in the global hierarchy. These calls have clamoured for the solidarity of Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora through associated paradigms such as ‘Afrocentrism’, ‘postcolonialism’, ‘African indigenous knowledge systems’ and ‘African solutions to African problems’. Despite this, contemporary societies are characterised by the encroachment of Westernisation, which has become synonymous to globalisation. This article reassesses the relevance of the pan- African discourse within the context of the contemporary world.
Germany's growing weight on the world stage is indisputable, and its foreign policy is exceptional among powerful states. This article argues that while the original vision of cooperative security and multilateralism guiding German policy was shaped by occupation, division, and weakness, it has shown astonishing resilience, even as Germany has regained sovereignty, unity, and power. For a weak and divided Federal Republic, a vision that eschewed the exercise of power ensured survival; for a strong united Germany, a vision that minimizes the role of power is revolutionary and controversial. I argue that this revolutionary policy is now the most effective one to meet the challenges of a transformed world marked by new and unconventional threats and risks—a world in which traditional measures of power have lost much of their usefulness in securing the national interest. Ironically, however, while the policy vision that downplays the role of power persists, Germany's material power has grown. Germany's renewed power position makes it an influential actor in an international system where perceptions of power still matter. And the old policy vision makes German foreign policy the most appropriate for solving new global problems whose solution defies power politics. This paradoxical combination of power and vision in Germany's postunification foreign policy has introduced a new and effective form of "normative power" in global politics.
The Limits of Ethics in International Relations: Natural Law, Natural Rights and Human Rights in Transition by David Boucher
Robert A. Denemark
Copeland, Daryl. 2009. Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Mittelman, James. 2010. Hyperconflict: Globalization and Insecurity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Thompson, William R., ed. 2009. Systemic Transitions: Past, Present, and Future. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
How can we understand German-Russian relations since German reunification? Both the geopolitical positions of the two states and the political and economic ties between them have been transformed over the past twentyfive years. This paper will argue, however, that the role of the two countries’ leaders in shaping these relations has been surprisingly important. Building on the tradition of “first image” analysis in international relations, this paper shows that, along with larger political and economic trends, personal relations between these leaders have helped to set the tenor of bilateral ties. When the leaders were able to build trust and personal friendships, relations improved. Yet more recently, since 2012, relations have soured sharply. While there are obviously larger reasons for this, more negative personal ties between leaders have also played an important role. In short, just as issues of trust and friendship matter in personal ties, they also matter in International Relations.
Some Comparisons on his Vichy Years with My Family Story
Stanley Hoffmann’s years in France before, during, and after Vichy marked him both intellectually and psychologically. Many of his great works draw on his reflections on how he saw French people responding to this situation. By coincidence, my family was living in France from 1933 to 1940 as refugees from Nazi Berlin, where they had gone in 1923 as Menshevik refugees from the Bolsheviks. This essay explores Hoffmann’s story as a way of framing my own family history, and it reflects on the way those experiences influence our lives and ideas. Hoffmann went on to great prominence writing on international relations and the politics of France. Under his influence, I went on to help erode the academic boundary between domestic affairs and international relations.