In the last fifteen years classical realism has not only become an accepted paradigm but has largely supplanted neorealism. Like all paradigms, it seeks legitimacy by claiming canonical thinkers as its founders. Ancient Greek historian Thucydides and German émigré Hans Morgenthau have been critical in this regard. Post-Cold War interest in Morgenthau transcends his relationship to classical realism. It was motivated first and foremost in my opinion by the desire to produce a sophisticated alternative to neorealism that recognized the importance of agency and context; the cultural as well as material basis of power; the advantages to actors and international society alike, of foreign policies that used ethically acceptable means to pursue ethically acceptable ends; and the normative role of theory in fostering a transformation of international relations.
Tag: Hans Morgenthau
Since the turn of the millennium, International Relations has been experiencing a revival of realist scholarship. As Konstantinos Kostagiannis writes in his thought-provoking paper on the classical realist Hans J. Morgenthau, part of this revival is due to the establishment of “tragedy as an analytical category and [the discussion of] its contemporary relevance for modern normative international-relations theory” (513). And Kostagiannis makes a significant contribution in further unearthing the prospects of tragedy by interpreting it as a metaphor, used by Morgenthau in his critique of the nation-state.