winter,darkness,confusion,sterility and old age.The remaining charactersare either for or against the hero,and obviously there is never any doubtabout whose side the audience is on.Romance is the most common form of the fairy-tale,and according toChristianity it is the narrative form constituted by a human life or,accord-ing to Hegel and Marx,the form taken by world history.As far as analysesof international relations are concerned,romance is the narrative favouredby idealists and world-improvers of all kinds.This is how Wilsonians,free-market enthusiasts,anti-Communist crusaders,Greenpeace activists,Esperanto-speakers and anti-globalization protesters usually talk aboutworld affairs.These are people who believe that evil can be defeated,thatthe world can be made into a better place,and usually also that they are thevery instruments chosen by God,Providence or History to carry out thistask.Occasionally,the romantics are paciﬁsts,but more often they are war-like and fully prepared to ﬁght for their beliefs.The world as they see it pre-sents a struggle between good and evil,and evil must be annihilated forgood to prevail.Despite the commotion it is likely to stir up,romance has often beenpopular with political and social elites.
Deﬁning themselves as the heroesof their own quests,political leaders can make themselves look good;theyare on a mission,they know who their enemies are,and they demand thatpeople join up behind them.In this way the romantic narrative serves alegitimating function and helps shore up claims on power.
The romance isnevertheless a risky choice for a politician.As soon as the situation turnsout to be more complicated than initially thought — or if the enemy cannotbe found,or if found,cannot be defeated — the crusading hero will startlooking distinctly foolish.
At this point the political leader will immediatelylose credibility and public support.Tragedy provides an entirely different plot structure.
Here too there is ahero,but a tragic hero is someone who rebels against the established orderand who is destroyed as a result.The tragic hero — Œdipus,Antigone,Arthur Miller’s Willy Loman — has a ‘ﬂaw’ that sets him apart from others;he is proud,passionate or obsessed with some fanciful idea.
Following hisown mind,he comes into conﬂict with the laws of society or nature,and asthe social or natural order is re-established the hero is relentlessly crushed.In the end no one escapes and no one gets away with anything,no matterhow good the intentions.In fact,the better the intentions,the more decisivethe defeat will be.The conclusion of the tragedy leaves the audience withthe sense that justice has been done — ‘the hero must fall!’ — but also afeeling of profound pity — ‘why did the hero have to fall?’In the study of international politics,it is above all students of the so-called Realist school who are the tragedians.
In an anarchic realm of sovereign states,they tell us that insecurity is a permanent condition andthe search for security characterizes everything that states do.If we wantpeace we have to prepare for war,and only we ourselves can guarantee ourown preservation.This is a law of international politics that human beingsstruggle in vain to alter.No progress is possible in relations between states;instead the same basic patterns endlessly repeat themselves.Individuals or