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Published by: apto123 on Jun 06, 2012
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Ethics, Liberalism and Realism inInternational Relations
Both of the leading theories of international relations, liberalism andrealism, suffer from an inability to integrate the ethical and pragmaticdimensions of foreign policy. Liberalism’s inability to articulate a coherenttheory of a common human good raises serious questions about the claims of liberal leaders to act in the interests of law and justice on the world stage. Incontrast, realist thinkers have struggled with questions of ethics in ways thatreflect their deep awareness of the tragic nature of politics. However, theyhave also underestimated the potential for statecraft to exist as a moralenterprise at the international level.This book argues that the liberal theory of social contract should bereplaced with one based upon covenant. The covenant paradigm affirms therealist position that no form of political community, liberal or otherwise,can ever rid itself of the potential for tyranny and imperialism. Covenantalthought also draws on Tocqueville’s observation that the contractual society,meaning one rooted in a materialistic, narrow view of self-interest, cannotsurvive for long as a vibrant democratic society. In contrast, effectivecovenantal arrangements throughout history reflect our ability to createmoral commitments that sustain the variety of social and political networksthat Tocqueville believed were so important to human flourishing.
Ethics, Liberalism and Realism in International Relations
will be of particularinterest to students and researchers of international relations theory, politicalphilosophy and foreign policy.
Mark D. Gismondi
is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Inter-national Studies at Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho, USA.
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