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The English School vs.

American Realism: A Meeting of Minds or Divided by a Common
Author(s): Richard Little
Source: Review of International Studies, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul., 2003), pp. 443-460
Published by: Cambridge University Press
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it is argued. chronic insecurity throughout the system. the 'timeless wisdom' of realism is seen to remain intact.Review DOT. These two positions States is a benign security-seeking United consensus seems than might at reflects less that the realist and it theory compatible first appear. in the post-Cold War world than American for developments from an American all written three Not the contributions. such as the collapse of the Soviet Union. uncertainty experienced by one state example. surprisingly. Collectively. American a meeting of minds or Realism: divided by a common language? LITTLE* RICHARD to assess the it is designed aims. are calling American in doing so clear tensions realism in this Forum. despite seismic events. the basic developments are seen to have remained intact. * Thanks to Theo Farrell for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. recurrence of conflict in the Balkans. but one international have transformed is to assess whether or not the resurgent English that is central to my contribution. First and foremost. We structural features of the international system continue to live.131 on Tue. the contemporary Although acknowledged understanding recent in international been some very significant years. Glaser argues that balancing has not taken place in the post-Cold War world because the major powers recognise the are simply not state. Desch and Glaser provide a useful overview of what we Copeland. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . insights for it is that there have world. the the crucial role played by the major powers in structuring for comprehending are these relations and international for powers amongst why system determining and in others by conflict. of International Studies (2003). previous to provide essential insist that realism continues realist perspective. and the traumatic the genocide hours of 11 September 2001. 443-460 Copyright ? British International Studies Association 10. although the that For argues emerge. to in the wake of developments that are considered relations over the past decade. 29. In such a world.223. 443 This content downloaded from 139. in Rwanda. By contrast. As a in some instances by cooperation characterised the consequence. and is about the intentions of other states is a necessary consequence absolutely central to realist thinking. Copeland of anarchy.184. as a consequence. A second aim. realism is seen to retain its still offering the most effective theoretical framework privileged explanatory position. in an anarchic arena that necessarily creates uncertainty the potential for pervasive and for all its members possesses and.1017IS0260210503004431 The English School vs. for an approach that can account more effectively School provides the foundations This Forum relevance has two main of American realism realism.

significant 1 Bull. however. School currently fails to provide a coherent theory to set against the extremely robust realists. however. Who is the criticisms that are levelled at the English School by Copeland or is not a member of the English School is not an issue that is worth spending time on. in principle. it would constructed. By ignoring these elements of it becomes the English School framework impossible to appreciate how the English international society and what is distinctive about the approach. acknowledge in societal rather than the international anarchic terms. but it is system viewing at almost distinctive feature of the this juncture. it is generally agreed that the English left under-specified.2 In practice.. it is important to clarify where the English School is coming from. p. it can readily be detached from the other key concepts like the international system and world society. By the same token. 25. In fact.444 Richard Little the assessment of the English School that emerges in the previous Unsurprisingly. Copeland not fare as well as the theory associated with American realism because we are still in an international system that is governed on the basis of power and operating interests rather than an international society that is governed by norms.184. But the criticisms go much deeper and the English school is seen to realism on pretty well all counts. cited Macmillan 2 in Kai Alderson Press. Bull. therefore. of this decided to make a break with the classical realists. Hedley Bull on International Society p. But even if such a theory was theory that has been established by American and Glaser presume that. it is fair comment that there is a need for more solid empirical to reveal how decision-makers research from an explicitly English School perspective view the world. Glaser and Copeland fall short of American to School the that the possesses English potential develop a rival theory. modern American There realist thinking and refine it on the basis of their positivist methodology. the concepts of international system and world society cannot simply be set aside. a serious misapprehension about the overall orientation of the and Glaser assume that because the idea of international English School. Alderson and reflected 'the bankruptcy a out idea of international of 'critical that the Hurrell society grew acknowledge 'the social engagement' with classical realism.1 Nevertheless.223.131 on Tue. This content downloaded from 139. however. and Andrew Hurrell. There is. At the end of the day. every English School is argued that. example. as things currently stand. 47. But members consciously school often associate themselves with the classical realist tradition without apparently being aware of what they have left behind. which is seen to have underestimated nature of international the overlap is more life'. 2000). Copeland society is the most distinctive feature of the English School. explicitly English work represented 'an instructive failure' and realists and insisted that Morgenthau's of a whole line of inquiry'. from for dissociated himself the classical School. provided that they had self would be no problem with this procedure. the reverse of this argument fathers of the applies to the founding Ironically. contributions is very critical. School characterises Before turning to what the English School can tell us about the post-Cold War world. What the who were developing their ideas in the middle is to take one strand of classical realists have done. as I will attempt to demonstrate in this contribution. I want to demonstrate that American realism and the English School intellectual heritage that can be traced back to the classical realists share a common of the twentieth century. Ibid. although it is impossible not to sympathise with some of and Glaser. In doing so. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions (London: .

School The English vs. provide the main focal point for classical realists. international show what this missing In the second element adds I shall then try to part of the contribution to our understanding of contemporary inter national politics. world society. international School when 'states are in system emerges for the English in contact is with other and where addition there between each interaction regular them. or certainly incomplete. In the case of Morgenthau. suggests that the dynamics of the international the dynamics associated with the balance of power. I will Finally. international underpin English School thinking society world society. American of sional account that generates a distorted. What we see in this section is that although There the that and the of their thinking in each these concepts. reveal what is distinctive about the English School orientation. and. realists. 1977). missing realism presents a one-dimen the English School perspective. which is present in classical realism. This content downloaded from 139. A theory of the balance of power there is the same presumption to modern American shorn of all normative therefore. Although drawn between international system and society that we find in the English School. therefore. the antecedents highlighted English case can be traced back to the classical realists. By exploring implicit than explicit I to in of the first this School and classical realism contribution. international . p. therefore.223. is distinctive implications. that is more What the English School does. 10. Conventional in particular. These can be highlighted .131 on Tue. The Anarchical Society (London: Macmillan. Highlighting these links helps to reveal realists have only emphasised one element of classical realism at the that the American School expense of thinking about The international the social dimension of international politics. From from modern American realism. system wisdom system. however. American Realism: a meeting of minds 445 than Alderson and Hurrell allow. there is certainly an important social element from an English School perspective. and international justice. part hope English I will also reveal why. this assessment For him. between how the balance of power operates in the international system and how it in an international there is not the clear-cut distinction operates society. understanding relations. sufficient to make the behaviour of each a necessary element in the calculation of the other'.international system.184. there is an implicit distinction drawn certainly requires some modification. School by the American Classical realism and the English return to the main criticisms levelled at the Engish School are significant links that can be established between classical realism and by focusing on the central concepts English School. that they co-exist. and international works of seminal theorists in classical realism such as Morgenthau. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . is to clarify an approach in classical these links between the realism. A close reading reveals that the key concepts that international lie at the heart of the English School approach system.can all be clearly identified in the justice society. in the conclusion realists.3 Classical realists subscribe to a similar position and Morgenthau An 3 Hedley Bull.

presupposes norms. 100. (New York: Historical Analysis (London: This content downloaded from 139. Because outcome is independent a product of the system. p.. Politics Among Nations: Alfred A. systemic pressures outside of the will of the community concerned'. but.6 By contrast. in the context of societal If states refuse to accept the moral effectively standing of each other then they will find that they engage in a struggle of unlimited 'ferociousness and intensity'.5 A purely systemic balance is very different from a It would societal balance. the sense that they act a advances moreover. 5th edn.9 Bull. that in a bipolar arguing we anomic world with the two dominant powers aiming at absolute aggrandisement can only imagine the balance of power to be 'amoment of deadlock in a struggle to death between two contending powers'. Bull formulates the idea of a 'fortuitous' balance of power that can consequence. then there will be a 'proportionate increase in the power of the other'. 6 Politics Among Nations. As a consequence. therefore. 311. it is viewed as As Watson in 'act mechanically puts it. a Hobbesian nature'. Knopf.10 The English School acknowledges. The Struggle Society: for Power A Comparative and Peace. p.7 As a position. of the objectives being pursued by the states.446 Richard Little that there is an automatic law ensuring that if one state increases its power an to in order pursue capabilities imperial policy at the expense of a rival. Society. 107. the English School that classical although acknowledges an 'automatic tendency' for a balance of power to emerge in realists have postulated the international system. represents the default position of logic that underpins the American realist theory of international politics. 1973). 105.Morgenthau. The Evolution of International 1992). however. p 256.8 emerge without 'any conscious This outcome is seen to be most states are likely in a situation where two dominant an international both striving to achieve hegemony within the system. they deny that there is an 'inevitable tendency for a balance of power to arise' because states do not always seek to maximise their relative power often preferring to devote their resources and energies to other ends. 174. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . that a balance of power might fortui the members do system. tously arise within the international not consider that such a balance could provide the basis for a stable international order. 'state of resemble.184. Morgenthau. Morgenthau argues. But. Classical that the balance of power can only work realism. like Morgenthau. 7 Bull. 225.4 A systemic balance of in any anarchic arena. similar image to Morgenthau. It is this kind power. as a consequence. p. the persistence of accepts in the post-Cold War world poses a much bigger anomaly for the unipolarity American realists than for the other two schools and there is no straightforward answer as to why the United States has not been confronted by a balancing alliance. p..223. 9 Adam Watson. The Anarchical p. 10 Bull. Routledge. and there is no doubt that the thinking has resulted in a much more coherent and a was of balance of than advanced by the power comprehensive theory systemic classical realists or the English School. The Anarchical p. effort' on the part of the members of the system. 8 Ibid. Society. 5 Ibid.131 on Tue. Bull displays very little interest in a purely systemic balance turns his attention to a societal balance of power. The of power and immediately reluctance of the English School to accept that there is a logic to anarchy necessarily 4 Hans J. therefore.

Morgenthau law to try to make progress on these fronts using international because international to sustain a is an international institution that is designed law. Morgenthau. contest what he sees as the 'widespread misconception' that there is no such thing as international law emerged over law. Morgenthau. therefore. 17 Ibid. society. p. but from the English School perspec tive. goes to considerable pains to established body of norms. 18 Ibid. failed state. that international the English Although realists also subscribed 400 years ago and that it has been 'scrupulously observed' from the start. the persis suggest. swing in international perennial pendulum with the pull being towards empire rather than anarchy.. This content downloaded from 139. 273. to the idea of an international in other Both accept. states. like diplomacy. p.. p. on an 'ultimate standard' of behaviour this distinc reflecting a body of rules that all states were obliged to follow. p. is seen to have an element of to eliminate war from is in the attempts was international government. pp.17 During tive period of history every ruler 'expected and was justified in expecting everybody else to share this standard'.11 Certainly the historical record indicates that it has been more difficult for anarchic systems to survive than the American realist's theory would realists. 219.. there has been a anarchy is very fragile structure and that. American School Realism: a meeting of minds 447 a balance of power. of International 12 Politics Among Nations. a society of sovereign could police the system would no longer constitute states. ch. they are unlikely sovereign to undermine the sovereign designed 14 Politics Among Nations.The English vs.15 Morgenthau insisted that during the era of the European balance of for drives had been constrained 'moral power. on a habitual basis. as Watson relations between empire and anarchy... words. He observed international grave society a for two characterised mutual survival the between system super-powers by struggle and he argued that their policies were creating a 'new balance of power'14 that would deal the 'final. For the American tence of anarchy is not seen to be problematic. 273. 274. could be a consequence of their presumption that a has put it. to the contrary. 13 law Ibid. 220.12 He asserts. 16 Ibid. to protect and international law are designed the therefore. government constantly being reproduced. Wehere international the international system and establish extremely sceptical about the utility of Society. 15 Ibid. this is itself a problem. It is through law and diplomacy that the society of states is international society of sovereign a world with an effective international that By contrast. 330-1. Morgenthau feared that the international beginning was an emerging of states under threat. Morgenthau. power limitations'. by an for example. imperial by 'a silent compact' that all states had a accepted by states as the result of establishing right to survive. 21. because diplomacy to be effective when it comes to introducing measures that are state.18 11 The Evolution Watson. that international behaviour have been regulated.13 At the of the Cold War.184. From a classical realist perspective. fatal blow' to a balance of power which had permitted the long-term survival of a society of states defined by 'shared values and universal standards of action'. however. generating International society the concept much more School makes classical explicit.223. p. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .16 States agreed.131 on Tue.

however. 219. It follows that there is an intersubjective a 'silent agreement. where with any international the Great Powers all accept the need to sustain setting a society of states. for example. To do so a systemic and a between would require them to make more of the distinction societal balance of power. however. is never spelled out with like the precision that characterises the analyses offered by anything realists. There will be a tendency for American states to voluntarily subscribe to international law. Schwarzenberger. See Jonathan Price argues that this is how Thucydides and Internal War (Cambridge: Press. But classical realists and the English School have failed to explore this idea in detail. The former acts as a counterfactual. He suggests for the observation that norms are observed because of 'power and coercion. 20 classical realists believe has the potential Both the English School and the classical realists go further. Price: characterises War. Bull. provided system that can ignore the sanctions of other states.131 on Tue. Reciprocity that there is no state in the procedure will only prove effective. The logic underpinning this relationship. institutionalised habit or inertia. W. when of the English School have provided various reasons to account suggested.. that operates in the absence of a normative framework. and a 'contrived' balance A that is seen to underpin any international contrived balance is associated society. 3rd edn. So a a society of with balance of becomes the survival of 'contrived' power synonymous states. however. it is also apparent that while the undertaking may argument eventually prove to be 'hopeless'. to state restrain does take the necessary that this any pursue steps strategy.21 This states will sanction them. and insist that there is a necessary between international law and the societal relationship balance of power. to refrain from endeavouring to monopolise international power and to compact'. the existence of a sense of community.184. 20 the Peloponnesian J. p. established an intimate link between Morgenthau. procedural legitimacy of the suasion that derives from a shared sense of process of rule creation. self-interest and reciprocal benefits. because infringements of international law pose a threat to the societal balance of power. p. The Great Powers engage in voluntary restraint because they know that any the balance will be a 'hopeless undertaking'. But Hurrell also acknowledges establish an aggregate list of factors 'without providing any precise guide as to their 19 Ibid. or the moral that the English School does no more than justice'. therefore. Cambridge University Thucydides 21 Power Politics. NJ: Princeton University Thompson Press). Stevens and Co. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and K. 169. Political Realism and the Crisis of World Politics (Princeton. members of international law. and the English School travels along exactly the same route. draws a sharp distinction between a 'fortuitous' balance that sometimes operates within an international system. This line of argument may still not seem sufficient to account for why states obey interests to do so.19 Although this attempt to overthrow is not spelled out. 2001). deterring states from into a systemic balance of international law because of the fear of moving violating power. But as Hurrell it is not in their immediate has rules.223. The argument seems to be that in the context of a societal balance law because if it fails to do so. society and the balance of power. (London: See G. p. This content downloaded from 139. 203. other of power each state will abide by international seems to lie at the heart of this process. 1964). it could lead to the demise of the societal balance of a systemic balance which both the English School and the and the emergence to turn into a 'state of nature'..448 Richard Little international therefore.

55. extremely difficult a world was to establish he enthusiastic about the very community. Dialogue'. compliance law that is constitutive of the that they have a long-term interest in a way which normativity in terms of specific and calculable interests.23 449 of minds find the arguments incomplete society the idea of world with the English closely associated Although society is most of the form discussion School. 327-52.25 The English School has a different and more complex take on this issue. He is currently working to clarify English distinction School thinking. :Robertson. Politics (London Nations. Although he accepted that international law and diplomacy a society of states and are unlikely.184. 1998). See also David Mitrany. Regime Theory and International (Oxford: Clarendon Rittberger See Ole Waever. are designed to maintain to he did not suggest that a world government international is promote government. although saw with functional associated the of and the theory writings Mitrany special as one way forward to promote the agencies associated with the United Nations creation of a world community. System Society: Structural and Regime Theory Meet the English International 47:3 (1993). if we are to survive. as a consequence. p. 30. he believed that. on a book that uses this pp. the rules achieve obligation becomes more law-like and where compliance is hard to calculate with specific rules. community.24 cannot be implemented is clear that such a development from the Morgenthau an or some kind of state. (ed.22 presented by the English School World vs. School'. American a meeting Realism: realists who only American and inadequate. Because in this international and legal system.). by the to take us much School have the potential further than the liberal institutionalists who only English rules. the concept also plays a key role in Morgenthau's ation of a world state. Society and the Study of Regimes: A Reflective Approach' Relations Press. refers to a world community rather than a Morgenthau. He goes on (p. by imperial by a movement states constitutional confederation. successful from of away Any society must be preceded by a transformation at the level of the community. The Functional 1975). either through world conquest.131 on Tue. presup government state and the demise of the society of sovereign of a world poses the existence states. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Theory of .223.' 24 25 ch. 29. 91) 'Often the investigate one item on the list.The English School Thus it is not relationship'. 'Four Meanings of International in B. precondition for the establishment of a world state is that individuals from their local community to a world have shifted their primary allegiance that it would be however. however. Society: A Transatlantic Roberson and the Development Relations (ed. Theory Organization. p. then it is essential. On the contrary. Morgenthau acknowledged. 90 who argues. This content downloaded from 139. to be established. Hurrell. if not sufficient. to International world 'From International society. however. Members must of the school 22 23 are divided on the significance of what they call world society for the 'International in V. Morgenthau Politics Among Nations. See Barry Buzan. or that the formation of a world government should be opposed on inconceivable principle. International Society of International Theory (London and Washington: that the arguments enumerated Pinter. ch.). A necessary. top. 1993). in the long run. Politics Among Morgenthau. who takes this distinction seriously. for a world government because only a world can effectively eliminate war. A world government. A. Moreover they focus on individual Andrew in explaining interest in international general society is important while the specific rules add up to a general system of international structure of the state-system states come to believe itself.

pp.131 on Tue. less certain. both the realist emphasis on material 26 The Anarchical p. therefore. would society. 725^41.31 The weakness that of realism.. 1971). force with regard to certain vested interests'. with a to states if has have stable of is society emerged society going to exist. abridged edn. 1963).30 A crucial task of the realist. 152.Niebuhr. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . classical society will necessarily rule-governed Classical such as Morgenthau and Carr. As a consequence. p. 258. IL: Chicago University Press. although on a dominant ideology to obscure this link between notes 'the individual or group which As Niebuhr or pr?tentions. point that an expansion of existence world individuals the subjects of international law. 317. other things. however. 49.Morgenthau. 29 some argue that it is not possible to In fact this issue is debated within the English School. Carr acknowledges. that it is not only possible turn this vision into a reality. R. From task of the realist is to expose this axiomatic forces and the Carr's perspective. worked from the premise sociologist their power to promote their own interests. because no provision have a concept of order that makes for justice. 43-67. 'Order and Justice in The 69:4 (1993). to envisage a transformed world but also to therefore. Anarchical International Affairs. is to expose the truth about where power exists and how it supports the status the realist 'cannot help being a subversive and revolutionary quo. by making undermine 'the international order based on the society of states'. Science'.223. pp.184.26 Later. The perennial link between power and interest. See Ian Harris. pp. Society. by the preservation and extension of a common culture'. On the contrary. is that it then fails to acknowledge role for ideas in international there is an independent politics. 40:1 (2002). p. both heavily of knowledge. argues Carr. But there is considerable ambiguity surrounding one in at much line with Bull very argues Morgenthau. on the English Thomas Diez and Richard Whitman. (London: 31 J. 27 Bull.29 It is acknowledged. 6-7.Morgenthau. Whenever any vision is realised.2* to the conclusion can establish and explicit justice realists and the English School both draw a distinction between order and in other words. For example. organised any society. Society'. Others are the issue. 28 Twentieth Century. however inordinate of social portion to both Morgenthau and privilege to itself'.27 Diez and come Whitman politics ambiguity and we International is a feature of international that this ambiguity substantial the analytical purchase by making 'treating it as an inherent characteristic of the international'. he argues that the 'future of international among society is likely to be determined. p. 30 Moral Man and Immoral Society SCM Press. This content downloaded from 139. 'The Commitments Politics Hans. according Carr. be a just society. however. which will then be used to maintain the system. (Chicago. then some parties will benefit from the new system more than others and they will turn these benefits into power. the that those with power will use often they will also rely heavily power and interest. Journal of Common Market Studies. an social its intentions arrogates realists influenced by Mannheim. Ibid. Reflecting 'Analysing European Integration: School'. that there is no reason to suppose that a justice.450 Richard Little some arguing that an element of world of international society. in the of Political in Hans J.

Bull on International Press. 78. The Anarchical (London: Macmillan. Mannheim and a Post-Positivist Science of International Political Relations'. 45:1 (1997). 2000). 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Justice at the level of the state requires international society to ensure. 33 Bull.35 Bull argued. H. E. that the sovereign rights of states are observed. therefore. H Carr: A Critical Reappraisal (London: Palgrave. Justice demands. 32 : An Introduction to the Study of International E. In other words. states to preserve an that wish that it is obvious why satisfied ensure to those who that they offer significant concessions established system should benefit least from the system. Press. 244. most of War the feature the world have been the perhaps puzzling post-Cold persistence of unipolarity. see Charles A. Armed with this understanding.32 The English School has also thought hard about the role of justice in inter national relations and are clear that there are ideas about what constitutes justice in relations and that these ideas 'play a role in the course of events'. For perceptive essays on Carr. and there have been to account for the failure of a new balance of power to considerable efforts made of course. see Michael Cox (ed. Studies. for example. understanding a consequence. See also Bull's by Michael 'The Twenty Years' Crisis Thirty Years On'. Bull was clear that it was essential for order to take priority over justice. to ensure that their position ismade bearable. p. From the American realist perspective. some sense of the post-Cold War world. also poses a puzzle for the English emerge. that the West abandon the post-Cold War world it The English School starts from the premise that its pluralistic framework makes to at in examine international relations world So its any point possible history. 125-38. Society (London: Macmillan Hedley Bull on International This content downloaded from 139. Jones 'Carr. the idea of human rights has the consolidation system. therefore. American Realism: a meeting of minds 451 with transformative ideas have an essential role to play in any Utopian preoccupation Carr concludes.131 on Tue. which their theory would not predict. with new introduction Cox (ed. he began to reconsider this position and However.. With and indeed can now be seen to be potentially 'subversive of gone 'underground' the obvious moral ambiguity attached to this international society itself'34. p. 183. of course. it is inevitable that those states with power will use their power to ensure that the states in the interests of these states are served at the expense of the remaining of the state.The English School vs. of undue privilege'. 35 in Kai Alderson 'Justice in International Relations: The 1983 Hagey Lectures' and Andrew Hurrell.). just as in any society. Hedley assessment. But the American for also argue that because they have a theory. that there was a need to rectify the imbalance between the rich and the recognised poor states within 'positions Assessing the system. towards the end of his life.) (New York Relations. 232-46. Carr. they can provide a causal explanation the behaviour of the Great Powers. 2000). assert that they can make members American realists realists. pp. pp.33 international Bull goes on to draw a distinction between justice at the level of the state and justice at the level of the individual. as of world politics. in Kai Alderson and Andrew Hurrell. wish to make the same claim. p. For a different Society (London: Macmillan reading of Carr than given here. Despite position. The persistence of unipolarity.223. 1977). 2001). 2000). 1919-1939 :Palgrave. The Twenty Years' Crisis. But this tells us nothing about human justice.184. Society Hedley 34 Ibid.

184. The first relates to military of international for members have proved to be so problematic society. they were centres around which societies developed'. military moves made by either the United States or the Soviet Union were in terms of their impact on a systemic balance of power or the assessed primarily in Africa in the societies. Of course. the balance of power plays a crucial role in their But first. Watson that in the aftermath of World War II.. From an English in very different terms because however. The moves by one super-power were also drawn upon to justify the moves of the other. The second School relates free trade and asks how we can account for the extra norms across of free trade international society. there is any more than sketch what the English School would have to say to the growth ordinarily rapid third focuses on to how approach not space to do of I will the English School position. The expansion an to and formulate School terrorism attempts global English the West should respond to global terrorism. for example. highlighting the the English School draw on both system and society to distinguish unipolarity.131 on Tue. however. of International 1992).452 Richard Little because. So. Society. Hedley Adam Society: A Comparative Historical Analysis This content downloaded from 139. for example. the 36 The Evolution Watson. levelled at the English School by the American Military intervention and the international system intervention was as much a feature of the bipolar Cold War era as it has Military School perspective. who focus primarily power to the shift from bipolarity characterise international structure. as argued above. 289.223. p. about these issues. on the distribution to of military realists. however. Routledge. I analysis. it was important to 'were not "book ends" holding together a single recognise that the two superpowers largely separate closely involved society of states. were viewed in Afghanistan 1970s. society across the globe has emerged. 37 Bull. two periods. these interventions need to be characterised In contrast to the American the structures of the two periods are quite different. because of their potential impact on the distribution of power in the international system.36 Bull also asks if international politics in the Cold War should be viewed in terms of 'an international system that is not an international society'. Soviet moves need to defend their respective international at the end of that decade. 39. want to extend English School thinking to three questions that the post-Cold War intervention and why these interventions world raises. I will come back to this issue at the end of this contribution. but more especially with alarm by the United States. The Anarchical p. but concludes that the element of society is always present in international politics. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions (London: . it was possible to identify a global international whereas system. for example. to structure opens up a more complex assessment The English School approach of the military that occurred during these two periods. During the interventions Cold War. argues.37 With for a much the potential thicker international Union. its 'survival is sometimes the demise of the Soviet although precarious'. But having briefly outlined and to the criticisms of unipolarity conclude by returning to the specific question realists. proved to be in the post-Cold War world.

Millennium. however. in a World of States The Global Covenant: Human Conduct World Politics: Progress and Its Limits 2000). The impact of a potential have been evaluated intervention on the global distribution of power has not been an issue. American Realism: a meeting of minds 453 to justify US military in the intervention language used in the Johnson Doctrine was terms in cast in of the United the Dominican 1965 States defending Republic but the language was then replicated Dominican people from 'internal aggression'. The vision. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . case.40 give priority Since 11 September 2001. So. and Nicholas Saving (Cambridge: Polity Press. Relations: International Studies Review. however. (Oxford: Oxford University J. pp. See Robert Jackson on 21:3 persists. but rather on whether the sovereign rights of a preponderance state should be observed. but he goes on to note that this vision ignores the fact that states have changed 'the sovereignty and postmodern the games of postcolonial in such a way that the conditions for the good life in major parts of the world 39 creation of political goods has acquired an explicit international dimension'. to defend that it is essential the rights of states in 'Inequality and Theorising in International The Case for Subaltern Realism'. versions of the good life'. The basic We issue discussion society.Wheeler.The English School vs. the focus has not been on how a potential intervention would affect the military of the United States. as Sorensen premised states to pursue their preferred 'the freedom for citizens of individual observes. 38 : Verbal Strategy Among M. 48-62. pp.184. for the pluralist in International Intervention Press. 40 Nicholas J. Georg Changes of International (Basingstoke: 2001). There is substantial and ambiguity controversy surrounding this choice in the international and this controversy and ambiguity is community reflected within the English School. pp. But 'Radical Chic? Subaltern This content downloaded from 139. Press.131 on Tue. 2000) Strangers:Humanitarian Society (Oxford: Oxford University for the solidarist case. 4:3 (2002). 1971). see also Michael Barnett's solidarist very critical and essentially response Realist: A Rejoinder' International Studies Review. calls upon the English to reinforce his argument School Ayoob. latter position leads to what the English School identifies as solidarist solutions that to the rights of indviduals over the rights of states. Mohammed for example. On the one hand. support persists for a pluralist on the assumption that a society of states creates. state rights and much more about the the status quo which is being threatened by groups with very need to preserve different visions of the future than those entertained the Western by elites within The debate now centres on tensions between systemic order and the societal rights of states when the threat to international society is coming from within world return to will this in the of global terrorism. and James Mayall. 171-2. 2000). fNew York in Statehood: The Transformation Relations Sorensen. V^heeler 'Pluralist or Solidarist Contentions of International Society: Bull and Vincent Thomas 39 Humanitarian solidarists Intervention' The debate between pluralists and (1992). However.223. the debate has moved on again. The current concern in theWest is less about individual vs. 27-48. 463-87. Word Politics the Superpowers :Oxford University Press. Franck and Edward Weisband. or whether of individuals within the protection the state should be privileged. pp. are to explain why interventions that the American realists unable is. 4:3 (2002).38 In the post-Cold War era. echo effect'. it is still often assumed that the English School favours pluralist solutions. point in the Cold War were always justified in security terms (even those interventions that world. attention has focused on whether the rights of states or individuals should be given priority. Instead. military responses by the United States and other states in very different terms. in 1968 to justify intervention Pact into by the Soviet Union by the Warsaw and this process exemplifies what Franck and Weisband call 'the Czechoslovakia. Palgrave.

tariffs has been the towards globalised to in levels' the developed world and. Although in humanitarian interventions the Cold War have been defended on a at have School is least handle the issue. they English deeply divided. such as the Tanzanian intervention whereas the post terms. Brown. is a body of rules associated with free trade steadily embracing an increasing number of states.184.). By the 1990s. 448-61. Kapstein the Cold War'. Robert O and Joseph S. As more and more new states came into existence during the to adopt free trade practices. beyond the elites in the international criticism in the developed world. have tended to ignore the issue. Relations p. outside of the Soviet sphere. being extended and. in Ethan B. Bull accepts that on the economic board. Members of the English such as Bull. (Boston. like classical realists and members School.43 At the start of the Cold War. and the EU was to work within the evolving free trade regime. Japan. a shibboleth free trade has represented For many therefore. in Transition World Politics 1977). free trade orthodoxy were simply not amenable to challenge.131 on Tue. Handbook of International 42 about power not being fungible on Bull. 1999). they were all encouraged Consensus took it for granted that what has come to be known as the Washington the only way for new states to catch up with the United States. acknowledge 'chess boards'. During this period. Free trade and international society in world politics over the past fifty years the most dramatic developments movement free trade. the United States arena a within the role the economic and advocated occupied hegemonic unfailingly virtues of free trade. and Michael Mastanduno After Realism and State Strategies After the Cold War (New York: Columbia This content downloaded from 139. 449. Simmons 'International Trade' inWalter Carlsnaes. See Michael Moment: Realist Theories Mastanduno the Unipolar 'Preserving Helen and US Strategies Unipolar Politics: Press. Nye. What we observe from 1945 to the present. to that military power is not fungible and that it is necessary however.41 There is 1970s. since the have been reduced 'insignificant countries. Toronto 43 the importance of seeing how different American realists are starting to recognise games are played on different boards. :Little. although American realists.). focusing on security rather than English have followed this route because economic issues.223. for example. but the structural transformation identified at the end of the priority of free trade over the Cold Cold War fails to correlate with the steady expansion War and post-Cold War periods. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions (eds. years. pp. Thomas Risse and Beth A. Sage Publications. simultaneously. Realists they give ontological to security. particularly amongst the world economy. the Soviet Union and China did not have a significant role to play. Cold War era. there has been a similar 'rush to free trade' by developing no good comprehensive that adequately accounts for the inexorable rise explanation One of of the of free trade.Richard Little 454 occurred outside of the Cold War context and could be seen to have had humani into Uganda) tarian goals. (London: 2002). The argument Hedley Society. 133. But there for managing institutions that have had responsibility 41 V Milner. Power and Interdependence: different boards is developed by Keohane.42 So at the height of the explore the balance of power on different Cold War. School. MA. (eds. The Anarchical p. therefore. The same advice was meted out to and the basic tenets of this the new states that had escaped the grip of communism. University .

See Ana Gonzalez-Pelaez. however. December John Vincent. 2000). p. economics is generally seen to represent something of a blind spot for Although the English School. 2001). Millennium 47 Gonzalez-Pelaez has shown how John Vincent the centrality of the international presupposed for English of the basic right to food School economy thinking when he showed how the satisfaction of the international failed to follow through on this economy. Here attention are suffering from malnutrition. But the World Food Summit also committed states to the establishment of a 'fair world trade system'. pp. India and most other Asian since the 1980s than in the previous is reviewing Joseph Stiglitz. Kicking Away the Ladder: Development countries Press.131 on Tue.The English School vs. 363-6. who has become 46 of Robert in a World of States Review Conduct Jackson. situation from the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. the lacuna can be seen to be an aberration because. In other words. prize winner. 1986). of Westminster. in Times Higher Educational Supplement. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and Raymond University International Relations Press. 2000).47 Buzan argues that 44 inHistorical Strategy (London: Perspective Chang. (Cambridge: Polity Press. it is recognised that mass states in the developed starvation is the consequence of a refusal by most world to open their agricultural systems to free trade rules. This argument is reinforced when the impact of the West's failure to open up agriculture to free trade is taken into account. and James Mayall.184. monetary states by a larger proportion and has reduced poverty in China. and a Nobel critic of the IMF. Society: R. through to the 1996 World Food to reduce the number of hungry people in Summit.D submitted Approach Rights'. 45 Desai 'Our world not beyond Meghnad repair'.45 But neither the American much interest in the phenomenon. in the first instance.223.44 the advantages The facts are still preserve realists nor the English School have shown disputed. Stiglitz was a leading free a major market economist in the US. on the 800 m people who products. Human Rights and 2002. The second area of criticism focuses on international trade in agricultural is focused. which insisted that everyone has a right to food. carries this line of argument further and suggests that the failure to accommodate the economic dimension has the to the overall of the School He undermine asks potential logic English position. But Vincent required a restructuring Ha-Joon Anthem in International 'Basic Rights Idea of a insight. The Global Covenant: Human (Oxford: Oxford University World Politics: Progress and Its Limits Press.Vincent's to the Practical Realisation of Human to the Subsistence Ph. century.J. 'Special Book Reviews'. He argues that most Third World grew faster when they maintained tariffs than when they adopted free market import substitution strategies. First. 25 argues that increasing access to rich countries' markets and fiscal strategies have industrialised the Third World faster than was thought possible. American Realism: a meeting of minds 455 is now growing debate about the nature of the rules and policies dictated by the West for the developing world. it is difficult to envisage an effective international in the absence of the complex body of rules that helps system functioning international society. Critics are now beginning that the rules of the world have not been camp. at least since the demise of the mercantilist era. where there was a commitment the world to 400 m by 2015.46 how the pursuit of economic liberal values over the last half-century fits into the that relies on an absolute distinction state between dichotomy pluralist/solidarist economic to define rights and human rights. it is argued states relied on protectionist that most of the existing developed policies to develop to develop industry is being denied to their economies. Buzan. Desai eight decades of the twentieth Globalization and Its Discontents (Allan Lane: the Penguin Press. 22 November and credible 2002. 31:2 (2002). arguing economy orthodoxy designed to promote the economies of the poor countries in the world but rather to of the developed world economies. There are two areas of criticism. 2002). But the protection necessary to emerge from within the economic the developing world. International that this society has acknowledged is unacceptable. (Cambridge: Cambridge University This content downloaded from 139.

associated in national as around the world still conceive of themselves Indeed. is generally that there is something acknowledged. for by the pluralist/solidarist dichotomy. and the Development Relations B.184. Members deliberately fabricated to obscure the underlying exploitation as in School are much more of the English likely to accept that in economics. for example. the Islamist agenda with the struggle for national and Hamas. forthcoming. working on an has that that the international rested has been economy ideology possibility of the system. there is arena. but there has society has no role to play in the analysis of American to make been growing recognition within the English School that it is not possible sense of what is happening in post-Cold War international relations without making true in the wake of 11 September. pp. any disadvantages to acknowledge from a realist perspective.48 that the issue is more The growing debate about free trade suggests. International Society of International and Washington: Pinter. This is particularly provision Since then it has become more apparent that the scale of the problem confronting states can only be assessed by taking world society more effectively into Western account. would be willing the Critics.49 If 'reasoned debate and conceptual we acknowledge Buzan's point. This content downloaded from 139.A.456 Richard Little market creates a significant space between solidarism and are examined invisible when these concepts through a state between and lens that human rights only distinguishes rights. al Previous such as Hizbollah about different groups. He does political to fill how this indicate not.131 on Tue. it is essential English School perspective. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the idea of an economic that remains pluralism and the dispute about the advantages than Buzan acknowledges and to assessment free trade need be factored into the of of issue. In other words. space. there is always considerable that the debate will be informed room for debate about appropriate policies and So. but it is also a forum where society is not only a rule-governed constant debate. for world society. example. Society: A Transatlantic Dialogue'. terror and world society World realists. Waever has argued that international society is an arena defined by reflection' about 'prudence. Qaeda.a development that led to concessions by the developed reveals the close links between world society and international society. contentious politics. they would be interested in the way that the protests directed at the World in Seattle in 1999 quickly conference Trade Organisation during its third ministerial states to disarm the critics . 49 in 'Four Meanings of International See Ole Waever. 90-1.223. ethics and legality'. then the space defined by international society must the world economy as well also embrace the constant debates about how to manage as the links with world Global society. however. however.). distinctively jihadist liberation.Roberson Theory (ed. From the to recognise that international therefore. (London 1998). there continues to a transnational states in of Islamic international prevailing society preference 48 It But he does so in International Society and World Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. most Muslims to be strong support for the well as religious terms.

which reaches more than 20 Arab countries. By contrast. Western for example. there is little support in the Muslim world for the aims and tactics of al Qaeda. then al Qaeda will continue the US does affected theWest itself.54 the Muslim world only represents one aspect of world society. pp. Even second-generation Muslims tend to reject secularism and to Mondai individualism and according 'their faith is often expressed in even more collectivist forms than in the Islamic world itself'. Prospect (January 2003). However. it has been argued. 11. but around a limited number of potent issues. because Muslim perceptions will not be primarily by the war. p. it is governments. to without press rely on having news services. 54 on TV. 11 January 2003. Donald has argued. that it is an area that needs to play a crucial role in their thinking. but. been surprised by the impact that satellite stations like Al-Jazeera.Mondai Donald 'Liberal Islam'. Prospect Bella Thomas 'What the Poor Watch (January 2003). they also believe that the 'war on terror' is in reality a 'war on Islam'. the American military in presence Saudi Arabia. American Realism: a meeting of minds 457 of al Qaeda have harnessed the transnational rhetoric polity. In truth.53 He goes on to suggest that only if within keep the need for a firewall to win the war on terror. 46-51. 52 Mondai 'Liberal 53 Dominick Donald 'What Happens Next'. conceptual This content downloaded from 139. Western the growth of global communications has policymakers in place. 32. But he governments are so mistrustful believes that 'if British Muslims of the war on terror. the war on terror is being lost. most Muslims world are hostile to al Qaeda's tactics. at the same time. Islam'. 55 Buzan acknowledges that this is an area where the English School is particularly weak on the front and he is endeavouring to fill the gap. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and the United States in particular.52 Donald argues that Western have to build a 'firewall' between the dar-ul Islam and al Qaeda. to by-pass Muslims their own. however. p.The English School vs. pp. the English School provides only the most rudimentary of the English School recognise members opening this complex issue. but by the nature of a putative postwar Iraq and the long-term role it plays in the region. the Muslim world is not being unified on doctrinal grounds. Nevertheless. can can be of they hope growth global communications seen to magnify and complicate this issue.55 50 51 Anshuman Dominick A. have commentators. then that firewall is present only in an architect's drawing'. 10-11. and the policy of theWest towards Iraq. Yet there Obviously is no doubt that it is a significant feature of world politics that itwould be unwise of Western to ignore. It is certainly a realist thinking and renders the approach gap in American significant impotent when it comes to the task of examining global terrorism. Paradoxically. 'What Happens Guardian Review. 28-33. far from clear how we should most effectively conceptualise and think about world tools for society. however.184.51 If Western fail to convince their local Muslim communities that governments their intentions to recruit towards Islam are benign. opened the way to more local media sources. often censored. In other words.223. pp. members of Islamic solidarity to a global jihadist movement. Next'. More in the Western specifically. such as Israel's policy towards the Palestinians. So long as this belief prevails. The at the level of world society. have had on Muslim But Al-Jazeera allows opinion.131 on Tue.50 As things currently stand. that a war on Iraq is less important for the outcome of the war on terror than what in Iraq after the war.

56 realism. It is the enduring and expansionist of the dimensions a to provide In fact. approach adopted by English empirical testing. front. 77:1 . 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Affairs. The key insights contained realism have all been carried over into English School thinking. is considered School of methodological and theoretical fatally flawed. the between international society and cooperation. realism. Copeland they have failed to follow through and conduct research on this basis. are unimpressed by criticisms of this kind. it has not regressed. he insists. they find intriguing is the fact that it has proved to be so enduring and that it had the capacity to extend across the globe. it English School thinking is in some quickly becomes apparent how underdeveloped further than classical realism. this perspective. insists that makers. what system.223. across millennia.458 Richard Little Conclusion attention is turned to important issues that exist in the post-Cold War world. but simply assume that a structure that does not need to be explained. it unusual structure. indicates the between the English School and the existence of a yawning gulf in understanding American realists. The English School is seen to be just as weak on the theoretical no comes to that is close that there the theory underpinning Copeland arguing route that English School approach and he feels obliged to identify the theoretical to a possible should follow by pointing the English School causal relationship But to make progress. On the methodological front.184. English School has never succeeded in drawing a clear distinction between dependent and independent even if it is accepted that the English School prefers to adopt an variables. As 'unreal' The American insist that their realists. classical By contrast. This suggestion.131 on Tue. are to nature of this causal relationship to have the in School going English specify much more detail that they have so far done. however. Saving Strangers. the American realists fail to take on board is the scale of What on a very broad the English which has always worked School. Moreover. And in many ways than ever they were in classical these insights are much more clearly signposted Once that distorts the American realists have only focused on one dimension of a consequence. almost invariably giving way to hierarchy. international relations from extending Viewing becomes clear that the anarchic international system is a rather the agenda set by historical canvas. system attempt 56 Lawrence (2001). Copeland's that need to be explained. to the ones posed by the American realists. In many ways it has not progressed in classical On the other hand. significant areas. review of Nicholas J. When members of the English questions on international School focus the European therefore. Copeland argues. because the deficiencies. a have muscle-bound approach they produced the reality of international politics refers producing what Freedman to as realism. By taking a world is robust anarchy the English School raise different and more historical fundamental perspective. Freedman pp.Wheeler. anarchy is considered very fragile. Indeed. in International 174-5. however. This content downloaded from 139. Indeed. to reveal the intersubjective world of decision designed interpretive methodology. The American realists do not begin to address this question. They are to and and amenable theory methodology unambiguous the members of the By contrast.

fail to take on board however. the United States can also be seen to in the international have been restrained by the potential for balancing system. But members of the School policies by pursued although English that they share a common realists. By the same token. It remains to be seen if this assessment persists in the wake of the 2003 war in Iraq. or to ratify the Kyoto Treaty. But he fails to identify which norms have been flouted. American Realism: a meeting of minds 459 in the wrong direction. however. There are voices insisting that norms must be defended established and observed and other voices arguing that politics This content downloaded from 139. The starting assumption of the English School is that the European of members state system was able to survive and expand because of its distinctive institutions. From an accepted norms. to convince the world that it the extent to which the United States has endeavoured is primarily in promoting international order. norms norms Interests shape and shape interests. emergence great powers example. the growth of international law.184. some scope for a meeting there is potentially of minds between Nevertheless. how influential inter of state interests. a a self to set of for the of with Bull. Unipolarity persists. and it is acknowledged that ledges that there must be provision there are occasions when the realist voice prevails. refusing to sign up to the idea of a International Criminal Court. But he does not explain States is seen to be a benign state. In other words. the American realists insist that their power theory By the same token. Copeland circum why the United vents the question of why unipolarity has persisted and argues that in an effort to its dominant the United States has regularly flouted commonly position. the assessment of international advanced by American realists does sometimes determine the can states. points conscious and mutual interest in international order. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . for example. when state it shows why interests trump international is that norms. By restricting themselves to an ahistorical framework. The for the English School points theoretical signpost American realists take for granted what the English School finds most intriguing. Certainly for a realist voice. The American national norms are when it comes to the constitution realists establish a false dichotomy between state interests and international norms. interest in a balance of power.The English School vs. but the United States is not under any legal obligation to agree to either of these international in The refusal to cooperate developments. Glaser States is not suggests that it is because the United perceived as a threat by other major powers in the system. Of course. and. from an English School perspec the mutual tive. By contrast. both of these assessments English School perspective. the American the really interesting realists do not take on board theoretical that history throws up. these areas is simply an exercise of sovereignty. therefore. the distinctive diplomatic of limited war and the mutual the conception framework. the United interested States has made moves that have been seen to confirm the idea of US exception maintain alism. The problem with denying constitution of norms and interests we return to the question of why unipolarity becomes apparent when has persisted in the post-Cold War era. they acknowledge language with the American insist that other voices also have to be registered. because the other major powers have accepted that the United States has no intention of norms that constitute to overthrow the established inter using its military might national society.223. American the English School acknow realism and the English School. questions they set about dealing with what the English School views as a second order problem. from an English this way of defining the problem is the equivalent of looking School perspective. as a consequence.131 on Tue. It fails to appreciate down the wrong end of a telescope.

European Journal of International 6:3 (2000). have traditionally have tended to focus on the verstehen method.131 on Tue. society. in terms of a conversation. The defined civilisation The English Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott (University Park. For an excellent discussion. 2001). various schools of thought in international and produce a common language. The Global Covenant.58 not been good at exploring the methodological School. although seen by the English to be registered within School international society. Pluralists See Robert implications of a pluralistic But attention has also been drawn to the importance Jackson. Relations. however. So a norms not set is defined of international and values society simply by prevailing but also by the 'conversation' that takes place amongst ongoing modes of thought.223. PA: Pennsylvania State University This content downloaded from 139. See to methodology if the richness of the English School is going to be encompassed.57 to produce a meeting of minds amongst the The English School has the potential relations. approach to the Study of International Little School's Contribution Richard 'The English Relations'.184. politics. pp. 58 avenue that might of Michael be worth exploring is the philosophy who One possible Oakeshott. 395-422. of their position. can and be international world it argued that the voices are society. but also the methodology that is required to sustain 57 this inherently pluralistic approach to world politics. see Terry Nardin. 25 Nov 2014 07:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Press. . there will have to be much more work carried out not only on the theoretical framework. But to realise this potential.460 Richard Little norms need to be changed to accommodate transformations that are taking place in can be These voices associated with the international world system.