Ethics, Liberalism and Realism in International Relations

1st Edition

Mark D. Gismondi

Published July 30, 2010
Reference - 278 Pages
ISBN 9780415599504 - CAT# Y111781
Series: Routledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics

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This book explores the complex issue of international ethics in the two dominant schools of thought in international relations; Liberalism and Realism.

Both theories suffer from an inability to integrate the ethical and pragmatic dimensions of foreign policy. Liberal policy makers often suffer from moral blindness and a tendency toward coercion in the international arena, whilst realists tend to be epistemic sceptics, incorporating Nietzsche’s thought, directly or indirectly, into their theories. Mark Gismondi seeks to resolve the issues in these two approaches by adopting a covenant based approach, as described by Daniel Elazar’s work on the covenant tradition in politics, to international relations theory.

The covenant approach has three essential principles:

  • policy makers must have a sense of realism about the existence of evil and its political consequences
  • power must be shared and limited
  • liberty requires a basis in shared values.

Ethics, Realism and Liberalism in International Relations will be of interest to students and researchers of politics, philosophy, ethics and international relations.


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