№ 4, 2019
One of the most significant trends of the recent years in world politics is the growing skepticism regarding integration projects and international institutions per se. The right-wing populist wave that has swept through the Western democracies is accompanied by an increase in rhetoric claiming the harmfulness of integration and the importance of protecting sovereignty. At the same time, such attitudes are often associated with political realism.
Political realism is an extremely diverse direction in the theory of international relations. The author does not claim to analyze all its varieties and instead focuses on the approaches to the problem of sovereignty and integration developed by Hans Morgenthau, the founder of political realism who played a key role in its formation.
The analysis carried out by the author shows that political realism in its classical version cannot serve as a justification of sovereignty being the high- est value. In fact, it can be used to criticize a belief system that emphasizes the importance of sovereignty. At its extreme political entities’ aspiration for isolation leads to the disintegration of the world community into many states that are unable to communicate with each other except from a position of power, which endangers international security. As a result, realism postulates the need to overcome the trend towards sovereignty through integration. However, it does not even envisage any real solutions to this problem. According to the author, the project proposed by Morgenthau to revive diplomacy as a way to unite the states or at least push them to create a platform for a dialogue, cannot play this role, which indicates the need to find fundamentally different solutions.
№ 3, 2018
The article is devoted to the reception of Thucydides in Political Science. On the basis of the comparative analysis of structural and constructive realism — two traditions in the theory of international relations — the author shows that they both treat the Athenian historian to some extent as a “godfather” and appeal to him as an authority. According to the author’s conclusion, neither structural, nor constructive realists need references to the “History of the Peloponnesian War” in order to substantiate their ideas. The key difference between structural and constructive realists is the problems that they are trying to resolve through the appeal to the heritage of Thucydides. If structural realists use selected excerpts from the text of the “History of the Peloponnesian War” to confirm and legitimize their own propositions, constructivists insist on the holistic reading of the text. In their interpretation of the text they give pride of place to the norms, values and political rhetoric as independent elements of international relations. The author thinks that the latter approach is both more adequate to interpreting the text and more productive in terms of science. Paying close attention to such phenomena as culture, law and rhetoric allows them to create a more complex, non-reductionist theory of international relations that better fits the realities of the era of mediatization of public policy and “new transparency”.
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