Magazine
Latest Issue

Irony and foreign policy

International relations is increasingly about values, identity and powerlessness

By Robert Cooper   December 1998

It is time we had a new theory of international relations. Hume, the empiricist, observed and wrote on the balance of power; Kant, the rationalist, constructed a model for perpetual peace. With Hegel we have the march of ideas; and the states that embodied them marching across each other’s territory. The end of the 19th century produced Marxist theories of international class struggle, Leninist theories of imperialism and Darwinist theories of racial struggle. These theories were enough to ruin most of the 20th century and perhaps we have done well to avoid new ones for a while.

The intellectual context…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect