On the face of things foreign policy in the twenty-first century involves a shift from the realism of the great power conflicts of the past into the ideas of liberal interdependence which many policy-makers came to espouse in the 1990s, after two decades of discussion in academic and business circles. Yet the sensational events of 2001 turned this supposition around, leading to an obsession with security concerns in government and a revival of security studies in the academy. This book has attempted to go beyond such pendulum effects by showing that just as it was simplistic in 2000 to relegate the state and foreign policy to history, so it is unjustifiable now to overlook the impact of transnationalism and the challenges to coherent state actions. Apart from anything else, there is no straightforward relationship between changes in the immediate pattern of world politics and the slower-moving forces which shape events. Changes in thinking about international relations should not herefore respond too hysterically to events, however dramatic. The recent return to realism in many quarters, especially in the form of neo classical realism, is an advance on the lofty Waltzian disregard of foreign policy, but it is still not enough. As an explanation of the huge variety of foreign policy behaviours, from crusading nationalism to abstract cosmopolitanism, realism is necessary but insufficient.
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- Foreign Policy and the Revival of the State
- Macmillan Education UK
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- Chapter 11