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The Realist Logic of International Society

Molloy, Sean P (2003) The Realist Logic of International Society. Cooperation and Conflict, 38 (2). pp. 83-99. ISSN 0010-8367. (KAR id:72070)


The purpose of this article is to reassert the importance of realist thought in the international theory of Martin Wight. Following Hedley Bull, it has become prevalent in international relations theory to present Wight as a rationalist thinker, and international society as a rationalist principle that offers an alternative or third way in international relations. I argue that international society is actually Wight's attempt to integrate two perspectives on international relations — the Realist and the Rationalist. I argue that this relationship is asymmetric — that international society is the product of realist impulses and logic which force the creation of a series of secondary institutional and legal mechanisms that can channel but not control the desire for power in international relations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: balance of power, Christianity, English School, international society, rationalism, realism
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Sean Molloy
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2019 17:24 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:26 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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