The Realist Case for Global Reform
April 2011, Polity
Far from seeing international reform as well-meaning but potentially irresponsible , Progressive Realists like E. H. Carr, John Herz, Hans J. Morgenthau, and Reinhold Niebuhr developed forward-looking ideas which offer an indispensable corrective to many presently influential views about global politics. Progressive Realism, Scheuerman argues, offers a compelling and provocative vision of radical global change which -- when properly interpreted, can help buttress current efforts to address the most pressing international issues.
After recovering key subterranean strands in mid-twentieth century Realism, Scheuerman underscores their relevance to contemporary international theory. Criticizing more recent Realists for abandoning their tradition's best insights, he also demonstrates that reform-minded international theories --including versions of Cosmopolitanism, Constructivism, the English School, Liberalism, and Republicanism - could all benefit from taking Progressive Realism seriously.
A major contribution both to the history of international relations and contemporary debates in international theory, The Realist Case for Global Reform concludes by considering how Progressive Realism informs the foreign policies of US President Barack Obama.
Introduction: Meet the Progressive Realists 1
1 Why (Almost) Everything You Learned About Realism is Wrong 15
2 Realists Against the Nation State 39
3 Realist Global Reformism 67
4 What Cosmopolitans Can Learn from Progressive Realism 98
5 What Other Global Reformers Can Learn from Progressive Realism 126
6 Who’s Afraid of the World State? 149
Conclusion: A Niebuhrian President? 169
William E. Scheuerman is Professor of Political Science and West European Studies at Indiana University.
"Stimulating and thought-provoking ... all those interested in contemporary, “policy-driven” debates on global governance should read it."
Ethics and International Affairs
"This fusing of radical and Realist ideas remains the most intriguing development in international theory of the past decade."
"Very persuasive ... undoubtedly a rewarding read."
Political Studies Review
"This book offers fresh insight into a school of thought largely seen as unyielding, and offers renewed hope to the concepts of global reform and postnational governance."
Australian Journal of International Relations
"A challenging account of how realism can influence existing international relations, which have undergone a major transformation in recent decades."
"A really provocative read - very much a book in the best Polity
tradition. This is an intellectual winner, and deserves to have an
Michael Cox, London School of Economics
"The Realist logic of world government has been substantially
enhanced by William Scheuerman in this thorough and well-written
analysis. No one can now deny that the intellectual founders of
contemporary Realism were far more willing to look beyond the
interstate system than their Neorealist successors."
Campbell Craig, Aberystwyth University
"Scheuerman's brilliant presentation of classic Realists as
proponents of a Progressive Realism radically transforms the way in
which we can and should understand the Realist tradition, and links
Progressive Realism to advocacy of a form of world government that
is a welcome alternative to an anemic ‘governance without
Peter Stirk, Durham University