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Morgenthau in 1963
|Born||Hans Joachim Morgenthau
February 17, 1904
|Died||July 19, 1980
|Influenced by||Hans Kelsen|
Hans Joachim Morgenthau (February 17, 1904 – July 19, 1980) was one of the leading twentieth-century figures in the study of international politics. He made landmark contributions to international relations theory and the study of international law, and his Politics Among Nations, first published in 1948, went through five editions during his lifetime and was for decades the most-used textbook in its field in U.S. universities.
In addition, Morgenthau wrote widely about international politics and U.S. foreign policy for general-circulation publications such as The New Leader, Commentary, Worldview, and The New Republic. He knew and corresponded with many of the leading intellectuals and writers of his era, such as Reinhold Niebuhr, George F. Kennan, and Hannah Arendt. At one point in the early Cold War, Morgenthau was a consultant to the U.S. Department of State when Kennan headed its Policy Planning Staff. For most of his career, however, Morgenthau was an academic critic of U.S. foreign policy rather than a formulator of it. Indeed, he publicly opposed American involvement in Vietnam.
Morgenthau was born in an Ashkenazi Jewish family in Coburg, Germany, and, after attending Casimirianum, was educated at the universities of Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and pursued postgraduate work at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. He taught and practiced law in Frankfurt before emigrating to the United States in 1937, after several interim years in Switzerland and Spain. Morgenthau taught for many years at the University of Chicago, and at the end of his career he taught at the New School for Social Research and the City University of New York.
Morgenthau died after a brief illness on July 19, 1980. He was survived by his two children living in the United States.
Morgenthau in his European Years and Functional Jurisprudence
Morgenthau sought in the 1920s and 1930s a realist alternative to mainstream international law, a quest for "functional jurisprudence". He borrowed ideas from Sigmund Freud, Carl Schmitt, Max Weber, Roscoe Pound and others. In 1940 he set out a research programme for functionalism in the article "Positivism, Functionalism, and International Law". As manifested in his book Politics Among Nations from 1948 Morgenthau abandoned the functionalist programme as he lost faith in international law after the Second World War. Francis Boyle has pointed out that Morgenthau's post-war writings contributed to the "decisive break between international political science and international legal studies". Morgenthau did, however, maintain a separate constructive chapter on the subject of "International Law" in his book, Politics Among Nations, throughout its five editions between 1947 and his death in 1980.
Morgenthau in his American Years and Political Realism
Hans Morgenthau is considered one of the "founding fathers" of the realist school in the 20th century. This school of thought holds that nation-states are the main actors in international relations and that the main concern of the field is the study of power. Morgenthau emphasized the importance of "the national interest", and in Politics Among Nations he wrote that "the main signpost that helps political realism to find its way through the landscape of international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of power".
However, recent scholarly assessments of Morgenthau show that his intellectual trajectory was more complicated than originally thought. His realism was infused with moral considerations, and during the last part of his life he favored supranational control of nuclear weapons and strongly opposed the U.S. role in the Vietnam War. His book Scientific Man versus Power Politics (1946) argued against an overreliance on science and technology as solutions to political and social problems.
Starting with the second edition of Politics Among Nations, Morgenthau included a section in the opening chapter called "Six Principles of Political Realism".
The principles, paraphrased, are:
- Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature.
- The main signpost of political realism is the concept of interest defined in terms of power, which infuses rational order into the subject matter of politics, and thus makes the theoretical understanding of politics possible. Political realism avoids concerns with the motives and ideology of statesmen. Political realism avoids reinterpreting reality to fit the policy. A good foreign policy minimizes risks and maximizes benefits.
- Realism recognizes that the determining kind of interest varies depending on the political and cultural context in which foreign policy is made. It does not give "interest defined as power" a meaning that is fixed once and for all.
- Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It is also aware of the tension between the moral command and the requirements of successful political action. Realism maintains that universal moral principles must be filtered through the concrete circumstances of time and place, because they cannot be applied to the actions of states in their abstract universal formulation.
- Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral laws that govern the universe.
- The political realist maintains the autonomy of the political sphere; he asks "How does this policy affect the power and interests of the nation?" Political realism is based on a pluralistic conception of human nature. The political realist must show where the nation's interests differ from the moralistic and legalistic viewpoints.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Hans Morgenthau|
- "The statesman must think in terms of the national interest, conceived as power among other powers. The popular mind, unaware of the fine distinctions of the statesman’s thinking, reasons more often than not in the simple moralistic and legalistic terms of absolute good and absolute evil."
- Scientific Man versus Power Politics (1946) Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (1948) New York NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
- In Defense of the National Interest (1951) New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
- The Purpose of American Politics (1960) New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
- Crossroad Papers: A Look Into the American Future (ed.) (1965) New York, NY: Norton.
- Truth and Power: Essays of a Decade, 1960-70 (1970) New York, NY: Praeger.
- Coauthor with David Hein. Essays on Lincoln's Faith and Politics. (1983) Lanham, MD: Univ. Press of America for the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the Univ. of Virginia.
For a complete list of Morgenthau's writings, see "The Hans J. Morgenthau Page"
- Morgenthau Lectures by the Carnegie Council
- E. H. Carr
- Kenneth W. Thompson
- Henry Kissinger
- Stephen Walt
- John Mearsheimer
- Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago
- Zambernardi, L. (2011). "The Impotence of Power: Morgenthau's Critique of American Intervention in Vietnam". Review of International Studies 37 (3): 1335–1356. doi:10.1017/S0260210510001531.
- Small amount of plutonium missing from crashed jet
- Hans Morgenthau dies; noted political scientist
- Morgenthau, Hans J., Positivism, Functionalism, and International Law, American Journal of International Law, vol 34, 2 (1940): 260-284; Sheuerman, William E., A theoretical missed opportunity? Hans J. Morgenthau as Critical Realist, Bell, Duncan (Ed.), Political Thought and International Relations: Variations on a Realist Theme, 2008; Boyle, Francis, "World Politics and International Law, p. 12
- William E. Scheuerman, Hans Morgenthau: Realism and Beyond (Polity Press, 2009); Michael C. Williams, ed., Reconsidering Realism: The Legacy of Hans J. Morgenthau (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007); Christoph Frei, Hans J. Morgenthau: An Intellectual Biography (LSU Press, 2001).
- E.g.: Hans J. Morgenthau, "We Are Deluding Ourselves in Viet-Nam", New York Times Magazine, April 18, 1965, reprinted in The Viet-Nam Reader, ed. M. Raskin and B. Fall (Vintage Books, 1967), pp. 37-45.
- Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, Fifth Edition, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978, pp. 4-15.
- Cf. Jack Donnelly, Realism and International Relations (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000), pp. 11-12, though he prefers the label "biological realist" to "classical realist". For an argument that the differences between classical and structural realists have been exaggerated, see Parent, Joseph M.; Baron, Joshua M. (2011). "Elder Abuse: How the Moderns Mistreat Classical Realism". International Studies Review 13 (2): 192–213. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2486.2011.01021.x.
- Morgenthau, Hans; Thompson, Kenneth (1985). Politics Among Nations (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 165.
- Bain, William. "Deconfusing Morgenthau: Moral Inquiry and Classical Realism Reconsidered." Review of International Studies 26, no. 3 (2000): 445-64.
- Behr, Hartmut, and Amelia Heath. "Misreading in IR Theory and Ideology Critique: Morgenthau, Waltz and Neo-Realism." Review of International Studies 35 (2009): 327-49.
- Bell, Duncan, ed. Political Thought and International Relations: Variations on a Realist Theme. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Conces, Rory J. "Rethinking Realism (or Whatever) and the War on Terrorism in a Place Like the Balkans." Theoria 56 (2009): 81-124.
- Cozette, Murielle. "Reclaiming the Critical Dimension of Realism: Hans J. Morgenthau on the Ethics of Scholarship." Review of International Studies 34 (2008): 5-27.
- Craig, Campbell. Glimmer of a New Leviathan: Total War in the Realism of Niebuhr, Morgenthau, and Waltz. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
- Donnelly, Jack. Realism and International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
- Frei, Christoph. Hans J. Morgenthau: An Intellectual Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001.
- Gellman, Peter. "Hans J. Morgenthau and the Legacy of Political Realism." Review of International Studies 14 (1988): 247-66.
- Griffiths, Martin. Realism, Idealism and International Politics. London: Routledge, 1992.
- Guilhot, Nicolas. "The Realist Gambit: Postwar American Political Science and the Birth of IR Theory." International Political Sociology 4, no. 2 (2008):281-304.
- Hacke, Christian, Gottfried-Karl Kindermann, and Kai M. Schellhorn, eds. The Heritage, Challenge, and Future of Realism: In Memoriam Hans J. Morgenthau (1904–1980). Göttingen, Germany: V&R unipress, 2005.
- Hoffmann, Stanley. "Hans Morgenthau: The Limits and Influence of 'Realism'." In Janus and Minerva. Boulder, CO.: Westview, 1987, pp. 70–81.
- Jütersonke, Oliver. "Hans J. Morgenthau on the Limits of Justiciability in International Law." Journal of the History of International Law 8, no. 2 (2006): 181-211.
- Klusmeyer, Douglas. "Beyond Tragedy: Hannah Arendt and Hans Morgenthau on Responsibility, Evil and Political Ethics." International Studies Review 11, no.2 (2009): 332-351.
- Lang, Anthony F., Jr., ed. Political Theory and International Affairs: Hans J. Morgenthau on Aristotle's The Politics. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.
- Lebow, Richard Ned. The Tragic Vision of Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
- Little, Richard. The Balance of Power in International Relations: Metaphors, Myths and Models. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
- Mazur, G. O., ed. One Hundred Year Commemoration to the Life of Hans Morgenthau. New York: Semenenko, 2004.
- Mazur, G. O., ed. Twenty-Five Year Memorial Commemoration to the Life of Hans Morgenthau. New York: Semenenko, 2006.
- Mearsheimer, John J. "Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq War: Realism Versus Neo-Conservatism." openDemocracy.net (2005).
- Mollov, M. Benjamin. Power and Transcendence: Hans J. Morgenthau and the Jewish Experience. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002.
- Molloy, Sean. "Aristotle, Epicurus, Morgenthau and the Political Ethics of the Lesser Evil." Journal of International Political Theory 5 (2009): 94-112.
- Molloy, Sean. The Hidden History of Realism: A Genealogy of Power Politics. New York: Palgrave, 2006.
- Murray, A. J. H. "The Moral Politics of Hans Morgenthau." The Review of Politics 58, no. 1 (1996): 81-107.
- Myers, Robert J. "Hans J. Morgenthau: On Speaking Truth to Power." Society 29, no. 2 (1992): 65-71.
- Neacsu, Mihaela. Hans J. Morgenthau's Theory of International Relations: Disenchantment and Re-Enchantment. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
- Peterson, Ulrik. "Breathing Nietzsche's Air: New Reflections on Morgenthau's Concept of Power and Human Nature." Alternatives 24, no. 1 (1999): 83-113.
- Pin-Fat, V. "The Metaphysics of the National Interest and the 'Mysticism' of the Nation-State: Reading Hans J. Morgenthau." Review of International Studies 31, no. 2 (2005): 217-36.
- Russell, Greg. Hans J. Morgenthau and the Ethics of American Statecraft. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990.
- Scheuerman, William E. Hans Morgenthau: Realism and Beyond. Cambridge: Polity, 2009.
- Scheuerman, William E. "Realism and the Left: The Case of Hans J. Morgenthau." Review of International Studies 34 (2008): 29-51.
- Schuett, Robert. "Freudian Roots of Political Realism: The Importance of Sigmund Freud to Hans J. Morgenthau's Theory of International Power Politics." History of the Human Sciences 20, no. 4 (2007): 53-78.
- Schuett, Robert. Political Realism, Freud, and Human Nature in International Relations: The Resurrection of the Realist Man. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
- Shilliam, Robbie. "Morgenthau in Context: German Backwardness, German Intellectuals and the Rise and Fall of a Liberal Project." European Journal of International Relations 13, no. 3 (2007): 299-327.
- Smith, Michael J. Realist Thought from Weber to Kissinger. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1986.
- Thompson, Kenneth W., and Robert J. Myers, eds. Truth and Tragedy: A Tribute to Hans J. Morgenthau. augmented ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1984.
- Tickner, J. Ann. "Hans Morgenthau's Principles of Political Realism: A Feminist Reformulation." Millennium: Journal of International Studies 17, no.3 (1988): 429-40.
- Tjalve, Vibeke Schou. Realist Strategies of Republican Peace: Niebuhr, Morgenthau, and the Politics of Patriotic Dissent. New York: Palgrave, 2008.
- Turner, Stephen, and G. O. Mazur. "Morgenthau as a Weberian Methodologist." European Journal of International Relations 15, no. 3 (2009): 477-504.
- Williams, Michael C., ed. Realism Reconsidered: The Legacy of Hans Morgenthau in International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
- Williams, Michael C. The Realist Tradition and the Limits of International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
- Williams, Michael C. "Why Ideas Matter in International Relations: Hans Morgenthau, Classical Realism, and the Moral Construction of Power Politics." International Organization 58 (2004): 633-65.
- Wong, Benjamin. "Hans Morgenthau's Anti-Machiavellian Machiavellianism." Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29, no. 2 (2000): 389-409.
- Zambernardi, Lorenzo. I limiti della potenza. Etica e politica nella teoria internazionale di Hans J. Morgenthau. Bologna: Il Mulino, 2010.