Scientific Man versus Power Politics

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Scientific Man versus Power Politics
First edition
Author Hans Morgenthau
Country United States
Language English
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Publication date

Scientific Man versus Power Politics is a 1946 work by realist academic Hans Morgenthau.[1] The book is Morgenthau's first work and contains his most systematic exposition of a realist philosophy and a critique of a position he terms 'liberal rationalism'.[2] Morgenthau argues that liberalism's belief in human reason had been shown to be deficient because of the rise of Nazi Germany[3] and that emphasis on science and reason as routes to peace meant that states were losing touch with historic traditions of statecraft.[4] The work marked out Morgenthau as the pre-eminent modern exponent of a Hobbesian view of human nature in international relations scholarship.[5] Despite the contemporary association between (neo)realism and positivism Scientific Man has been considered a critique of attempts to place politics on a 'scientific' footing in works such as Charles Merriam's New Aspects of Politics.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scheuerman, William. "Was Morgenthau a Realist? Revisiting Scientific Man vs. Power Politics" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISA's 49th ANNUAL CONVENTION, BRIDGING MULTIPLE DIVIDES, Hilton San Francisco, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, Mar 26, 2008
  2. ^ Martin Griffiths, Steven C. Roach, M. Scott Solomon (2009) Fifty Key Thinkers in International Relations, Abingdon: Routledge, p. 51
  3. ^ Frankel, Benjamin (1996) Realism: Restatements and Renewal Chippenham: Frank Cass, p. 4
  4. ^ Thompson, Kenneth (1996) Schools of Thought in International Relations: Interpreters, Issues and Morality, University of Louisiana State Press, p. 20
  5. ^ Phythian, Mark (2006) The Labour Party, War and International Relations, 1945–2006, Abingdon: Routledge, p. 34
  6. ^ Renggner, Nicholas (2000) International Relations, Political Theory, and the Problem of Order: Beyond International Relations Theory?, London: Routledge, p. 44