The Cultural Construction of International Relations by Beate Jahn

By Beate Jahn

The self-discipline of diplomacy bargains with the matter of tradition by way of defining international politics as a nation of nature, but it ignores the truth that the concept that of the country is itself a cultural product. This booklet uncovers the historical past of this concept, revealing its origins within the ecu conquest of the USA, its the most important position within the emergence of the Enlightenment international view, and its carrying on with unfavourable results for our makes an attempt to appreciate international politics.

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Hence, Beitz attempts `to work out a more satisfactory international normative political theory through a critique and revision of orthodox views' while Hoffman, who vehemently criticizes Beitz's approach to this problem, nevertheless contends that `the advantage of imperatives is that they provide at least a sense of direction' (Beitz, 1979: vii; Hoffman, 1981: 57f, 43). And Michael Doyle, too, holds that Realists overlook certain political achievements, as, for instance, the peace that stable democratic states have been able to keep between themselves.

A foreign policy based on this image of international relations is neither moral nor immoral, but embodies merely a reasoned response to the world about us. (Waltz, 1959: 238) The attraction which Rousseau has for Waltz stems from the fact that `Rousseau . . makes possible a theory of international relations that in Culture and Nature in International Relations 17 general terms explains the behavior of all states, whether good or bad' (1959: 182f ). And such a theory must be built on some understanding of nature for Hedley Bull, as well.

But there is nevertheless a great difference between such a rudimentary form of social life and none at all. (Bull, 1977: 48) Here, as in Morgenthau and Waltz, the particular understanding of the state of nature provides Bull with certain kinds of universal features to be found in international society and, thus, enables him to build a theory of international relations on those fundamental, recurrent features of social life rather than on the problematic of cultural diversity and historical change which had been identified as the central problem of the international sphere.

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