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Truth and Power, Monks and Technocrats: Theory and Practice in International Relations Two Worlds of International Relations:

Academics, Practitioners and the Trade in Ideas by Christopher Hill; Pamela Beshoff; Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy-Making: National Perspectives on Academics and Professionals in International Relations by Michel Girard; Wolf-Dieter Eberwein; Keith Webb; Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy by Alexander George; Rethinking International Relations by F ... Review by: William Wallace Review of International Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jul., 1996), pp. 301-321 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 15/06/2012 21:17
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of international



22, 301-321


? British





and technocrats: and power, monks relations theory and practice in international


Christopher Hill and Pamela Beshoff

Academics, Practitioners and the Trade

(eds.), Two Worlds of International Relations:

in Ideas, London, Routledge, 1994

Michel Girard, Wolf-Dieter

Policy-making: Relations, National London,

Eberwein and Keith Webb

on Academics

(eds.), Theory and Practice

in International


Perspectives 1994 Pinter,

and Professionals

Alexander George, Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice US Institute of Peace, 1993

inForeign Policy, Washington, 1994


Fred Halliday, Rethinking International Relations, London, Macmillan,

in Europe, 1994

Walter Carlsnaes and Steve Smith (eds.), European Foreign Policy: The EC and Changing
Perspectives London, Sage,

Ken Booth and Steve Smith (eds.), International Relations Theory Today, Cambridge, Polity, 1995

It is not like the 'The study of international relations is not an innocent profession.'1 an abstract classics, or mathematics, logical training for the youthful mind. The justification for the place it has gained in the university curriculum rests upon utility, in the not on aesthetics. The growth of the social sciences inWestern universities over the past thirty years, has been past century, and their remarkable expansion to better government, in the broadest sense. based upon their perceived contribution 'The forever explosive relationship between social science and public policy' has been in the discipline of International Relations from the outset.2 embedded as an academic discipline was, more of International Relations The establishment a response by liberal optimists in Britain and the United (primarily specifically, States)
* This

to the First World War,

essay began as a review in international




and information

to bring

article on recent studies of the relationship between academics and to address relations. An invitation the annual conference of the British in December into a broader 1994 led to its expansion Studies Association survey of the discussions of the tensions issues at stake and of recent British and other European underlying I am grateful to Troy Mcgrath and Andrew Hurrell, Ralf Dahrendorf, and Theodore Lowi involved. for help respectively in picking my way through debates on international relations theory, on the practitioners International

science on between intellectuals and society, and on debates within American political relationship Robin Niblett, and to Anne Deighton, Julie and relations with policy-makers; political responsibility on a preliminary draft. for comments Smith and Helen Wallace 1 International James Cable, The Useful Art of International Relations', Affairs, 61:2 (April 1985), p. 305. 2 1895-1995 LSE: A History Ralf Dahrendorf, 1995), p. v. of the London School of Economics, (Oxford, account of the development also stresses the constant Dahrendorf's of the social sciences in London tension Mannheim, and Beveridge?with between like Webb empiricists von Hayek, Popper and Oakeshott. their faith in 'facts'?and theorists like


302 reasoned



as a discipline was debate into politics and policy-making. Its development shaped by the turbulent international politics of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, by the Second World War and the direct but diverse experiences of those caught up in that war who dominated academic International until the end of the Relations 1960s. The generation which passed through universities in the 1960s, now at the top were marked of the profession, in their turn by their diverse responses to nuclear now and the Vietnam War. The rising generation and start education from their passing through undergraduate graduate experience of a world in which the Cold War is history, in which the juxtaposition of a pro liferation of new states claiming and of evidence of the sovereignty increasing and incapacity of states presents a central paradox. endemic weakness Struggle as we may to avoid the dangers of 'presentism' and of current events, we are all child ren of our time: attempting to reconcile our own experience and understanding of deterrence, hegemony, our interpretation of history, philosophy, and morality. psychology as a discipline grew out of reflections on policy, and out of International Relations the desire to influence policy, or to improve the practice of policy. The distinction was a matter between the academic theorist and the practical of policy-maker a of a detachment from not but denial degree degree: day-to-day practical concerns, the world with relevant or real. Both Two Worlds of Inter and Practice in Foreign Policy-making raise the now of what this adult discipline should aim to have with the question relationship out of which world of policy and practice it grew. Both reflect the underlying involved in the relationship tension between the scholar and the policy-maker, between the seeker after truth and the holder of power. Christopher Hill fears that the two worlds have moved 'closer together', and suggests that it is time to move further apart: 'to build on traditions of thought which are at one remove from that those national events, and to work in that much-derided ivory tower which provides the freedom to be eccentric'.3 This image of an academic world at once tempted and threatened by contacts with the policy world?'the siren song of policy relevance' (the title of Hill's introductory away from its proper chapter) pulling an independent discipline concerns?recurs the literature under review. throughout Brief reflection on the careers of those who established the postwar discipline in Britain, after wartime military or civilian service, however suggests that the academic world has moved rather than towards it.4 A generation away from government ago to international those interested in theoretical approaches relations in Britain were few enough to meet round a college high table, bringing together professional diplo even theologians to debate and define their concept of mats, historians, philosophers, international society.5 The construction of a self-conscious British academic concerns day-to-day Relations and Theory were American

3 Hill and Beshoff (eds.), Two Worlds, pp. 3, 223. 4 an exception to the many who Martin Wight was, as a pacifist, inWorld War to international II. But his approach intelligence

in military fought or worked moulded politics was nevertheless by to understand his attempts led to the Second World War. His chapter on and explain the crises which of Power' in the Chatham House in 'The Balance March 1939 (London, survey volume, The World and Germany, with their detailed examinations of Nazi, 1950) follows his chapters on Eastern Europe Fascist and Leninist about international relations, and their critique of the liberal assumptions Society 'British

approach. in Britain: The Invention 'International Relations of an International Theory Timothy Dunne, DPhil of Oxford, the work and meetings of this Tradition', thesis, University 1993, describes on the Theory Committee of International Polities'.

Truth and power dates only discipline at over fifty offered

Relations scholars?even

303 are now


Relations from the 1960s.6 International British with universities, strong groups
separate departments?across the country,

courses of

in contrast

the isolated teachers and pockets of expertise of thirty years ago.7 Professionaliza tion has brought with it separation from related disciplines, and specialization within in of those teaching International Relations the discipline itself. A rising proportion were from in British universities trained their onwards studies today undergraduate lives entirely within an International and have spent their professional Relations, to share such a professionally first generation self intellectual formation. to demonstrate There is a tendency for all academic disciplines their intellectual over in the theoretical studies standing applied. This ten university by privileging as in the social has been evident sciences, they struggled to gain dency particularly academic environment?the contained and natural scientists. Economic classicists, respect from disdainful philosophers as in the eye, look down on trans look mathematicians theorists, they confidently labour social theorists those who teach and economists economists; port patronize to follow American social policy and administration. science has political attempted in the quantitative-mathematical toward the 1960s science, path through behav in and 1990s and rational choice. the 1980s iouralism, through game theory to path, refining theories and meta-theories Sociology has followed the philosophical the neglect of engagement with social problems or empirical work.8 as a British discipline torn in the mid-1990s International Relations appears a dialogue between following the path which sociology has taken and maintaining with the broader political debate. The evidence of Keith Webb's 1991 survey of IR members of 'feel that BISA academics their expertise suggests that the majority should be used more' and would like to have 'more meetings between the academics The evidence of the academic journals, and of many of the and the professionals'.9 to other books under review, suggests a deep ambivalence about contributors contacts with the world of policy and politics, extending for some to deliberate self exclusion 'what often appears an arcane and incestuous through enclosure within

or of aim of this article is to consider the appropriate degree of detachment in International which academics Relations should practise towards engagement the policy arena. I do not wish to suggest that there should be any uniformity of a healthy like other social sciences, should demonstrate approach. Our discipline, and tolerant diversity: of theoretical of relations with policy-makers approaches, versus concentration on fundamental of detailed studies alongside broad questions, The
6 Bull remarked that, Hedley done a course of any kind arrived at Houghton Street existed at all.' Bull, 'Martin International Until when he arrived at the LSE as an assistant lecturer in 1956, T had not nor made any serious study of it, and as I in International Relations, I wondered the subject and even whether how I was to go about teaching of International and the Theory British Journal of Relations', Wight of but the professor


2:1 (1976), p. 101. Studies, were the only two effective departments the mid-1960s the LSE and Aberystwyth in Britain. International Some seminars and tutorials were given at Oxford, Relations was inactive. of International Relations

and Mich?le Barrett See the exchange between David Walker (President of the British Sociological in Times Higher Education 17March and 12May 1995. Association) Supplement, 9 A British Perception', Keith Webb, in International Relations: ch. 7 in 'Academics and Professionals et al., Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy-making, Girard pp. 90-1. 10 Ibid., p. 93.

304 historical



tests of of hegemonic 'schools', surveys. The establishment imposing for academic appointments, has damaged American social sciences, in orthodoxy I do however want science and International Relations. cluding American political to suggest that the balance between detachment and engagement, between with drawal behind

the monastic walls of the university and the joys and dangers of with the world has outside, profane mixing tipped too far: that International as a British discipline has become too detached from the world of practice, Relations as opposed to empirical research, too self too fond of theory (and meta-theory) some cases want to suggest that as a too I in and also indulgent, self-righteous. our own theoretical we have become unselfconfident about remarkably discipline development, derivative of American and intellectual theorizing remarkably to for have follow Parisian intellectual those who preferred fashions?except relations of our own European fashions. We neglect the international region, with all its turmoil, to grapple with academic debates which derive from an Americocentric of the world.


The political


of intellectuals:

our three audiences


and scientific study, as Max Weber argued in the formative years of social are with different different codes of moral responsibility.11 There science, vocations, is an unavoidable tension between the two worlds, requiring a high degree of self across in those who move from one to the other or work consciousness the are res not two. between the But they intellectual boundaries entirely separate;

when the intellectual disclaims shades into irresponsibility engagement ponsibility with the world within which she or he lives.12 Hans Morgenthau, the great postwar on the co in his reflections followed Weber of Realism, consciously protagonist social scientists into 'the academic-political complex' which led option of American the United States into the Vietnam quagmire. The intellectual lives in a world that is both separate from and potentially
that of ultimate are separate two worlds the politician. The because they are oriented ... truth threatens and threatens values truth.13 power, power

intertwined with
towards different

relations lie Behind the particular dilemmas which face the expert on international the broader questions of what is the proper relationship between the intellectual and

inMunich in 'Science as a Vocation', delivered 'Politics as a Vocation', lectures originally University in translation in the aftermath the traumatic conditions of the winter of 1918; published of World War in Sociology, II in From Max Weber: Essays ed. H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills 1946). (Oxford, 12 in Ian Maclean, The discussion Alan Montefiore and Peter Winch (eds.), The Political Responsibility of Intellectuals 1990) ranges from Plato and Seneca to the present day, while focussing (Cambridge, over on the dilemmas in Central faced by intellectuals and Eastern Europe under socialism primarily in The New York the past forty years. Timothy Garton Ash, and Politicians', 'Prague: Intellectuals a fascinating 12 January who discussion of the dilemmas Review, 1995, provides facing intellectuals cross the divide without of the two worlds?with different discourses the necessarily admitting to Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus. For an alternative and uncompromising reference view, particular see Noam The Responsibility of Intellectuals', in John Vasquez (ed.), Classics reprinted of Chomsky, International Relations Cliffs, NJ, 1990). (Englewood 13 Truth and Power: Essays 1960-70 Hans J.Morgenthau, 1970), p. 14; quoted by of a Decade, (London, Hill as the departure (eds.), Two Worlds. Christopher point for Hill and Beshoff

Truth and power


theoretical teacher and the state: important and practical society, the university are in Britain which teachers questions university (and in other countries) to the reluctant address. What is relative of the three remarkably importance different audiences for which we write and speak: our colleagues, our students, and the wider public? Does the intellectual have a duty to all three audiences?to educate a wider group than her own students, even to contribute to raising the quality of to the questioning in society as a whole, debate of the established conventional If so, how should she fulfil that duty? In teaching our students, are we wisdom? to train them to understand in the world of politics and and operate or to all rather them from the its policy, grubby compromises; emancipate conventional around which national and global politics revolve, with assumptions out regard for their future prospects or careers? Do we see ourselves as educating a of subversive 'free intellectuals', of Bohemian taxi-drivers; or as rising generation concerned with future diplomats, national and providing others aiming for careers beyond national and enlightened work?14 understanding of international boundaries and officials, aid-workers with a more self-conscious within which they may have to

the constraints

The question of which audiences we seek to address also relates to the style in which we express ourselves, and the vehicles which we choose for publication. 'Not a few policy specialists exposed to the scholarly literature', Alexander George reports from his largely American 'have concluded that most university pro experience, or ability to fessors write and have little inclination largely for one another to policymakers.'15 The culti communicate their knowledge in terms comprehensible vation of complex language, of obscure terminology accessible only to those already immersed is a justifiable in in the specialist literature, deeply tendency only our theoretical writing within least, specialist journals. Our student audience?at and a wider audience will undergraduates?need something more straightforward; remain beyond reach unless addressed in terms which they can understand without too much difficulty. Max Weber state arguing spoke as a Beamte, a privileged official of the German for a degree of detachment from that state while also recognizing his broader res to state and society. British academics lack the official or social status ponsibility as we may find it, we also which German still retain; but, uncomfortable professors our on incomes primarily the public budget. Do we in our position have depend for a duty to our state, as well as to our society, in return for the degree of detachment (and the modest salaries) which we are granted? I hold that we owe a duty of constructive and open criticism: to speak truth to nor to lose in obscurely erudite terminology, nor to speak truth in secret only to each other. The passion with which critical theorists proclaim that 'the point of International Relations theory is not simply to alter the way we look at the world, but to alter the world' is negated by the absence of a strategy for communicating such theories to
14 in The Political Responsibility notes and Responsibility', Shils, 'Intellectuals of Intellectuals, the nineteenth-century of an oppositional 'free intellectual' Bohemian of class, members development ... confederation with anarchists and revolutionary which socialists' 'slipped into (p. 292). A seminar series on careers for graduate in political students science at the University of Freiburg, inNovember as 'Alternatives to taxi-driving'. 1994, was advertised 15 the Gap, p. 7. George, Bridging Edward

power, not to hide our knowledge in scholastic word games, ourselves




the world.16 'If, Stephen Chan asks in Theory and Practice inForeign Policy-making, 'in the face of what seem impossibilities, there is a retreat into introspection, perhaps into an exemplary "life as art" syndrome?much beloved by the interviewers and on the question of Foucault?then is simply, "exemplary for whom, biographers con behalf of what?"' But he fails to answer his own question, for calling only and for 'a refusal to tinuing intellectual 'struggle' in solidarity with the oppressed, act as a priest class that mediates between rulers and ruled'.17 even of of salvation and damnation, Images of purity and contamination, 'academic virginity' and of the fallen intellectual seduced by 'the siren song of policy the literature, old and new.18 'One has only to identify relevance', recur throughout those practices which we most abhor in International Relations? the temptations of affairs"?to his account international the virus of "presentism", of "current the corruption history, see how deepseated this concern about external contamination is'.19 In of the tensions which tore the LSE apart in 1968, David Martin writes of the underlying divide between 'monks' and 'technocrats'. The latter saw the LSE as inherently involved with the world around the former 'were careful it, while scholars

and in accordance with an ancient vow of intellectual chastity bent all their energies to make their studies pure ... Anything which was "applied" smacked of the Great City and contravened the ancient vow' 20 The intellectual class in modern that society does, after all, fulfil the functions and scribes fulfilled in pre-modern systems: of interpreting prophets, priests signs and symbols, of communing with the infinite, of looking beyond the immediate concerns of day-to-day to reduce the chaos of frameworks life, of providing to understandable in medieval experience shape.21 But priests and monks Europe themselves at different points between the enclosed monastery and the positioned of the worldly in of Egypt as depicted corruption city. Some (like St Anthony medieval paintings) rejected any contact with the world, to retire to the desert to

16 16:2 (1987), p. 244, cited Mark Hoffman, 'Critical Theory and the Inter-paradigm Debate', Millennium in several of the volumes under review. 17 et al., Theory and Practice 'Critical Theory, Praxis and Postmodernism', ch. 3 in Girard Stephen Chan, in Foreign Policy-making, pp. 32-3. Edward Said, in Representations of the Intellectual (London, 1994), is similarly ambivalent in contemporary about the role of the intellectual society. For him, the a heroic, charismatic is an individual, intellectual to side archetypical figure whose duty it is to choose with the oppressed the corruption of power. But he also recognizes that the golden age of the against heroic intellectual and Chomsky) has passed; university Sartre, Debray Russell, (he mentions and the professionalization of the intellectual class has transformed his position. He expansion identifies power, to stand 'The alternatives between 18 the priest. Bertil Nygren, 'the academic three possible for the intellectual to take towards power: to justify and legitimize positions 'inmetaphorical exile' as a witness critic. against power, or to act as a constructive or total rebelliousness', are not total quiescence he notes (p. 52). Yet he still wavers or the role of the prophetic outsider and that of the critical insider?the preferring prophet

in Girard et al., Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy-making, p. 107, regrets the loss of Institute of International in its relations with the Affairs virginity' of the Swedish Swedish ministries of defence and foreign affairs. 19 Fred Halliday, 'The End of the Cold War and International Relations: Some Analytic and Theoretical ch. 2 in Booth and Smith (eds.), International Relations Conclusions', Theory, p. 39. 20 David Martin, 'The Dissolution inMartin of the Monasteries', (ed.), Anarchy and Culture: The Problem LSE, p. 417. University (London, 1969), p. 1; cited in Dahrendorf, of the Contemporary 21 Karl Mannheim, 'The Sociological of the "Intelligentsia" Problem ', inMannheim, Ideology and and the Powers 1936), pp. 156-64; Edward Shils, The Intellectuals Utopia (New York, 1972). (Chicago, See also Said, Representations p. 27, citing Shils, Julien Benda and Antonio of the Intellectual, Benda's classic 1927 treatise, La trahison des clercs, took as its starting-point the assumption Gramsci; were a class apart with a sacred vocation. that intellectuals

Truth and power struggle with of unknowing tion, offering


their conscience and their God, and to fight imagined devils on behalf task of prayer and educa the Benedictine sinners. Others accepted to to the tem and assistance travellers occasional passing hospitality

and Jesuits, allied with earthly authority and poral power. Others, Dominicans on on to set Yet its behalf heretics. others, Franciscans, fought impose orthodoxy out to preach to the poor a gospel critical of authority of but not destructive ran as which with all the risks the Franciscans of condemned such, being authority as heretics when the gospel they preached displeased those currently in power. Ralf refers to the 'London School of Friars'.22 Dahrendorf, following David Martin, How pure should we aim to be, how secure from the contamination of the wicked notes remnant that of the New world? Chan the saving (though luxurious) policy Left Review
was famous or infamous Anderson such as for its internal used than whom. compromised on purity and on who was struggles predicated to fulminate to write who for those dared against even Marxism the Guardian, the New Statesman, Today.23 purer




if we cling to our intellectual chastity and reject such compromised vehicles of we are unlikely to reach much of an audience. It is wonderfully communication, a global moral to proclaim ambitious that 'world politics is the new metaphysics, ... we will 'reinvent the future science' through which freeing people, as individuals and groups,


from the social, physical, and other constraints economic, political stop them carrying out what they would freely choose to do'.24 It falls far to communicate short of that ambition with the people of the world primarily or the Review of International Studies, or even through the through Millennium to a lecture hall and tutorial. Sectarianism?to switch from a Catholic university metaphor?is

a besetting sin of academic life, each exclusive group self the path to truth and salvation.25 Ken that it has discovered Relations chapter to International Theory Today has all the its sinful readers that 'the sermon, reminding power and passion of an evangelical culture of contentment and enemy is us', calling on us to repent of our consumerist to 'ask the victims of world politics to reinvent the future'.26 of postmodernist The discourse and critical theorists tells us much about their own self-closure to the world of policy. and 'resistance' are powerful 'Dissidence' words, system implying that the writers live in truth (as Havel put it) in a political based upon lies; drawing a deliberate parallel with the dissidents of socialist central Protestant righteously insisting Booth's concluding as if these Western 'dissidents' had also to gather secretly in cramped Europe, on the 'other' to hear a lecturer smuggled in from the free universities apartments or Edward side?Noam into authoritarian Said, Chomsky, perhaps, slipping

takes as its patron not the hermit Egyptian LSE, p. 421. St Antony's Dahrendorf, College, Oxford, saint but St Anthony of Padua, and scholarly preacher of the first generation of the most eloquent One recent biographer notes that St Anthony of Padua's Franciscans. intellectual reputation was however and philosophical eclipsed 'just a few years after his death' by the rise of 'the theological

movement of Scholasticism'. (Padua, Life of St. Anthony 1979), p. 143. Vergilio Gamboso, 23 et al., Theory and Practice Girard in Foreign Policy-making, p. 32. 24 versus the Future', Ken Booth, 'Dare not to Know: in Booth and International Relations Theory Smith (eds.), International Relations Theory Today, pp. 328, 340, 344. 25 A Discipline Gabriel Almond, Divided: Schools and Sects in Political Science (Newbury Park, CA, 26

Booth, 'Dare not to Know', pp. 344, 348.




Britain.27 Chomsky may have been, for some in the 1970s and 1980s, 'the prophet for whom so many of our younger generation yearn'?though Max Weber, who went on ... will create only fanatical to warn that 'academic prophecy sects but never a genuine community', was referring to a much earlier rising generation.28 of dissidence and exile is drawn from the post-Vietnam The terminology image of an authoritarian in which hegemonic and capitalist America, Harvard professors stunt the careers?of the views?and those who do not share their suppress doctrines. There is a tendency within American science towards political positivist from leading departments orthodoxy, with professors (like Dominicans) hounding to a second-class heretics off the tenure track.29 Banishment university, or even to is not however quite of the same order as the treatment of intellectuals in Canada, we are to to which invited their the compare situation; post-1968 Czechoslovakia, to teach, to victims of positivist do not risk arrest, may even continue hegemony publish and to travel.30 And it would doxy stunts the careers of promising

be hard academics

to argue that any comparable ortho in Britain, or elsewhere inWestern

to establish its legitimacy owed something to failure of the Weimar Republic of the intellectuals of and the left, preferring irresponsibility right private to critical engagement certainties of their ideological schools with the difficult of democratic politics. The Frankfurt School of Adorno and Marcuse compromises were Salonbolschewisten, 'relentless in their hostility towards the capitalist system' while 'they never abandoned the lifestyle of the haute bourgeoisie'?x The followers of The the Nietzsche on the right and those of Marx on the left both worked to denigrate the and the political of Weimar, their limited achievements compromises encouraging to adopt to their own radically and so contribute students critical positions in Ideology and the republic. Karl Mannheim, who had attempted undermining and contingent Utopia to build on Weber's conditional sociology of knowledge, was came to power. Intellectuals dismissed when the Nazis among the first professors to the society who live within relatively open civil societies have a responsibility as constructive within which they live: to act themselves critics, and to encourage

and Edward Said represent for Stephen Chan 'the three staunchest and Chomsky, Ngugi wa Thiong'o ... of the intellectual's statements in Foreign most role' (Girard et al., Theory and Practice eloquent are common terms in the writings and resistance self-referential of p. 32). Dissidence Policy-making, Walker and others; see for example the special issue of International Studies Richard Ashley, R. B. J. the language of exile: dissidence in international studies'. 34:3 (Sept. 1990): 'Speaking Quarterly, 28 'Science as a Vocation', p. 153. Weber, 29 in 1994-5. and Yuen Foong Khong made this point in Oxford seminars Both James der Derian 30 lie in the 'underground The origins of the Central European University university' through which came into 1980s Prague at to lecture to dissident academics from democratic countries intellectuals, some real personal to whom risk. Those of they lectured were denied any links with the universities their own country; most had been pushed into manual for example, worked in a jobs (Vaclav Havel, flour mill). Bill Newton Smith, of Oxford's Philosophy Faculty, was the first of several of these inmid-lecture, teachers to be arrested unofficial visiting through the night, and deported. interrogated one of the founders of Charter Jan Patochka, and died after a The Czech philosopher 77, collapsed in 1978; Jitka Silhanova tells me that on an earlier occasion 24-hour police she passed a interrogation locked in a police cell with him and others, which he converted into a philosophical long evening seminar. 31 Martin Imagination: Jay, The Dialectical in Dahrendorf, LSE, p. 292. quoted A History of the Frankfurt School (Boston, 1973), p. 36;


Truth and power their students to contribute undermine it.32 to the strengthening of civil society rather than

309 to

Post-positivism Too much of

and pre-positivism the current debate

on International Relations is theory and practice traumas of the 1960s and on the perceived the American truth under the pressures of Vietnam and betrayal by positivists to pre-positivists?the Realists. Post-positivists pay little attention generation before on whom Kenneth Waltz Realist and critical (the archetypical postmodernists theorists concentrate the their main attack)?when historical contin considering their of gency in which their predecessors interpretations global events developed and global morality. Theoretical debate on the potentialities of global politics post ahistorical, fixed on of academic Cold War needs to refer back politics did not begin in 1945. to international relations before the cold war. World

to International Relations Theory Today present the Several of the contributions reader with a caricature of Realism and of the experience of the Second World War, presenting Realism as a doctrine of Cold War dominance which 'was well sponsored and discounted ethics'.33 Yet Realism as an approach developed well before the Cold War, as a response to the collapse of the interwar international system; most of its were at stake. The first concerned the ethical with issues early proponents explicitly seminar that I attended as a new graduate student in an American in 1962 university was a painfully in nuclear deterrence sober debate about moral choices between on their experience Hans Morgenthau and Hans of the hard Bethe, drawing dilemmas heavily of 1930s world English accented and of World War Two?both in the politics arguing which had retained from Central their they European scholars that generation?those who shaped the predominantly Europeans, many of them Jewish, from confronting Realism the irrationalism and was and Leninism.35 For them the Enlightenment of

upbringing.34 The International Anglo-American who had come historicism


discipline?were to a disillusioned of Fascism, Nazism

32Noam he writes, 'are in a position to expose the appears unable to accept this. 'Intellectuals', Chomsky lies of governments, to analyze actions in terms of their causes and motives and often hidden .. .For a intentions the leisure, the facilities and the democracy provides privileged minority, Western the veil of distortion and misrepresentation' training to seek the truth that lies hidden behind 'The Responsibility of Intellectuals', in Vasquez Relations, (Chomsky, (ed.), Classics of International view is that the intellectual should remain mercilessly those in power, p. 59). His unforgiving against he lives under. Ernest Gellner, with rather more direct (and regardless of what form of government of alternative forms of government than Chomsky, insists that the open civil bitter) experience societies which the 'Western' democratic tradition has evolved are qualitatively superior to their and as such deserve a greater degree of intellectual critical support. alternatives, 'They appear capable of maintaining and oppression, with less deprivation social order with less violence and inequality, than any other large and complex society 1985), p. 64. (Cambridge, 33 'Dare not to Know', Booth, p. 332. 34 Hans Bethe was then professor of nuclear 35 in history.' Gellner, Relativism and the Social Sciences

and had earlier been one of the leading physics at Cornell, of Atomic Scientists. figures in the Bulletin as a behaviouralist Karl Deutsch in for example, dismissed without qualification by John A. Vasquez and Smith (eds.), International Booth Relations student in Theory Today, was a German-speaking in 1938 who chose the Czechoslovak cause against the Sudeten Germans, and was then forced Prague community into exile. His lifelong preoccupation with nationalism, communication from his own painful personal stemmed experiences. and the bases of political

310 not

William a 'project',

Wallace but

the necessary
Holocaust was


for an open
... of


stable world.






', or that the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima 'represents the culminating about the nations of traditional games rationality play' would have been point came from a generation of with the moral these deepest greeted by contempt.36 They than the denial of tenure, and who had intellectuals which had suffered far more ality" far intervention struggled with moral dilemmas over justifiable force and necessary more fundamental to with than those which Baudrillard dismissed reference lightly an into a prophet of postmodernism, the 1991 Gulf War. To elevate Nietzsche to New Left, while attributing the Holocaust intellectual hero for a self-indulgent to anti-rational is those who clung to reason against Nietzsche's romanticism, deny of interwar international politics and the ethical dilemmas which alike in the Western democracies then faced. and intellectuals policy-makers and If the global politics of the post-Cold War era prove to be as transcendent our as then this of the realists' pre promise, mispresentation 'utopian emancipating the neo-Idealism of Booth's vision of little. The optimism, Cold War era may matter the fraught in world affairs is surely under way' and the future, in which 'something profound is in decline', is striking?as 'virulent ... nationalism striking as the old Idealism in the aftermath of the First World War. One with which our discipline began of Martin Wight, Reinhold recall that the Christian should however pessimism was a to Realists reaction Niebuhr and other deeply moral early disappointed to values they too had preached idealism and to the failure of the cosmopolitan a now over In reassertion. world transformed economic nationalist by triumph concerns and global communications the dangers of a environmental development, but only the diminished; collapse into irrational disorder are?we may hope?much most naive Idealist would assert that such dangers no longer exist. are aware of the prehistory and Rob Walker of the Ashley the contributions which Weber and and of of knowledge, Durkheim, sociology to that earlier debate.37 Many of their followers, Mannheim and Popper made were ques of positivism however, appear to assume that the simple rationalities in 1970s and when the first time the tioned for 1980s, began asking 'postmodernists ... the foundations of knowledge about language, contextuality, [and] questions to about the basis of ask questions critical theorists started ideological knowledge'.38 are not new; they are intrinsic to social science, and as old as social Such questions were to con foundations carried through from its Central European science. They Both Richard temporary debates on the philosophy and others, Gellner, though briefly faith scientistic peculiarly American






by Thomas Kuhn, in 1960s North America rationality. A


in unconditional

by the less sectarian

are from Steve Smith and Ken Booth in Booth and Smith (eds.), International The quotations Relations (himself Jewish, an exile in Theory Today, pp. 2, 331. The vigour with which Ernest Gellner of Czechoslovakia and then from the Soviet Britain most of his life first from the Nazi occupation in on his return to Prague at the end of World War II) attacked Oxford regime which he found closing in successive books relativism and postmodernism unthinking positivism, linguistic philosophy, to empiricism' and I. C. and moral commitment reflected his 'epistemological, (J. Agassi sociological to Gellner's Relativism, p. vii). Jarvie, editorial preface 37 in Robert O. Keohane See for example Ashley's essay, 'The Poverty of Neorealism', (ed.), Neorealism and its Critics 1986), and chs. 3-5 of R. B. J.Walker, (New York, as Political 1993). Theory (Cambridge, 38 added. 'Dare not to Know', p. 338; emphases Booth, Inside/outside: International Relations

Tru th and power approach awareness


to their own epistemological and ontological insights, a greater degree of own to knowledge, of the historical of their and approach contingency of the history and ideological debates of the pre-Cold above all a greater knowledge War with which the neo-Idealists the self-righteousness era, might moderate and over the appro the continuing debate over theoretical perspectives approach priate relationship between theory and practice.


and scholasticism

to quote the motto of the London School of Economics, is to seek 'to Scholarship, know the causes of things': to investigate some aspects of the chaotic universe of and to impose a degree of explanatory order on evidence, events and experience, involves and them.39 Scholarship conceptualization, categorization, necessarily assumes to of the and transmission others. knowledge gained explanation, Scholarship hardens into ideology or dogma when the contingent basis for explana all intellectual doubt which should accompany necessary discovery?is its practitioners It deteriorates into scholasticism when shift from forgotten. common to to from different address attempts competition perspectives questions in which each multiplies definitions and explanations, 'schools'; among different its own deliberately obscure and concentrates much of its terminology, develops of competing groups. The Oxford and terminology efforts on attacking the methods as 'pedantic, needlessly defines scholasticism subtle'; it developed English Dictionary tion?the out of the overpreoccupation teachers with disputes of medieval university each other rather than with engagement with the problems of the world beyond or university walls. monastic There with their

could follow the path that sociology is a danger that our discipline took, too to leave its origins too self-preoccupied, in applied determined becoming work behind, to take refuge in increasing abstractions, research and policy-related to scholasticism.40 Academic to move from scholarship theories and met a-theories: it should be noted, first denied its policy audience and then lost a good sociology, with word games among theorists of part of its student audience. The preoccupation the element of flippancy of International Relations, (or fun, as some followers the celebration of Foucault and Baudrillard would put it) in postmodernist writing, theory at the expense of empirical work, all suggest that there are many who are tempted to go down the same road. From this perspective European Foreign Policy: The EC and Changing Perspectives in Europe?from its title the most empirical of the volumes under review?appears as the most scholastic, the most detached from the world outside the discipline. 'Our main concern', Steve Smith declares in the introduction, 'is to use the case-study of to inform our analysis of the state of FPA the vast changes sweeping Europe

39 40

in this respect: illuminatio mea?is The motto of Oxford University?Dominus wonderfully ambiguous or as 'the tutor tells me what to think'. either as 'the Lord ismy enlightenment' open to translation an account in Postmodernism, Reason and Religion Ernest Gellner, 1992), pp. 22-71, provides (London, in the 1970s and 1980s. and social anthropology of the scholastic sociology disputes which enveloped




[foreign policy analysis]. If, along the way, we can say something about the nature of those changes, that will be a bonus.' is more Zalewski radical. (p. 19) Marysia a 'from she 'the twin revolutions stance', sweeps past quasi post-modern Starting to address that have given rise to the so-called "new Europe"' 'my supposed area: women.' who those 'strive towards simplifica (pp. 223^) Attacking empirical ... to she quotes tion and categorization theories', produce coherent, all-purpose with approval Sandra Harding's dictum that
coherent theories in an incoherent on are either or oppressive world and silly and uninteresting to the degree of hegemony achieve. Coherent manage they are even more coherent for the world world is always dangerous, hegemonic theories can grasp.41

problematic, depending in an apparently theories more complex than such


The world mind

too complex for the human and all that there is in it are unavoidably to is The whether the role of the scholar is to try to grasp. fully question and understand involves and to (which unavoidably simplification categorization) or to whether she should others that and leave understand, herself, help deny duty It's easy to sympathize with Ole Waever's her students and readers in confusion. rejoinder.
types of it would feminists as well.42 and

protesting With
1980s critical

the general assault on international relations which has been carried out through the
by various theorists, reflectivists, post-modernists, seem an almost too easy job post-structuralists, to drag down FPA





As odd a feature of this study of West European responses to the collapse of socia is the audience it seeks to address: the list regimes in Central and Eastern Europe academic International Relations 'The obvious American community. danger' of the dominance of their theoretical targeting such a limited audience, of accepting to the Steve Smith admits, 'is that US FPA may not be relevant approaches, 'Yet the problem remains that, for European FPA specialists, setting'. European as relevant if it addresses the concerns and their work will only be accepted to whom, and for approaches of the US research community', (pp. 10-11) Relevant to our students, to our policy in our own countries, what? To the wider audience to the small world of academic ten US elites?or centred around conferences, and five US journals, within which an increasingly universities self-absorbed profes sional academic community
to US

. . . the

its scholastic

careers? then this


If European FPA is to be taken seriously in the international FPA community,

means referring approaches sheer size of the US academic


that it is difficult to swim against the tide . . . [even though] the rise and fall of various FPA approaches have more to do with the changing agenda facing the US than with any theoretical deficiencies, (pp. 13-14)
41 In Carlsnaes and Smith (eds.), European Foreign Policy, p. 224; quoting Sandra in Feminism 1986), p. 164. (Milton Keynes, Question 42 ch. 13 in Carlsnaes Ole Waever, the Temptation of Post FP analysis', 'Resisting European Foreign Policy, p. 238. The Science (eds.),

Harding, and Smith

Tr u th and power


To different degrees all social sciences face the problem of coping with American of numbers, the entrenched intellectual hegemony: the sheer weight influence of such as the IMF and the World American ideas within international institutions in under Bank, the continuing financial importance of the major US foundations so in A research and the intellectual central setting agenda. writing problem for as with this Susan scholars when faced is, European preponderance Strange robustly puts it in International Relations Theory Today, that 'academic writing by the great of Americans is blissfully and habitually deaf and blind to the ideas and majority of the outside world'.43 perceptions The USA is an exceptional and society, both in terms of its size, its geopolitical economic insulation from the outside world, and in terms of its intellectual and and self-image.44 The particular and painful of ideological history experiences and Relations the Vietnam War? American science International political during no direct parallel in any other democ which nearly tore the discipline apart?had the complex quest for shortcuts to understanding racy.45 'The peculiarly American . . . the quest for scientific and where it doesn't precision certainty belong, the view . . . the of the world as if only the superpowers mattered of complacent parochialism so many' all represent deformations to acute observers within American apparent universities.46 The current trend away from area studies, from regional and linguistic expertise, which is evident in American university patterns of hiring and promotions, to grapple with an increasingly parochial that scholars will have European implies academic community within the United States. Given that the number of social scientists outside the USA, in Asia as well as in no to continues it should be for British and other increase, necessary Europe, longer so our own to scholars be about theoretical unselfconfident European development, of American theorizing and intellectual fashions. The situation of the a United half-continent States, immensely rich in natural resources and surrounded for 23 per cent of the by oceans, 5 per cent of the world's population accounting world's income (conventionally measured?and 22 per cent of the world's carbon to world is exceptional. dioxide based upon emissions), Approaches politics are therefore to the American likely to be only loosely applicable perspectives situation in which the world's other 190 states and five billion people find themselves. It seems a sad reflection of our continuing intellectual dependence that the new Journal of International Relations should have announced itself, in European the autumn of 1994, with an international advisory board almost half of whose were drawn from North American members and with the promise of universities,
Susan Strange, 'Political Economy and International ch. 7 in Booth and Smith (eds.), Relations', International Relations The Dividing Theory Today, p. 165; citing in her support K. J. Holsti, in International and Diversity 1985) and Richard Higgott, Hegemony Discipline: Theory (Boston, MA, 'Towards a Non-hegemonic and Roger Tooze IPE', in Craig Murphy (eds.), The New International Political Economy (Boulder, CO, 1991). 44 or just Different?', Martin ch. 6 in Byron E. Shafer Education: Trow, 'American Higher "Exceptional", A New Look at American Exceptionalism (Oxford, (ed.), Is America Different? 1991). 45 Theodore 'The Politics of Higher Education: Political Science as a Case Study', in George J. Lowi, on Political and George W. Carey Era: Perspectives Science (eds.), The Postbehavioral (New Seidelman and Edward Harpham and History 1972), pp. 11-36; Raymond (eds.), Discipline (East 1995). Lansing, MI, 46 on World on Politics 'ARetrospective in ch. 1 in Ideas and Ideals: Essays Polities', Stanley Hoffmann, Honor ed. Linda B. Miller and Michael of Stanley Hoffmann, Joseph Smith (Boulder, CO, 1993) pp. 15-16. Graham York, 43

so derivative




us to subscribe. The to persuade academics early articles by leading American intellectual life (and the strength of social sciences elsewhere in recovery of German to Finland) northern Europe, from the Netherlands should encourage academics in rather than take our lead from the intellectual Britain to look across the Channel, of the great wave of European of grandchildren emigres who laid the foundations current American social science. Most of the American academic post-1945 or geopolitical context the historical have never understood European profession within which their predecessors had developed their approaches.


theory: the necessity

of empirical work

interaction between and empirical work, between and theoretical concepts one at at of social science. and is the heart Barefoot end, evidence, philo empiricists along sophers of social science at the other, mark the outer limits of a continuum a flourishing are clustered: most?in of researchers which different groups The the centre. Useful theories only develop out of repeated and discipline?towards to confirm? with evidence, carefully collected and assembled careful confrontation or undermine?dominant Without empirical research, theory becomes paradigms. A which and arid. dismisses the importance of abstract discipline increasingly as to it is regarded inferior theoretical work, grossly applied research?because time and money, because it often requires knowledge because it costs more of foreign languages in this essentially Anglo-Saxon discipline, because it involves com find that it with politicians, governments, policy-makers?will itself up within its own scholastic community. More, and more detailed, empirical research should be one of our first priorities, so modify? to inform?and but intended assumptions guided by theoretical It is difficult to conduct an inter-paradigm theoretical assumptions. debate, after all, studies are available to test one paradigm unless empirical against another. Here that our discipline is in danger of becoming unbalanced, pre again I contend to explanation, and occupied with theory for its own sake rather than as a means within our own region with a remarkable neglect of detailed study of developments promising has closed included and of their relevance to theory. The agenda of the 1994 BISA Conference eight panels on theory, with eighteen papers. There were no papers on British foreign (out of 123) in different panels on the interaction policy, and only two papers between Britain's society or economy and the wider regional or global system. Apart there was only one paper (on The role from four papers on the crisis in Yugoslavia, on the transformation in Poland, of Central and Eastern of women 1979-81') a large number of lessons over the previous which fifteen years?from Europe must of regional and global politics. This in time be drawn for our understanding rest more upon in which prestige and reputation suggests a discipline snapshot than upon careful empirical study. theoretical disputation to that This neglect of the European region and of conceptual approaches of Fred International the creditable Rethinking Halliday's exception region?with to the Cold War as a phenomenon, its Relations, which revolves around approaches end and its aftermath?is remarkable, given that the discipline originally developed the European out of intellectual with international system. The preoccupation contacts

Tr u th and power


region is almost entirely absent from International Relations Theory Today. Forty in five years of debate on state and sovereignty, on integration and interdependence to from Alan is left Western Ernst Haas the Milward, Europe, out?though American John Mearsheimer, whose of contemporary ignorance European shines out from his neo-Realist writings, is granted extended treatment developments in successive chapters. Susan Strange is the only contributor who refers to Mitrany and Haas, those earlier Idealists equipped with a clear research agenda; Fred one in 350 pages) who mentions the sixteen contributors the Halliday (of only are in to There references several pros European Community. optimistic chapters pects for cosmopolitan without with the sobering any comparison democracy, the idealist early, disappointed, (and hopes) represented experience by the one a in of democratic the world: the operating assembly example supranational

Zalewski and Cynthia Enloe address 'Questions of Parliament. Marysia in international with relations' scarcely a reference to the national dimension identity of identity: as if there were no resurgence of claims to sovereignty on the basis of dominant ethnic identities across the former socialist Eurasian world, or as if such a resurgence had little significance for the study of international relations. ?A discipline's 'are often its silences', Steve Smith remarks in his introduction, most significant feature' (p. 2). In three years of membership of the Research Grants Board of the UK Economic and Social Research the most Council, significant silence I observed was the absence of proposals from International Relations European ESRC to study the transformation of regional politics across Europe, even as the awarded successive grants to students of comparative politics, to sociologists to conduct and economists, research in this field. But there are other significant silences in the discipline. Jean Bethke Elshtain remarks on the failure of students of to tackle the old-established, transnational social movements and continuing, to which one might add of churches and other religious movements; importance scholars

the importance of clandestine and criminal groups and 'Mafias'.47 Halliday (in International Relations, pp. 103-7) remarks on the absence of historical Rethinking in much of the transnational/cosmopolitan the literature, neglecting perspective existence of strong transnational movements?freemasons, socialist and anabaptists, anarchist groups?in the international system of the past three centuries. Those who are acutely preoccupied with 'the main meta-theoretical issue facing international relations theory today', which they define as 'the fundamental divide . . . between those theories that seek to offer accounts of international explanatory relations and those that see theory as constitutive of that reality', may object that such an emphasis on empirical research begs the question of the framework within which such research may be conducted.48 Without the empirical work, however,
47 in Booth and Smith (eds.), 'International Politics and Political Theory', Elshtain, relations Relations theorists consistently Theory Today, p. 269: 'Political and international understate the power of religious conviction and its role as a defining, force in shaping, and constitutive ... The Church world affairs life in the West but you would is the oldest continuing player in diplomatic never know this from contemporary accounts of the sort taught to students of international politics.' International Jean Bethke

Relations and the Concept of the (in 'International Interestingly enough, however, Rob Walker ibid. p. 312) uses religious to describe as a force the growth of social movements Political', terminology in world politics. 'To speak of a movement now, even a movement firmly rooted in the secular of capitalist modernity, is to do so in languages and concepts that have not quite lost their necessities resonance.' theological 48 Steve Smith, of a Discipline', in Booth and Smith (eds.), International 'The Self-images Relations Theory Today, p. 27.




it sets out to interpret, and become discipline will lose touch with the phenomena little more than a branch of literary enquiry or linguistic philosophy.49 Uncertain evidence are?to to social science; John theory and inadequate repeat?intrinsic a that 'Realists have had with evidence' does not Vasquez's charge problem always can how avoid such can only cling We themselves.50 explain post-positivists problems to Karl Popper's sceptical approach, and creep forward while making our assump tions and the basis for the evidence we have collected as transparent as possible, for to challenge. What we should not do is allow academics to use theoretical uncertainty as an excuse for abandoning work. in the in take field the empirical 'Many glee' post 'crisis ... [in] the scientific study of world polities', Vasquez 'for admits, positivist a believe it the for never sounds death knell form of liked and they analysis they which they find boring and difficult'.51 Meta-theory and intertextual analysis may be more fun than hard case-study work or the collection and analysis of evidence, and others much easier to write about without That way, leaving the ivory tower or monastery. new lies the of fine distinctions without however, scholasticism, multiplication knowledge.52 We now find ourselves faced not only with the immense laboratory of the post socialist world as a field for study, but also with the challenge an of educating new intellectual from to those class countries: eager emerging departments develop of International Relations to train their (often new) diplomatic in their universities, institutions services, the officials who will staff the regional international they hope on the domestic to join and the journalists who will comment of implications should we teach them? What are the core themes international developments. What to which we should introduce them first, 'the range of and issues of the discipline debates engaging the discipline' on which we should focus their attention?53 These are not trivial questions: we may hope through such education to contribute?at least at the margin?to the stability of a historically unstable region, even to the states and open societies within that region. evolution of democratic Western economists rushed east after 1989 to offer simplistic models of transition to open markets, often disregarding both local circumstances and the particularities of the regional environment. Western International Relations scholars have been less
49 'It is not an accident that postmodernism has had its most profound impact on literary theory. so for them empirical after all, deal with fiction, truth is never really a concern. 'The Post-Positivist Debate: Scientific Enquiry and International Reconstructing after Enlightenment's Relations Fall', in Booth and Smith (eds.), International Theory Today, p. 224. 50 are at least as anecdotal in their Ibid., p. 235. The books under review suggest that post-positivists of evidence as the Realists Zalewski and Cythia Enloe that they attack. The assertion by Marysia can drink Coke, eat sushi and watch Neighbours and be in practically in the world' any country (p. theorists, Literary John A. Vasquez, Relations Theory suggests OECD. 51 52 a very limited knowledge of conditions outside the democratic capitalist countries of the


use 'We 302)

Ibid., p. 234. at their most Behaviouralists in their approach to what rigorous were almost as purist and exclusive came to attach more could be studied. Many behaviouralists to their methodology than to importance the significance of the questions Science Department Political of they studied; the highly behavioural in Florence the European Institute refused to teach or research either on European University or on international relations for most of its first decade, in defiance of the purposes for integration on the EC for its funding, as not compatible which it was established and of its dependence with a of putting

IR scholars 'scientific' approach. in their turn should avoid this professional deformation, fascination with methodology before the significance of the issues to be addressed. 53 et al., Theory and Practice Keith Webb, in Girard in Foreign Policy-making, p. 92.

Truth and power often into


in demand, although many of us have welcomed students from these countries courses In the Central in our home universities.54 University, European to construct an IR syllabus which will make sense to Budapest, we have attempted graduate students from twenty-five countries across Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia for whom war, ethnic conflict, exploitation of alleged foreign threats to con not subject to civilian control, forces solidate authoritarian government, military are real and economic forced dependence, migration, governmental incapacity, or for word of interest immediate issues?not opportunities plays only for their to the construction and refinement of theory. There is sadly little in the contribution recent Anglo-American theoretical literature that is useful, and too much which either ignores or mocks the profound the discipline as well as for significance?for the international the of and global order transformation European system?of which has been under way since the late 1980s. Explanation, conceptualization, studies?are essential categorization, by empirical simplification?supported to in any such teaching To that be elements would enterprise. deny deny that International Relations has more to offer such students from such countries than the traditional intellectual disciplines of classics or mathematics.55


the balance:

the case for semi-detachment

Teachers of International however insist that our discipline does have Relations more to offer students?and also classics. Keith (for most) policy-makers?than as one Webb defines the discipline of International 'which by its nature Relations some a profession of the most deals with facing humanity', pressing problems ... a 'which many scholars enter with desire to do something about them'.56 There is, 'a particular role for the social scientist, which is of relative dis argues, from the policy process': a degree of detachment from immediate events engagement nor imply some kind of distanced which 'does not mean normative detachment, or is for him 'the regarding issues.' A dispassionate approach neutrality dispassion hallmark of scholarship' even when the scholar is emotionally engaged in the issues he
at stake.57

relative disengagement, rather than the extremes of co-option Semi-detachment, arena and its current assumptions or the passionate into the policy-making detach ment which postmodernists that they wish to transform the affect?proclaiming
54 was provided I participated) One exceptional by the Harvard University two-day seminar (in which to the newly independent in late December School of the Ukraine, 1991. It was government Kennedy a number of attended by a dozen ministers, the ministers of foreign affairs and economics, including and civilian officials, and members of the Ukrainian Parliament. had never been military Many from Rukh had never previously met anyone from outside the USSR. abroad; MPs They knew almost of the international of the basic rules and assumptions society of which they claimed nothing the foreign minister's statement declared the 'basic aims' of Ukrainian membership; opening foreign of NATO and the EC by the end of 1993. policy to be full membership 55 The rationale for classics as a focus for higher education is that it trains students in linguistic precision, of uncertain evidence: skills which can then be applied to a range logic, and the careful interpretation to future practitioners of contemporary relations should problems. The teaching of international to provide to contemporary attempt training in similar skills, related more directly problems. 56 et al., Theory and Practice in Girard in and Role', 'Academics and Practitioners: Power, Knowledge p. 13. Foreign Policy-making, 57 Ibid., pp. 13,22.




world while world?offers scientists', audiences

influence over the avoiding contact with those who exert significant a precarious balance. Semi-detachment like other social because, our theories and concepts, when they are accepted by significant in terms of size or influence, help to shape the world which we study:

Every political judgement helps to modify the facts on which it is passed. Political thought is itself a form of political action. Political science is the science not only of what is, but of
what ought to be.58

to power or an unvarnished The choice is not between an uncritical commitment to truth; it would be to abandon our intellectual responsibilities commitment either or to convert them to turn our university departments into enclosed communities for whatever government into contract research consultancies is in power. The exact will necessarily of balance chosen between detachment and engagement point on context assessments within the of individual of the depend personal judgement, or to to nature of the polity?its outside its resistance openness criticism, (even the importance of the issues at stake. of) advice and criticism?and warn Hill and Pamela Beshoff is at risk from too that Christopher 'scholarship to enthusiastic commitment the policy debate', but nevertheless accept that cautious in a paper given to an John Vincent, is an academic engagement responsibility.59 in Two Worlds LSE seminar before his death (now published of International in his insistence that leans in the opposite direction Relations), Theory and policy are two sides of the same coin in that they both represent a priori outlines which can then be tested empirically, in the first place against something called 'truth' and in
the from painful second the ... cannot be an intellectual exercise divorced practice Theory a on to to address Our deliver theories have requirement ultimately position policy. can if heard in the world dilemmas of politics, have and, they painful consequences.60 against political


the professionalization of the discipline within the past generation, Before it reflection with should be noted, most theorists of international relations combined at different points in their careers. John practice, or with advice to practitioners, was one of first of of Locke the members the English Board Trade. David Mitrany as a director his functionalist of Unilever, before wartime principles practised to the Foreign Office provided the opportunity to participate in design secondment of those who first ing the network of UN functional agencies. A high proportion the academic discipline of International Relations in Britain had partici developed in the Versailles of 1919; their conference pated, as junior officials or attach?s,

E. H. Carr, The Twenty Years' Crisis the founders of the Realist tradition awareness of the interaction between

(1946, reprinted New York, 1964) p. 5. This comment by one of illustrates how intrinsic to pre-positivist social sciences was ideas and action, between and ideological conceptualization 'The first step to the understanding of men to consciousness of the model is the bringing preference. or models to make men aware that dominate and penetrate their thought and action. Like all attempts in which of the categories they think, it is a difficult and sometimes likely to produce painful activity,

still Exist?', in Peter Laslett and W. G. results.' Isaiah Berlin, 'Does Political Theory deeply disquieting and Society Runciman Politics (2nd series, Oxford, 1962), p. 19. Berlin was of course (eds.), Philosophy, another of that great Central European intellectual their lives to diaspora who devoted representative those questions of fact and value, perception and reality, which postmodernists studying imagine to have newly discovered. themselves or Necessary in Hill and Beshoff 'The Two Worlds: Natural Distance?', (eds.), Two Partnership Worlds, p. 212. in the Practice 'The Place of Theory of Human John Vincent, ibid., pp. 29-30. Rights',

Truth and power successors


had direct ex almost without of the post-1945 exception generation war or H. in Carr had the service. E. served of government Foreign Office perience chair at the Woodrow Wilson for The Times while holding and then worked on so American theorists whose of our of the many writings Many Aberystwyth. on this side of the Atlantic theoretical controversies depend have spent time in in government Washington. from There are of course risks and dangers in such a high degree of engagement: into the political game to partisan and personal attack, to ruined careers co-option as well, in terms of the perspective and lives.61 But there are advantages gained on which to reflect on the return to the intellectual world. If we were to exclude from our discourse by direct involvement (and our reading lists) all those contaminated with our discipline. Chapters in Theory the world of policy, we would emasculate on Germany, the and Practice in Foreign Policy-making France, Netherlands, illustrate the interaction between different the USA and Austria Sweden, Russia, distinctive political and intellectual traditions, patterns of politics and government, and the particular opportunities and dilemmas faced by their academic International between between A degree of tension as funder and universities government for prestige and academic desires communities. is evident studied: country as (and policy institutes) recipients, concerns for influence and official in every


advice. immediate and often confidential in November The chapter on Britain, based on a survey of BISA members 1991, a a to in in the policy 'of the main, presents participate picture profession desiring, to that that their contribution process and believing, making rightly or wrongly, feel be significant'.62 But it also indicates that 'many academics process would from that the excluded the policy-making academics process', teaching outside some that south-east of England feel severely disadvantaged, and 'the perceive The existence of a "golden triangle" between London, Oxford, and Cambridge'.63 confused about what emerges from this survey is of a profession image which it would like to have with the policy world, ill-informed about the relationship from fruitful themselves situation, with some of its members existing excluding they arouse. The myth of a 'golden exchanges through the fears and suspicions triangle' lingers long after the reality has departed: the last academic seconded to the her successor is on leave from Foreign Office came from Birmingham University; in this chapter of the London policy institutes, whose Sussex. There is no mention role as intermediaries between the two worlds has served in its time Arnold Toynbee and E. H. Carr, Martin Wight and David Mitrany, Alastair Buchan, Susan Strange Institute of International and John Vincent.64 Senior research staff at the Royal from Wolverhampton, Affairs have recently included secondments Staffordshire, and Birmingham Warwick, (as well as from the Foreign Office and the Treasury), on to a number of other universities. while junior staff have moved Civil service and European issues is provided most often by staff from training in international Loughborough
61 62 63

and Exeter.65
recorded intellectual advisers to government, was 'allowed' by the Emperor p. 90. and Beshoff 1994.

Seneca, one of the earliest to commit suicide. Keith Webb, 'Academics

and Professionals:

Britain', Think Service Tanks College

in Girard

et al., Theory Policy',

and Practice, ch. 8 in Hill

Ibid., pp. 89,91. 64 William Wallace, 'Between Two Worlds: (eds.), Two Worlds. 65 was drawn from Civil This information

and Foreign course



in October




some academics There is no mention either of the contribution (too few) make to to party policy-making and to partisan think-tanks, with committees, parliamentary all the distinctive opportunities and risks which these offer. There is room for further discussion within the discipline on patterns of interchange and access to influence. A in which Relations 'many International experts feel that their expertise be used more' while feeling excluded from a relatively open policy-making and a lack of communication.66 The process suggests a degree of misperception absence of the direct path to influence available in the United a where sub States, stantial proportion of those at the top of the profession have held governmental of access are posts at some point in their careers, does not imply that channels or a policy the to that academic should abandon address closed, any attempt expert situation should

One of the most direct and powerful intellectuals examples of British speaking to reshaping the conceptual truth to power and successfully contributing landscape of leading policy-makers is to be found in the early years of Margaret Thatcher's at A of series the Minister's seminars Prime weekend residence prime ministership.67 at Chequers, most that in held invited 1983, brought importantly September Alex Brown and George Amann, Pravda, Archie on Thatcher's Soviet foreign policy and the Sch?pflin?to interrogation structure of Soviet power. The outcome was a substantial shift in the government's of the for evolution in to East-West relations, contributing appreciation possibilities on the early British welcome for Gorbachev his A and similar exercise, policies. in the last year of her premiership found her by then far less open to Germany, come infrequently; to advise prime ministers advice. Invitations but dispassionate are to influence the conceptual there other opportunities frameworks which govern experts?among brave Mrs policy, for those who will grasp them. Pamphlets for think-tanks (the form of for Martin Wight's and articles for publication original version of Power Politics) serious weeklies bring ideas to the attention of policy elites. Engagement of this sort in the policy debate, furthermore, feeds usefully back into empirical research and the to act in the first place construction of theory. Chatham House invited John Vincent as rapporteur to a study group on which right-wing proponents of human rights as an issue in East-West of human rights as an relations, and left-wing proponents to develop and agree on a consistent issue inNorth-South relations, were challenged framework for policy. He made the best of the opportunity, and of the intellectual them Ron

challenge which it posed.68 In the harsh political and financial climate of the 1990s, there is a further, self reason for demonstrating the discipline's protective, utility. Tn several countries institutions of higher education. This often attempts are being made to "streamline" means that one or another political is in danger of being closed science department down'.69 Even in the gentler climate of the 1970s and 1980s some sociology depart ments unable to demonstrate their wider relevance to imploded or were disbanded, or their students. in theory for their university potential Self-indulgence colleagues us we our to cannot sake will leave vulnerable cuts; theory's justify discipline
66 'Academics and Professionals', Webb, p. 90. 67 The Downing Street Years (London, Thatcher, Margaret 1993), pp. 341-3. 68 I recall that I issued the invitation?knowing of John Vincent's happily something that he would develop the theme into two classic books. expecting 69 in ECPR Newsletter, June 1995. Note', Pedersen,'Chairman's Mogens


but not

Truth and power


in aesthetic or philosophical terms.70 The opposite danger with which we primarily are threatened is that of 'end-user'-directed research?the political fashion of early which the ESRC and the other research funding?against 1990s British government research councils have struggled, insisting on the utility of longer-term research on set the issues. To those who argue that policy-makers should themselves broader often operate with inadequate research agenda we must reply 'that top policymakers and generic knowledge', and that academic work is often of value to conceptual policy precisely because
are not yet

it develops


and frameworks

for analysis

of which


our balance, precarious We have to maintain though it often is in adverse political for speaking truth to power, and our qualification conditions. Our justification for a more to of world students than what introducing study sophisticated they politics can read in the newspapers, are that we are professionally to a longer committed term view: 'to theoretical and historical to the examination of trends explanation', and reversals in trends, to the critical analysis of the conventional wisdom of policy which lie behind and of the implicit philosophies should them.72 We making as 'the and Alexander indirect limited, puts it, yet George cautiously recognize, can have on policy making', most of all important impact that scholarly knowledge in supplying the policy-makers' needs for clearer explanatory for the concepts, of established concepts, and for careful empirical studies to critical re-examination test alternative explanatory concepts.73 We should also recognize that 'the role of the scholar as a scholar and the role of the scholar as a citizen overlap', and that we not always easy to reconcile, in both these capacities.74 carry responsibilities, and policy analysis' on which conceptual It is 'the issues of political philosophy are rest 'which the frameworks special province of the academic, who has a duty to to confront them'.75 'The academic comparative advantage, which applies clarify and no less than to any other subject, to International Relations is a long time a concern and with fundamental For that we need to causation'.76 perspective maintain a certain distance, to insist on the sanctity of the university as a place for a closed monastic but we should not seek to constitute order. The contemplation; doors of the university should remain open: to keep us in touch with the rough and uncertain world outside, to prepare our students to live and work in that world, and to offer our critical wisdom and our expertise to those who have to struggle with the dilemmas of power.

it should be noted, The Department of Peace Studies at Bradford University, defended successfully itself against hostile political the quality and rigour of scrutiny, in the early 1980s, by demonstrating over peace research in. For the comparable the empirical research it was engaged controversy political in Germany in the early 1980s see Wolf-Dieter 'The Worlds institutes Eberwein with Barbara H?rsch, of Science making, George, the German and Practice: pp. 41^4. the Gap, p. 143. Bridging Case', in Girard et al., Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy

International Relations, p. 242. Rethinking Halliday, the Gap, pp. 137-8. George, Bridging Wolf-Dieter 'Scholars and Practitioners: Eberwein, Imagination, Conceptions et al., Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy-making, Girard p. 157. in Hill and Beshoff John Vincent, (eds.), Two Worlds, p. 38. Christopher Hill, 'Academic International Relations: The Siren Song of Policy

and Misconceptions',



ibid., p. 20.