Raymond Aron and the Theory of International Relations

Author(s): Stanley Hoffmann
Source: International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Mar., 1985), pp. 13-27
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association
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the worksof a had the duty to clarifyand to interpret.e. 0020-8833/85/01 0013-15 $03.at theend ofthisessay.thatdeal primarily which takes the formof historicalnarrative.I discussa posthumouspublicahisown mainconceptsand contributions. societiesand a philosopherof historywho was also a sociologistof contemporary criticofthesocial and thepoliticalthoughtofmostgreatwritersin history.or partsof norwillI examinethatpartofhiswork withcurrentaffairs.In all hisbooksand articleshe neverceased withHans Morgenthau.The laws and formsof this behavior were already being studied during those same years by important colleaguesofAronin theUnitedStates. 1950s foreignpolicy and the relationsamong states had been the bailiwick of oflawyersand to a lesserextentofeconomists. theGerman emigrethinkerwhoseinfluenceboth on academicsand on practitioners has been so enormousin the United States. nor repeatwhat I wrote20 yearsago in my detailed accountofPeaceandWar.78.or commentaries and theoreticalwritings. Untiltheearly originality. But even if one compares Kissinger. books.However. Aronseemsstrikingly ofintemational himwithAmericanspecialists original.shortlyafterthe publicationofthismasterworkin France (Hoffmann.as he conceivedit.This discipline. This is what he called diplomatico-strategic behavior. The onlypurposeofthisessayis to sum up RaymondAron'sscientific contribution to thetheoryofInternationalRelations.RaymondAronis the man historians. and economics.hisscientific and to separatethe two activitieswhich he led jointlyand neverfully contribution of currenteventswhich he thoughthe distinguished: journalism.Aron'sdeathmakesitpossibletostudyin depth. who.but also of politicalscience and sociology.i.(1985)29.108.147 on Tue. relations. However. diplomatsand soldiers. He also exchangedideas with Henry who was both an academic and a practitioner. consistedin a coherentand rigoroussystemofquestionsaimed at makingintelligiblethe constant rulesand thechangingforms ofa specificand originaltypeofsocialaction:thebehavior on theworldscene of the agentsof the unitsin contest. 13-27 International Studies Quarterly Raymond Aron and the Theory of International Relations STANLEY HOFFMANN HarvardUniversity I of and his The scope RaymondAron's workhas always caused his commentators disciplesto despair.at last. almost single-handedlycreated an autonomous discipline of internationalrelationsat the crossroadsof history.law. Nor will I discussthefirstvolumeofClausewitz. tionin whichhe re-examines NobodywhoreadsagainRaymondAron'senormousworkcan failto be struckbyits He was originalbycomparisonwithearlierFrenchwriters. and particularly dialoguingwithhisAmericancounterparts.I will therefore leave aside books.Many unpublishedworkswill probablybe releasedin the near future. 1965).00 (? 1985 International Studies Association This content downloaded from 195. realmofthecriticismofideas. in France.forinstancethe major parts of The whichbelongsin the Imperial Republic. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .

17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . First. Nobody has shown more convincinglyhow impossible it is. This is so because unlike other kinds of social actions. in the field of international relations. he derived from his startingpoint six fundamentalquestions forthe study of diplomatic constellations. Systemsanalysis had become quite fashionable and developed in the United States towardsthe end of the 1950s. the relationsbetween domestic and foreignpolicy. 1962: 28) comparable to the goal ofthe footballplayer (winning) or to the ends ofeconomic actors (maximization of satisfactions).14 Relations The Theory ofInternational As we shall see. But Raymond Aron's approach was original in two ways.startingfromthe specific featuresof international relations: the 'multiplicity of autonomous centers of decision and thereforethe risk of war' (Aron. are much more modest for instance. He defined systemsas milieus organized for and through the competition among the units. he formulated his substantive answers to thesequestions throughthe studyof internationalsystemsand the typologyof these systems. Third.78. between the ideal type of strategic-diplomaticbehavior (no power above the units. Three of these were objective questions: the scope of the field. the constellation of power relations in this field.all actors must observe an imperative rule of behavior: 'the need to calculate means' (Aron. and his key distinctionis between multipolar and bipolar systems. A number ofimportantfeaturesfollowfromthis. This is the other. such as power and conflict. In contrast. from the fundamentaldifferencebetween foreignpolicy and domestic polities. Several conclusions follow from this. or 'ideologico-political' questions: mutual recognition or nonrecognitionamong the actors. First. Raymond Aron always carefullyindicates the differencebetween 'power politics' as it unfoldsin a milieu which is dominated by the riskof forceamong competing units. his mind had a broader scope.his American colleagues oftenresortedto 'concepts which also can be used in realms other than international affairs' (Aron. On the one hand since he startsfromthe distinctiveness of international relations. theory cannot go much This content downloaded from 195. the meaning and goals of foreignpolicy. his constructionswere much more flexible (hence many criticismsby American authors in desperate need of certainty). Second. than the claims of Morton Kaplan forsystemdominance. 1972: 362). He also distinguishestensions and conflicts-the raw material of any society from wars. There were also three subjective. which are violent conflicts among political units. II Raymond Aron's ambition was doubly paradoxical but he was a master at paradoxes his thoughtwas both bold and modest. On the other hand. 'the legitimacy and legality of the actors' resortto armed force' (Aron. he takes great care to use only concepts characteristicofinternationalrelations. and his opinion about theirconstrainingor determiningpower over the units which are the system's constitutive elements. and the use of coercive power within a domestic community by a state which has (to use Weber's definition)the legitimate monopoly of this power. and perhaps most interestingside of his theoretical undertaking. the behavior of the diplomat and ofthesoldier has no 'rational end' (Aron. and his analyses sometimespreceded thosewhich appeared on thisside of the Atlantic.108.147 on Tue. 1962: 28) or. 1962: 28). the conception of systemsthat Raymond Aron developed. What could have been more bold than his determinationto offera general theory. another way of putting it. no or few common values) and the ideal type ofdomestic or. and the techniques and technology of war. to succeed in establishing a 'hypothetico-deductivesystem in which the relations among the terms or variables would take a mathematical form' (Aron. civic behavior. 1972: 363). so to speak. 1972: 358).

(Aron. grasptherulesofthegame amongabstractentitiesor variablescalled x.108. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and the possibilityof state' (a conceptAron conceptualizingpoliticsas 'the intelligenceof a personified than rather as the from intelligenceof a class.STANLEY HOFFMANN 15 beyond a 'conceptualanalysis'.This is whyhe acidlycriticizedthenotionofthenationalinterest was the keystoneof Morgenthau'stheory. nor can one deduce thosetranswhichconstitute transactions nationalrelationsamongindividualsor thoseinterstate In otherwords. the most illustriousand venerable school of internationalrelations.'fromno is whysystemsare 'in theepistemological theorycould one deduce as an inevitableconsequencetheindustrialassassinationof millionsof Jewsby the Nazis' (Aron.Only the concretestudycan help make the thespecificcharacteristics behaviorof the actors. y.theimperative ofan 'ethicsoflaw' and ofpeace throughlaw. and Morgenthau. This content downloaded from 195. ideology.All'realists'agreeon thefollowing of thedecisiveroleofforceamongtheingredients needfortheunitsto calculateforces. Rousseauhad called the'stateofwar'.indefinite'.Evenwithinitsmorelimitedand legitimatedomainthe doesnotallowonetograspthebehavioroftheactors. he carefully foreignfromdomesticpolicy and between power as a means and distinguishes poweras an end. in theseperiods.Hobbes.On the one hand.byitself.whenused. one nationalstatesare.theimpossibility instead of an ethics of conviction.Its membersinclude the very foundingfatherof the study of interstateaffairs.Hobbes. or z. Carr.ifone comparesRaymondAron to the otherrealistsone discoversfour The mostimportantis conceptual.turnout to be equivocal specificity which ordangerous. When Arondeals withthisbehaviorhisanalysisseemsto belongwithinthe realist school.1972: 366-367).as well as Machiavelli. ofa balance ofpower.or borrowed Clausewitz) bureaucraticprocess.it is muchmorediffiabout thesystem'sfunctioning' cultthaninthecase ofeconomictheorytoseparatesuchabstracttheoryorconceptualizationfromtheconcretesociologicaland historicalstudy. 1972: 368). limitsitsobjectiveto the nationalinterestdefinedin the way Mazarin or Bismarck definedin is essentially did' (Aron. theoryofthestateofwar.but tionleadstothetheoryofwhatJean-Jacques whichfollow societyor oftheworldeconomicsystem.78.whose objectiveis 'the definitionof a subsystem's ofsome hypotheses the listingof themain variables.the preponderant importanceofgeopoliticalfactorsin the definition role of states among all the actors on the world stage. This featuresofwell-differentiated mustknowwhatthedistinctive meaningof thisterm. complexand indeterminate However.duringwhichthereexisted'an unwritten eras 'no state whereasduringrevolutionary ofwhatwas legitimateand illegitimate'.thenationalinterest ideologicalterms. as I have seriesofdifferences. points:the ReinholdNiebuhr. Max Weber (whom Raymond Aron admired so much) and among contemporariesE.He saw in it a formuladerivedfrom'the code practiceand thetheoryofhappyeras'.and the formulation specificity.andGeorgeKennan.and the stakestheygive to their systemone cannotsimply an international In orderto understand conflicts intelligible.147 on Tue.thepermanenceofnationalambitionsand ofthreatstosurvival. H. Second.but. nottothetheoryoftransnational otherrulesand anotherlogic.AronpartscompanywithMachiavelli. On the otherhand.1972: 475).the logic ofbehaviorfrom ofthe actors. withinthe specificdomain of international catch-allconceptswhich at firstsightappear to grasp the relationsAron distrusts ofdiplomatico-strategic behavior.theircalculationsof forces. He refusesto see in the quest forpower the essence of all politics.the the wisdom of an ethicsof responsibility ofstates'goals. alreadyindicated. Hans Morgenthau.RaymondAron'sconceptualizapeacefultradeamongcommunities. power. Thucydides.

itwas bytheratioofforcesalone.thecontrastbetweenAronand Americantheorists thanhistory He sharesneithertheirnormativeambitionsnortheirfaithin thepossibility isstriking.Many yearslater. 1972: 548).mainlyunderlinestwo points.Foritis history sociology'ofinternational into.He also wants to submitgeneralconceptsto the touchstoneand ofhistory. Papaligouras.whenhe analyzestheweightofdomesticconditionsin international relations.The outcomeofthelimitedconflicts ofthewarinVietnam. bysocialrelationsand byideologieswithinsocieties. thebookin whichhe analyzesthe originsand shownhow a 'diplomatic dynamicsoftheFirstWorldWar.he assertedthat'the theoryofinternational determinants does not entail. even in the abstract. 1979).One is the importanceof the natureof the have said.He linksup withThucydides. Aron.the'historical and monistic Aronhas alwaysrejecteddeterminism natureofsystems.In thisrespect.Even if.Witnesstheresults ofreachingthepoliticalaim.147 on Tue.1951).plungestheoryintohistory beyondtheteachingsofhistoryand frombecomingmorerigidand moreprescriptive allows. indeterminate theseswhichtryto explaincomplexphenomenathrougha singlefactor(Aron.in his book on Americandiplomacy.as in TheImperial Republic.thesystems. historicalseriesproceeds.whichled to themilitarydefeatofthestronger power(Aron. differsprofoundlyfromthat of Czarist Russia (Aron. decisionstakenby one man or a fewsetintomotion effects mutations'(Aron. the foreignpolicy of the regime. ofall thetransformations. has attemptedto reducetheoryto the theoryofinternational of studyof the relationsbetweena system's'structure'(definedas the distribution poweramongtheunits)and therelationsamongtheseunits.1972: 371). 1948) Aron has carefully This content downloaded from 195. Aron'scritiqueof excessivelyabstractor simplisticconceptsis tied to a ofrealism. objectivesareat leastpartlysetbythenatureoftheregimeandbyits ofthenuclearera is no longerdictated ideology.Aron sometimesdealt too brieflyor superficiallywith the domestic relations offoreignpolicy.1962: 108). on the contrary.a 'hyperbolicwar' nobodyhad foreseen.For Aron. It is in millionsofpeople and provokeirreversible TheCentury of TotalWar(Aron.thathe has mostincisively failure'and a 'technicalsurprise'convergedin producinga catastrophenobodyhad wanted.16 Relations The TheoryofInternational Second.sufferthe thereare unceasingchanges.who can be identified ofa as possiblethefoundations therealistschoolandwhohastriedtobuildas rigorously relations(Waltz.78. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .he showedonce again both the inevitablenatureof the Cold War and themuchmoreaccidentalcharacterofmanyofitsdevelopments.1983: 452) whichdictatesthe hostility whichAronhad betweenhomogeneousand heterogeneous crucialdistinction systems borrowedfromthe GreekauthorP.theory'smissionis bothto complete. to predictevents. He has alwayssoughttodistinguishthedeepercauses ofeventsfromaccidents. accordingto Aron. 1972: 433).KennethWaltz.a SouthVietnamesegovernment theimpossibility capable ofdefending itselfalone.Contraryto what some pseudo-realists Soviet Union. A thirdimportantdifference concernsthe idea of the primacyof foreignpolicy with whichone findsamongso many'realists'.and to be inserted criticism whichshowsthe relations.1972: 379-380). crucialfeatureofhisunique understanding in orderto preventtheoryfromevergoing and so tospeak. It is 'the similarity ofthe regimesthatexistwithinstates'(Aron.a discriminationbetween endogenousand or.This distinctionfollowsfromthe by theratioofforcesalone' idea that'theexternalbehaviorofstatesis notdetermined (Aron.This approachexcludes takinginto account all of the subsystemsconstitutedby political and economic regimes. Ever since Le grandschisme(Aron.108.the exogenousvariables'(Aron.'The courseof and toshowhow theconjunctionofdifferent relationsremainssupremelyhistoricalin all the meaningsof thisterm: international which are multipleand fragile. 1983: 293).inVietnam.

even if. Nor do theseremarksof Aron coincidewiththe theoriesof the 'interdependence betweenstrategic school'.The otherpointconcernstheknotthattiestogether havebeenformulated wars-an idea which again linksAron with Thucydides: 'one wars and interstate diplomacyas longas one hasnoteliminatedviolencefrom cannotimaginea nonviolent in the politics'(Aron.and reachedmuch more subtleconclusionsthan the realists.Insofaras theworldeconomy. betweentheinterstate realistshave. he too understoodthat even duringthe liberalera it was the dominanteconomicpower.and it is always the interstate which dominatesinternationalsociety.e.realistshave ignoredit.1976: 284). Middle 'realists'is about therelations betweenAronand contemporary The lastdifference systemand theworldeconomicsystem.the system ofthegold exchangestandardand latertheBrettonWoods systemhave allowed the rivals. And realistshave assimilatedthe worldeconomic conduct.i.e.on thewhole.and conflictforresourcesratherthan cooperationand trade.a major war has This content downloaded from 195.and ofa growingregulationofworld importanceofthediplomatico-strategic whichlimit regimes'.to prosperand to grow. the Americanneorealistswho also show the difference actionlinkedto theuse offorceand economicactionundertaken(not onlyby states but also by other actors such as multinationalenterprisesand international organizations)in areas where the resortto forcemakes no sense.1962: 717).On the one hand. underlying relationsthrough (Aron. of exchangerelations between private individualsand groups. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .78. The difference theoryand Aronoweslessto a disagreement betweenthepioneersofinterdependence over that theorythan to Aron's skepticismconcerningwhat mightbe called the theideologyofa 'fadingaway ofsovereignties' ideologybehindthetheory.Great Britain.firstofEnglandand thenoftheUnitedStates.108.the United States since1945 is nota simpleextensionofthelogicofmilitarypower.theconstraints orderthanksto 'international acceptedby ofsomeactorsare eithervoluntarily(i.Concerningthelatter. This is whyhe hasshownso muchinterest intrastate in the chapterson Lenin and wars (particularly theoryand practiceofrevolutionary and in thefactorsofdomesticconflictin the Mao in thesecondvolumeofClausewitz) troubles.as during the mercantilistera: their analysis of the worldeconomythusproceededin termsofpowerratherthanwealth. of zone dangerous the most East.seemed international to belongprimarilyin therealmof transnationalsociety.i. on the other hand.as in the 19thcentury. he recognizedthat insofaras the world economyis part of interstaterelationsit is system.of a gradual loss of system.But he has dealt withit here and there.The logic of partlyindependentfromthe diplomatico-strategic nevertheless behaviorof the dominantpower-England in the 19thcentury.AccordingtoAron.. ratherthan in the realm of interstate relations. in daily affairs.which set the rulesof the monetaryand commercialgame. statein its own What matteredweretherulesof thegame imposedby themightiest interPet studyoftheworldeconomicordercomparable Aronhasneverwrittena systematic to Peaceand War.zero-sumgains ratherthan growth.147 on Tue. ofa sortofgradualpacificationofinternational the extensionto the realm of 'complex interdependence'.tendedeitherto neglectitorto denyititsautonomywithin relations. notirreversibly) thesovereignty thesestates(forinstancetheopenworldmarket)or else theyare imposedby themore systembased on calculationsof force mightystates.Rules oftheworld economycannotbe reducedto the quasi-warlikerulesof mercantilism. but.insofaras relationsamongstatesformedthe systemto diplomatico-strategic main part of this system.STANLEY HOFFMANN 17 which interpretations policyand thedifferent ofSovietforeign studiedthepeculiarities civil aboutit.e.

the capacity to survivean enemyfirststrikeand to This content downloaded from 195.even ifone has to resistthe temptationof trying to grasp and account forwholes. Just as he criticized the concept of the national interest. In this area as in all the others Aron remained tied to the conception he had laid out in his Introduction to thePhilosophyof History(Aron.and tryto understand the relations among those fragments. insofaras economic exploitation is not demonstrated everywhere (in certain cases the periphery has benefited from the investments of capital by the center much more than it has sufferedfrom them) and insofar as economic exploitation is a phenomenon differentfrompolitical domination.one can only study fragmentsof reality. The theory seems to him doubly debatable. instead of having firstto defeatits enemy's armed forces. one has to tryto understand the logic and the causes of differenttypes of behavior and to make them intelligible-even if the cost of thus lowering one's sight is a certain dispersion of analyses.108. He also noted that the phenomena which this theory claimed to explain-colonial conquests or wars among imperial powers-could be explained by other factors. but his opposition to the Marxist-Leninist conception and to the kind of diluted Marxism representedby the 'dependencia school' is sharply marked. such as the strategic-diplomatic contest. to measure the extent to which the invention of weapons of total destruction revolutionized world politics. is evident in Aron's critique of the theoryofexploitation of the peripheryby the center. or conclusions that seem like forestsof question marks. He always knew that one of the consequences of the appearance of weapons of mutual assured destruction. was this: in the realm of strategic thermonuclear strategic doctrines weapons.Nevertheless. He showed the weaknesses in Lenin's reasoning (a concatenation of postulates each one of which was in contradiction with the facts and not necessarily linked with the otherpostulates).e. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the necessity and originalityof the Cold War.' This means.147 on Tue.78.one of the effectsof what McGeorge Bundy has recently called 'existential deterrence' (Bundy.18 The TheoryofInternational Relations become less likelyand the restraintsimposed by economic interdependence are more visible. 'There exists a balanced state ofdeterrencewhen each of the nuclear powers has the same capacity as itsrival to deter a direct aggressionor an extremeprovocation. 1983). 1938): historycannot be grasped in its totality. by contrast with the of deterrence. in the first place. Aron ceaselessly commented on and criticized American authors and actors who were trying to formulate and to apply the strategy of deterrence. 1972: 499). the persistence of Clausewitz (i.he many times dismantled the Leninist theory of imperialism. than Raymond Aron. thenotionofbalanced forcescannot be reduced to a simple calculation of the number of warheads or missiles at the disposal of the rival states. III Nobody has more persistentlytried to understand the nuclear era of international relations. This same rejection of an 'inexorable dialectic which passes over the heads of men' instead of studying'the action of some men and some interests'(Aron. Thus Aron's relation to the pure realists and to the neorealists is complex. thatthenature oftheweapons. of war and of the need for strategic calculations).as in the past. The main contribution of Raymond Aron to our understanding of the new era consists of three series of analyses: the ambiguities of deterrence. Bernard Brodie and he were the firstto define the meaning of that revolution: the possibilitywhich a state the state and society of that possesses a serious nuclear arsenal now has of destroying an enemy.

by increasingthe riskofescalation(the nuclear versionof what Clausewitz had called climbingto the extremes). worksat Thereis a secondantinomy whichis no lessimportant:themoredeterrence existsat thelower thegloballevel.(Thisistrue. especially sincetheenemy.but This content downloaded from 195.1962: 669).by definition.again. thelessthethreatappearscrediblesinceeach of theantagonists has the meansofmutualassureddestruction. 'resortingto allies in orderto restorea fractured equilibriumis a thingofthepast' (Aron.'the credibilityof deterrencepresupposesa referenceto the whole situationand can neverbe reducedto a simplemilitarycalculation. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and neitherhas the abilityto disarmthe other' (Aron. is not an exact science.stages.do not constitute veryusefulmeansofpoliticalintimidation:'nuclearblackmail.by definition. If one triesto reinforce itsdeterrent power.throughwhatkindsofthreats. to avoid one dangerwithoutincreasing the menace. The moreterrifying one's adversary withtotaldestruction.will fearlosinghis weapons if he does not use themfirst. In matters played by will (in conformity ofdeterrence'it is impossible. 'Everythingthat increasesthe likelihoodof more escalationin advancecontributes but also makesit.by adding for instancetacticalnuclearweaponstostrategicones. The fifth consequenceofthenuclearrevolution is thatarmswhichare so devastatingbut whose use perhaps exposes whoever resortsto them to total retaliation.whosestrategicforcesare tosomeextentvulnerableto theotherside's firststrike.1976: 247).108.thefactthatthevictimhas a networkofallieswouldnot matter.On theotherhand. even afterhavingbeen hitbya firststrike. 1976: 149). themorestability existson top). limitedstrategicnuclear war. Second.but not verycrediblesince it is suicidal.1962: 670): ifone ofthetwo superpowerscould eitherdisarmor destroythe otherwithoutbeing destroyedor seriously damagedin return.)The supreme threat-the threatof totaldestruction is highlydeterrentin the abstract.147 on Tue..These weapons' purposeis to destroythe positiveintention-real or assumed-of theaggressor'(Aron.theydeliberately multiplyrisksofescalation. accordingto Aron (1976: 162-163).'What mattersis knowing'whocan deterwhomfromwhat.78.thebalance of deterrence is a psychotechnical equilibrium'(Aron.and particularlyby givingoneselfthemeansto striketheenemy'sforcesfirst.Fourth. We are herein the domain ofpoliticalart.it meansthatsincedeterrence is 'a relationbetweentwowills. distinctions betweenconventionalwar. and a counterforce threatis extremelycredible.is more importantthan numericalequality.. to deterrence difficult to limitwar ifit breaksout afterall.1963: 227). and and 'a threatthatone neitherwantsnoris able to giveup' mutualassureddestruction) (Aron.1963: 96).STANLEY HOFFMANN 19 penetratethe defensesof the enemy.but it detersless.or theuse of the nuclear threattowardpositiveends.(i. the moreonerisksmakingwaritselfmoreconceivable. The less the superpowers willbe temptedto use theabsoluteweapon.e.themoreone triesto makethethreatcredible by givingoneselfthe means of waginglimitednuclearattacks.I wouldadd. tacticalatomicwar.' Moreover. does not belongto the mentaluniverseof statesmen.Third.1976: 242).themoreone threatens another'(Aron. in whatkind ofcircumstances' (Aron.thefreertheywill feelto use conventional weaponsunless. deterrence with the Clausewitziannotion of war).and not onlybecause ofthe decisiverole Thus.as in traditionalwar.escalationis both 'a danger that one wants to avoid' (by tryingto preservethresholds.Aron definesstabilityas 'a situationin whichthe duellistshave an absolute incentivenottousetheirweaponsbecausebothhavetheabilityto destroyone another. Will or determination mattersmore than technologicalcredibility.'hereagain an antinomyappears'.thelessstability levels. especiallybecause of the recentrevolutionof accuracy.

108.crisesamong the superpowersbecome the substitutes have takenplace betweenthirdparties.the calculationofforcesmustincludemanyfactorsotherthan thepurelymilitaryones.1976: 164) intertwined.or betweena superpowerand confrontations an ally or clientof the othersuperpower.But one mustunderstandthat forces. and his verysubtle analysisoftheCuban missilecrisisof1962 (Aron. where the riskof escalationin the eventof a conventionalwar remainsenormous.on onehand. so-to-speak. they fragmentthe global systeminto subsystemseach one with its own is made even violence. to a certainlimitationof stakes and means. which'was not influenced confrontations.At the same time violenceis so-to-speaksafeguardedand even multipliedat lowerlevelsand in other oftheCold partsoftheworld.againstthedominant fromwar: 'I am trying different analyzedas profoundly opinion.The nuclear revolutionalso preservespeace in Europe. the 'total diplomacy'characteristic else.the lessit guaranteesstabilityat thoselowerlevels. revolutionwhich moreremarkableby the factthat the othergreat contemporary Aron stressedso oftenis the extensionof the diplomaticfieldto the whole world. On the otherhand. pieces which are.and despiteeverything deterrence(such as the new vulnerabilityof several componentsof the strategic forces).theyremainlimited:theKoreanWar appeared like 'a turningpoint'because it did not becomehyperbolic.thattheCold War is nota war in Clausewitz'ssense'.78.mustbe the Cold War. is notdeterminedby theratioofthermonuclear theoutcomeofarmedconflicts himselffromAmericanwriterssuch as On this point Aron sharplydistinguishes the outcomeofregional Paul Nitzewho appear to believethatthatratiodetermines Aron'sclear analysisofthe Korean War.and factors configuration. a becomespossibleagain.First of all. will There is impossible.1976: 235).20 Relations The TheoryofInternational insofaras thethreatofescalationbecomeslesscredibleand seemsmorelikea bluff.1976: 245). All the armed level.as Aronputit.147 on Tue. lends itself.1976: 144-151) revealhisdoubtson thispoint.In the crisisone finds'the casuistryof it is the cooperation'and the'casuistryofdeterrence'(Aron.One conclusionthusbecomesunavoidable:thenecessity 'peace is War or. The nuclearrevolutionstillpreservespeace at theglobal level. by thenuclearweaponsofthe United States' (Aron.one has had to save war (or ratherwars: limited warsamongstatesand oftenunlimitedcivilwars) in orderto save mankind(froma nuclearwar thatmightbecome total).as Clausewitzhad well understood(Aron. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .togo back to theformulaAronhad usedas earlyas in Le grandschisme.despiteeverything ofarmedviolencetakestheformofintrastateviolence.thatofa regionalbalance mattersevenmore.1983: 302-303).less dangerousforthe whole but also more warlike world systemthus of a heterogeneous than it.Moreover.'forthe firsttimein its historytheUnitedStatesgave up theidea oftotalvictory'(Aron. at the global negotiatedpeace therefore forwar.thisdecentralization which the superpowers'competitionsometimescreatesand oftenexploits. Second. Vietnam those of be wars like still Korea. and theMiddleEast.Aron always assertedthat nuclearweaponsdid notabolishbut merelydecentralizedviolencein twoways. the notionof a global balance of forcesstill matters. This connectionbetweenglobal stabilityand local turbulenceexplainsprecisely why one can writeabout the persistenceof Clausewitz. an inevitableconsequenceof heterogeneity to assert.This fragmentation ofinterstate rules.despiteeverything ofcounterforce whichtendsto weakenor to minimizeit (such as thenew possibility that tendsto underminethe stabilityof global strategies). systemis dividedup into thissingleinternational because of thenuclearrevolution.This is why idea ofthecommoninterestto avoid mutualdestruction and bipolarity.But.war unlikely'. whichprevails.sincethecharacteristic This content downloaded from 195.In this complexworldwhere.

IV Aronhas alwaysbelievedthatthetheoretical and sociologicalanalysisofinternational relationsinevitablyled to 'more or less uncertainrecommendations. The very indeterminacyof diplomatico-strategic behavior makes it possible to raise 'the Machiavellian problem'. and 'the Kantian problem'.in which relations amonghumangroupswould at long last be governedby the categoricalimperative.As a good Kantianhe knewthatthereis no moraldutyto accomplish theimpossible. 1983: 656).1983: 644).peace has not become the continuationof war by othermeans.or providesa defenseagainsttotalitarianism (Aron.theworldbeing moreradicallythanin thepast. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The normative implications ofAron'stheoryare containedwithinthe contradiction betweenviolent history and peacefulideals.108. citizensand statesmencould nevertheless. 1962: 563).He was one ofthefirstto create.or makespossiblethesurvivalor liberation ofthosefewcountriesin whichliberalvalueshave been able to blossom.which protestsagainst the milieuand demandsuniversalpeace. 1962: 565). bloodyanarchyoftheinternational RaymondAron has neversystematically examinedwhat possibilitiesremainfor reconcilingthisimperativeand thoseconstraints.in theworldas it is.exactlytheoppositedangerfromthe one runby farabove thiscontentious idealistswho place themselves earth). was impossible.thecontradiction betweentheconstraints whichweighon forhiscountry's in a worldin whichtheuse offorce thestatesman.He was irritatedby the kind of idealismwhoserecipesforescapinganarchypresupposethattheproblemhas already He was been resolved. or prescriptions based on regularitiesor on obvious notions' (Aron. trytocopewiththedeepestcausesofcollectiveviolenceand consolidatethechancesfor a lastingpeace. For all thesereasons Aronhad curbedhisownKantianinclinations-toomuch. future totalwar willnotoccur' (Aron. interests responsible remainspossibleand legitimate.He distrusted'beautifulsouls' who were deceivedby theirown illusions. Aron rarelyhesitatedto condemndomesticpracticeswhichwere repugnantto hisvalues. Overallhe had decidedearlyon to limithisown 'libertyofcriticism' towards statesmen'by askingthequestion:in hisstead. Even if 'the blurringoftheline thatseparatespeace and war' is obvious.formyowntaste.STANLEY HOFFMANN 21 featureofwar is 'the predominantresortto physicalviolence' (Aron. Even thoughthermonuclear thatcan be used at any timeand in any weaponsare not 'a diplomaticinstrument 'fortheforeseeable it is likelythatgeneraland place' inordertodeteraggression. the problem 'of universalpeace' (Aron.in the 1930sthecategoryof This content downloaded from 195.and moral conscience. it is oftenviolence alone thatallowsliberalvaluesto survive. whatit is.and superblypush aside theenormousweightof constraints. 1976: 285-286).butwho do notunderstandthemultiplelinksbetweendomesticand externalfactorsand the perverseeffectsof dealingwith a singleone (Aron.e. He was even skepticalabout thecontribution thatarmscontrol negotiations betweenthesuperpowers could bringto thepacificationofmankind.147 on Tue. law and theunlikelihood weaknessofinternational eagerto pointout thedebilitating ofworldfederalism. or criticof any perspectiveor (an attitudewhichrisksdeprivingthe commentator distance.but he was convincedthat a pacifiedworld.whatwould I do?' (Aron.He was a passionateliberal.78.He disdained authorswho recommendchangingthe behaviorof a nation by acting on a single domesticfactor.1983: 505).and courtsin otherwords. Warninghis readersagainst to himthanattempting illusionswas moreimportant to discoverhow.i. 1972: 393-394). the problemof legitimatemeans.He remindedhisreadersthat.

On the contrary.as in the other. 1962: 763).and by Clausewitz as Aron analyzes him. Aronhad an ethicstopropose. 1976: 181). duringthe Second World War.1962: 756).e.what makesit possiblenot to findin the ethicsof strugglethe only possibleone.or racial hostilities displace 'the intelligenceof the personified state' thatchancesformoderationdisappear: 'nothingguaranteesthemoderationofstates. The ethicsof wisdomis that of moderation.i. rationalbehavior'(Aron.Aronknewthatit is duringcivilwars thatmoderationis mostimpossibleto preserve. of politicalobjectivesto militaryconsiderations.deemed Thucydidesamoral.and thatit is whencollectivepassions.and what makesreasonablebehaviorevenmorepossibleis thefactthat'strategy in thethermonuclear age is more distantfromthe model of rationalstrategythan the strategy followedthroughthe thousandsof yearsof pre-nucleararmaments'(Aron.'which ordersindividualsto be brave and to keep their disciplinedand to sacrificethemselvesand whichorderscollectivities and to care fortheirhonor'. moredesirable. He criticizedWeber'sown tragicrealismbecauseWeber believed thatinternationalrelationswere the closed arena of inexpiableconflictsof values.wronglyin my opinion. What givesa chance to such an ethics. but the politicsofa personified ideologyor of a messianicclass excludesmoderation and entailsa struggleto thedeath' (Aron.The game is 'essentially historicaland psychological'and therefore does not 'rule out reasonablebehavior' (Aron.108.It had already been advocated by Thucydides. and the aspirationto i. thisis evenmoretruein theatomicera.and partlyfromhis calledpoliticalmoralists. is Aron's familiardistinctionbetweenthe rationaland the reasonable. he neverwentall theway.he demandedthatsuch a goal be ruledout even in the case of a This content downloaded from 195. as an ideal typeand as one of history's realities.what makes reasonablebehavioreven more desirableis thefactthatthestakesare nothinglessthanmankind'ssurvival.This discipleofWeber believedinan 'ethicsofwisdom'whichtakesintoaccountboththenecessity to calculate forces. This rejectionofmoralismresultedpartlyfromhiscontemptforthosewhomKant i. and thatthestatesman'sdutywas therefore onlyto promotenationalvaluesbylooking afterthenation'smight.kindofwars. 1962: 763. and forinstancetocondemnAmericanbehaviorin Vietnamoreven someepisodesofAmericanconductthere.sincefor all players'thermonuclear war means an infiniteloss' and one cannot 'calculate the rationaldecisionwhen the loss risksbeing infinite'.1976: 263). (Aron. the duty of selfishness which states must obey.e.) Aron showedClausewitzto be boththetheorist ofhyperbolicwar.forthefuture.throughthe speechesof his characters. and why he criticizedthe allied objectiveof unconditionalsurrender(Aron.1962: 596). aboutthepossibility ofa moralpoliticsfollowing skepticism Kantianprescriptions.Like Thucydides. 1972: 452).But he was always much more reluctantto judge the foreign behaviorofstates.e.22 The TheoryofInternational Relations 'totalitarian'regimes. This is whyAron retrospectively condemnedAmerica'ssubordination.to theendorsement nor did he ever accept what he called the ethicsof struggle.147 on Tue. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . But ofimmorality.78. class ideologies.Diplomatico-strategic conductdoes not lend itselfto thereare no gameswith'a mathematicalsolutiondefining mathematicaltreatment.andthephilosopherwho wantedto subordinateviolenceto politicalcalculationsand recommendeda limitationof objectives. to a victoryofthatpartofhumannaturewhichis not'a beastofprey' universality. This is why.1962: 595).but 'easily debases itselfinto becoming commitments the ethicsof criminals'and 'will neverprovideany perspectiveof lastingpeace or universality' (Aron. ideologuesat theserviceoftheprince. (Aron.

especiallyas technologicalevolution bringsforthmoreaccurateand lessdevastatingweapons. whichhe deemedneitherentirely something This defenseof a flexiblestrategy(of threat and of use) led Raymond Aron towarda rathercriticalattitudetowardthe Frenchnuclearforce. Ball. flexibleresorttonuclearweaponsmorebelievable.78.Aron therefore forsucha coursewouldmakethethreatofa limitedor increasingconventionalforces.Aron'swarningis of the greatestimportance. and in orderto overcomeand manage inevitablecrises. He saw in before. politicaldestinyofFrancecannotbe separatedfromthatoftherestofWesternEurope. HenryKissingerhas recentlytendedto move in the same direction.For severalreasonsAron. 1963: 137) but neverthelesshe deemed it devoid of as a counter-city force. Finally.he believedthatgivingit up would signal that NATO would accept defeat ratherthan resortto nuclear weapons. on the even ifit is not totallycredible. thethreatentailedby flexibleresponseis. Concerningstrategicweapons. always believed in the usefulnessof giganticbut incrediblethreat.suicidalwar.Accordingto him.except againsta nuclear attackaimed at France credibility 'the alone.in orderto 'slowdownescalationand bringtheenemiesback towardarmed mutualobservation'(Aron. happen.escalationis not inevitableaftera firstuse of nuclearweapons.1983: This content downloaded from 195. the attackedstatesmanwould be forced. especiallyifthenuclearweaponsused weretacticalones.an important point. it is thelimitationofviolencewhichwisdomrequires.1976: 183).he did not believe escalationto be fatal.1976: 179).This is one of the reasonswhy Aron saw no betweena strategyofgradual resortto force(includingif necessarya contradiction of the threat passage fromconventionalto nuclearweapons). Unlike the AmericanCatholic bishops.1976: 237-238).and towardtheFrenchtheoryofdeterrence ofthe theFrenchforcea 'beginningofan insurancepolicyagainsttheunpredictability diplomaticfuture'(Aron.becausetheybelievethata first stoppedbeing believable (McNamara.108. opportunitiesforwisdom remain. Robert McNamara and the otherfathersofflexibleresponsetodaywant the United States use in Europewould lead to to abandonsucha threat. 1972: 491). 1983).however.We must 'aim consciouslyat the geographical localization and toward reachable objectives. necessaryin ordertolimitwarsifthey WhatAroncallsforis 'politicalunderstanding'. 1972: 490) and that communicationsbe maintainedamong adversaries'in orderto avoiderrorsby excessor default'(Aron. it 'aims effectively the all-or-nothing escalationand totalwar' (Aron.147 on Tue.disastrously.1963: 139). cannotbe based on a lessincredible. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Thus.The latterrisksbeing ineapable of deterringthe adversaryfrompartial to choose attacks.has the advantageof preservinguncertainty side ('an elementof bluffseemsto be inevitablein diplomatic potentialaggressor's crises'[Aron. wisdomaccordingto Aron is on the side of flexibleresponseratherthan massive retaliation.1983:462]).He thoughtthatthe threat. onlybetweencapitulationand total. He fearedthatgivingup thethreatwouldinnowayeliminate theriskofactualnuclearwar breakingout.did not want to give up this threat. Furthermore.a scenariohe thoughtquite implausible(Aron.STANLEY HOFFMANN 23 generalwar (Aron.in thiscase. crediblenordesirable. and theFrenchforcealonecouldnotpreventtheSovietizationofEurope' (Aron. in theatomicera.Flexibleresponseis a wayofavoiding at reducingto a minimumthe risksof choice.towardthe theory of the equalizingpowerof the atom that General Gallois had developed 20 years ofthestrongby theweak. Now that 'decapitationweapons' have arrived. totalwar and that the threathas therefore 1983: 59-80.withouttotalvictory'(Aron.sincedeterrence furthermore. and the preservation of a firstuse of nuclearweapons in case of a conventionalwar in Europe. even aftersuch a firstuse.

Moreover.and theevolutionof the politics.it is now possibleto committhe state'screditwithoutnecessarilyending in the 'cash payment'ofa majorwar.dependsabove all on domestic superpowers movementofideas and ideologies.thereexistsa chanceformoderation. This is preciselywhy Aron.1962: 654) and thattheWestneedsto pursuea 'moderatestrategy'(Aron.nevertheless primaryimportanceof the interstate acknowledgedthat the futureof thatsystem.1976: 183).in thepast.thanksto the'paradox ofour ofunlimitedviolencewhichrestrainseffective violenceeven era: it is the possibility to it' (Aron.The West'striplegoal oughtto be 'physicalsurvivalthroughthe avoidance liberalcivilization'.1976: 283). 1976: 179). Therefore. And thusRaymond Aron. Aron was aware of theseobjections.a book was publishedunderhisname. 'moralsurvivalby safeguarding and peace 'throughthemutualacceptancebybothblocsoftheirrightto exist'(Aron.24 Relations The TheoryofInternational of the Frenchforcelies less in its 467). First. Accordingto manypeople on theotherside oftheargument. of (global) thermonuclear war'. the archtypicalvigilant anti-totalitarian liberal.even absolutewar.itcan onlygiveFrance'a reprieve'in orderto adjustto Sovietization.147 on Tue.now that the nuclearweapons of the neutralizeone anotherto some extent.But he ofhisown.thetransnational worldeconomicsystem. (This is veryclose to withoutany actual threatof resorting Bundy'smore recentspeculationson the effectsof existentialdeterrence.When thestakesare veryhigh.the usefulness reinforcement it contribution to nationalindependencethan in the supplementary bringsto the 'efficiency of the Americanforceas a deterrent'(Aron.and one shouldnow be able to substitutelimitedstakesfor stakesthat are too dangerousbecause theyare 'intangibleand unlimited'(Aron. asserted-againstthoseintheUnitedStateswhohad proposed.alwayson the lookoutforchancesforwisdom.theworldbeingwhatit is. since'theprincipleofannihilation'no longerapplies'to armedforcesalone. Now thatillusionsaboutpeace throughlaw havealso been blownaway.108.theunpredictability seriousmalaiseofWestGermany.the thantheinternaldisarrayoftheWest.'The This content downloaded from 195. 1983: 304) comingoutoflimitedwarsappearedto him. 1976: 182). The FrenchforcehassomevalueonlyintheAtlanticAlliance.flexibleresponseand thedevelopmentofmeansto wage limitedwars-even limitednuclearwars in the hope of avoiding escalation and the destructionof cities. It shouldhave no illusionsabout transforming outside. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .war. This is also whythe veryreal riskof a 'suicidalexplosion'(Aron. 1962: 666).orwhonow proclaimthatonlya changeofregime in Moscow could make coexistencepossiblein the long-term that 'to surviveis to win' (Aron.and althoughhe reassertedthe systemwithinternationalsociety.78.in Aron'sopinion.a 'Cato-like strategy'againsttheSovietUnion.lessserious ofthe United States.outofthealliance. theSovietregimefromthe 1962: 687). risk making war conceivableand 'banal' again and makinga resortto nuclearweapons more likely because it would appear less terrifying. aimed at disarmingtheenemy'can no longer'serveas an instrument ofpolicy'(Aron.thegradualsuicideofEurope. and whosetitle.it is impossibleto enjoya 'farewellto repliedwiththreearguments arms'at all levels. relations.)Finally.The bulkofthisbookis international It consistsofstudiesaboutpresent-day formedbyan essayon whichhe was stillworkingwhenhe died. V The problemsbesetting theinternational thelast systempreoccupiedAronthroughout yearsofhislife.towardtheend ofhislife.A fewmonthsafterhisdeath.

e.The firstis the notionofAmericanimperialism.Aron recognizes theuniquesituationoftheUnitedStates.whetherthesenext yearswouldbe 'decisive'. Finally.bureaucrats. thereis no 'causal predominance'ofth4worldeconomicsystem:it is the interstate i.On thesethreepoints.from1983 to the year2000.Othersstill and incoherenceofdecisionmaking emphasizethecomplexity in modemstates. today. On all threepointsAronin this leaders.Also.he assimilatedthestateto a singleactor makingdecisions. was givento thewhole book. the conceptof the state as rationalactor does not ignore the complexityof decisionmakingprocesses. whichforma world Moreover.he had onlystudiedinterstaterelationsin the diplomatico-strategic realm.as well as theveryconceptionwhichAronhad used as theframework to evaluate thechangesthathad occurredin the worldsince 1961 (the date of the completionof Peace and War). But thiseclecticand synthetic workwas based on a rigorousconception.Othercritics. Aron asked himself.STANLEY HOFFMANN 25 Last Years oftheCentury'('Les demie'resanneesdu siecle').themodelofthestateofnatureis stillrelevant.historians. the alternationofpeace and war.Finally.insofaras the contrastbetweencivilsocietyand thestateofwar appearsexaggerated.Aronhad lefttwoversionsof his essay. publishedtextis a kindofsynthesis Thus.where and pressuregroupsfightit out.i. believethatthestudyofworldordermust beginnot withthe relationsamongstates. the book addresses itselfto theorists.Arondiscussestwonotionswhichhe criticizesfortheirexcesses.e.78. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . therelationsbetweenthe capitalistcenterand the exploitedperiphery.but withthe worldeconomicsystem. ofnationalmightand ofinternational systems.in many countriescivil societyitselfis in trouble.whichdetermines system. ofa Marxistor para-Marxistorientation. Accordingto him. The otherpurposewas to thinkabout threatsand prospectsin thefuture.because ofitsmilitarypowerand becauseofthetransnational role of the dollar.thecomplexity and the uncertainties ofcorrelations.As I indicatedabove.108.The ofthetwodrafts.Aronseemsto me to be essentially right.eitherbecause of the of societyor because of the internaleffectsof the competitionwhich heterogeneity dominatesinterstate relations:theconflictbetweenthe United Statesand the Soviet Union. withoutrejectingthemin toto.as Oswald Spenglerhad done beforeconcerningtheend of thelast century.withinthemultiplerelationships society. of statesentails. He deniesthat Americaexhibiteda This content downloaded from 195.The first onewas toprovidea newpresentation ofPeaceandWarin orderbothto replyto certaintheoreticalobjectionsmade against ofhisanalyses.Aron had borrowedfromJean-Jacques Rousseau the idea of a radical difference betweenthe wellorderedconditionofcivilsocietyand thewarlikestateofnaturein which relatively statesfindthemselves. a firstdraftwas almostfinished.a second versionwas incomplete.it is because. Some critics. Thosewhoare interested in thetheoryofworldorderwillfindin thesecondchapter oftheposthumous essaya new analysiswhichgoesbeyondPeaceandWar: theanalysis oftheworldeconomy.and futurologists of international relations. essaymaintainedhis originalstand.Aron had ofdiplomatico-strategic showntheindeterminacy obstinately behavior.147 on Tue. In thelast 20 yearscriticisms had multipliedagainstthosepostulatesand choices.or rather. the competitionofstates.have rejectedthemodelofthestateofnaturealtogether.Whenhe died in October1983.Thisessayhad a doublepurpose. the theorydevelopedin Peaceand War had not satisfiedloversof general laws and determinists of all sorts.impressedby the moderationwhich atomic weapons imposedon the as well as by the moderationwhich the economicinterdependence superpowers. thusneglectingtheworldeconomyand transnational phenomena(suchas the movementofideas) orsupranationalones.

probably.American not cities. action: theSovietUnion's conclusionsabouttheSovietUnion's diplomatico-strategic caused by militarymight.proclaimeda doctrineof limited doctrine. and the theoryofsome Reagan about theimpossibility forthe SovietUnion to sustainan acceleratedarms followers race.accordingto whom thereis no such thingas a Sovieteconomy(Aroncomparesit witha war economyin whichtwosectorsexist.was nevermorethanan attemptat imposinga ceiling the militaryrequested.Buthe fearsthatstrategicparitywillmakethesituation ofWesternEurope moredangerous..the outcomeof conflictsbetweenthe two rivalsin anypartoftheworld. that the Secretaryof Defense.He givesitin thelasttwochaptersofthe This content downloaded from 195. Aron's These disagreements answerto thequestionconcerningthefuture. He examines in less detail thetheoryoftheexploitationoftheperiphery by therichcenter. The analysisof currentissues providesthe substanceof chapters3 to 6. A longerchapterdevotedtotheSovietUnionrejectsvarioustheoriesorhypothesesthatofa possiblecollapseofthe regime. The fragility of the relationsamong statesand ofthesituationwithinstatesin theMiddle East worrieshimevenmore. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .whichhe deemsnot proven.He continuesto say thattheratioofnuclearstrategicforcesofWashington and Moscow has not determined.but also hisstrongstandin favorofthedeployment ofAmerican middle-rangemissileson West European soil.In manyplaces.it was in 1974 strategicplans have alwaystargetedmilitaryobjectivesfirst.108. a limitedcounter-force fromthedoctrinalviewpoint. it correspondsto a on the expenditures thewholeworld.theriskof reality:theexistenceon bothsidesofmeansofdestroying escalation that existseven if the war begins only with attacks against military objectives.and he concludesthat Americaneconomicpolicyand diplomacyare neitherindependentof one anothernor inseparable. nuclearoptions.'one to whicheverything good and everything possiblegoes and one to which one sends what is indispensableor what is left'). Aron concludesthatthemainchangesthathave occurredin thelast 20 yearsconcernthe relationof forcesbetweenthe superpowersand the evolutionof minds in West Germany. But he reachescomplex and thecivilsocietyand thestateare stillindistinguishable. In reality.He mentionsthecontradiction betweenthe Zionistdream and the realityofthestateof Israel.His concernabout the 'coupling'betweenWest European and Americansecurityexplainsnot only his oppositionto any American renunciationof the threatof a firstuse of nuclear weapons in case of a Soviet conventionalattack.e.thanby a will to aggression.on the otherhand.26 The TheoryofInternational Relations willtoexploit('theEuropeansowetheirthirty systematic gloriousyearsofgrowth to the Americans'). on concreteissuesdo not concernthe forwardlook.I thinkthat he theprogression oftheSovietmilitarymachineand also.the theoryof Castoriadabout theruleofthe militaryin Moscow.especiallyinEurope. wrotethattheAmericanstrategy whichwas dangerousforextendeddeterrence coveringEurope.the overestimated a limitednuclearwar.almostall ofAron'sanalysesareextraordinarily subtleand showhisdesire to be fair.i.thatofAlain Besan?on.78.Mutual assureddestruction. For Aron the Soviet Union remainstotalitarian:it still has a state ideology.based on force.he possibility ofcontrolling ofthe1970swas thatofmutualassureddestruction. As always.and by the hope that an increasein Russian power will cause the disintegration of the adversary'scoalition. so far.This does not mean that one mustagree on all points.and theSovietmilitarybuildup successesare notprimarily can be explainedmoreby thewill to meetthechallengeofAmericanpower.James Schlesinger.147 on Tue.

of historywhich to the philosophy Aron himself. ofInternational WALTZ. R. (1983) The MilitaryRole ofNuclearWeapons. whichis certainlyneithersaturatednorsatisfiedbut cautious. K.France: Gallimard.France: Gallimard. Clausewitz. R. (1938) Introduction schisme. Paris. Aronis pessimistic states. (1962) Paix etguerre. ARON. (1983) Memoires.the hisconceptionand hismethod.statesmen'could not imagine whatwar would cost thewinnersand the vanquishedalike'.Reading.duringthe yearsto come. an attemptat makingintelligible the historythat we are in the middle of living. Union. politiques. ofBooks. (1965) TheStateofWar. Paris.147 on Tue. waged with nuclearweapons.France: Calmann-Levy.itis symbolicthatthislastessayis. 17 Jun 2014 20:53:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . R.AccordingtoArontheAtlanticAlliancewilllast. R. a la philosophie ARON. R.78.16 June.BetweentheSoviet essay.It is thesame as in 1947: peace is impossible. 2.New YorkReview ofBooks.21 July.R. Affairs McNAMARA.Let us also hope thattherace to new complicity weapons (and new domainsforweapons) as well as the importanceof manystakes neitherto thinkagain thattheycouldwage warwhileavoidingthe willlead statesmen worstnorto calculatethata defeatmightbe worsethana war thatcould perhapsbe controlled.and whichhas no 'motivefor urgentand dangerousaction'.' In 1914.and an insularAmerica. (1983) The CatholicBishopsand theBomb.theroleofeventsand accidents.Let us hopethatin therelationsofthe wantedby'a manwhowas following superpowers. R.For one is neverfinished.ever since his Introduction ofprophecy.108. BUNDY. References del'histoire.and also that it has remained and thefutureremainsundetermined. ARON.the only statescapable of waging a general war. (1976) Penser Paris.New YorkReview HOFFMANN.In any has developedthroughout case.Paris. 62(1): 59-80. incomplete. (1972).STANLEY HOFFMANN 27 war is unlikely. (1963) Le granddebat.NY: Praeger.France: Gallimard.New York. (1983) The CosmicBluff.has taughtus thefutility determined ofgraspingthewholeofreality. no demon-likeor obtusestatesmanwill come and put an end to the mix of inevitablehostilityand whichhas preservedpeace untilnow. L'ageplanetaire. R.France: Calmann-Levy. Etudes Vol. (1951) Lesguerres Paris.S. (1948) Le grande enchaine. la guerre. M. in 1939 war had been hisdemon'. G.He saysthathe is not among 'thosewho believein a majorwar. instability confrontation CentralAmericashouldnotlead to a worldwar.France: Gallimard.thedangerofan apocalyptic in is small.May the impossibility ofthisglanceat thefutureturnoutto be asjustifiedas theconceptionsthathe serenity hislifeabout thesocietyand theworldof his time.Foreign Politics.whichcounts on a favorableevolutionin variouspartsof theworld. BALL.MA: Addison-Wesley. Paris.Paris. (1979) Theory This content downloaded from 195.once again.France: Gallimard. ARON. Paris. ARON. The mostdangerouspartoftheworld aboutthefutureoftheregimesin theGulf is thePersianGulfarea.Julliard. ARON. ARON. R. ARON.

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