The whole field of Strategic Studies bears the crippling legacy of having abstracted question of war and peace from their embeddedness in historically produced relations of social movements, political economy and culture. The very objects of strategic analysis—states and their mutual security alliances—are presumed to have been there from the start. And the principles underpinning their interactions are likewise construed as consistent with the rules governing a state system first made evident in Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War.
In January 1981, an article by Professor Roy E. Jones, entitled The English school of international relations: a case for closure', appeared in this Review.1 Immediately after its publications the late Professor Northedge asked a seminar of research students at the London School of Economics for their views on the article. To his. obvious chagrin, no one, including myself, responded. On several occasions during the next years Professor Northedge drew attention to the challenge laid down by Professor Jones. Did this persistent questioning indicate a concern that Professor Jones should be answered—and, in which case, why did he not take this task upon himself? If he had, and if, as has been suggested, Professor Northedge believed that there was an ‘English school’, but that he was not part of it, then he would have had to show both that the gap between himself and the rest of the ‘school’ was greater than the differences between other members, and, at the same time, that all the scholars under review, himself included, belonged to a common discipline. This analysis would go beyond description; it would require not only a clear demarcation of the several different ways in which his colleagues had understood international politics, but also an attempt to distinguish between ‘school’ and ‘discipline’ and their relationship to the field of International Relations. Such an exercise would be philosophical in nature, and Professor Northedge's well-known empiricism would not, I submit, have been helpful. To demonstrate, as this paper attempts to do, that the scholars in question can be characterized by their differing philosophical approaches would refute Professor Jones' major thesis that there is an English school of international relations. It also seriously undermines his substantive criticisms, for obviously the non-existence of the ‘English school’ makes the question of its wrong-headedness irrelevant.
There are two popular claims about diplomacy in the modern history of international relations. According to the first, World War One constituted a decisive turning point in the modern era, marking the emergence of a new diplomacy, distinct in both essence and style from that which had existed previously. The second maintains that diplomacy is in a state of continuous decline. This study proposes that the distinction between old and new diplomacy is simplistic and inaccurate, and that the argument regarding the decline of diplomacy is not a valid one, Raymond Aron's observation that ‘diplomacy, in the traditional sense of the term, functions up to a certain degree between allies, but hardly any longer among enemies, or even between the blocs and the neutral nations’ is only partially correct, and reflects its time of writing at the height of the cold war.
Normative international theory addresses the moral dimension of international society and the logic of ‘ought’ statements in international relations. The traditional content of normative international theory has been dominated by such issues as: the nature of international law and the moral basis of the rights and duties it imposes on states and individuals; the ethics of pacifism and the theory of the 6just war’ the morality of intervention; and, most fundamentally, the nature of the ethical requirements that need to be met if a system of inter-state relations can justly be characterized as an ‘international society’. While such issues have never disappeared from academic study, the dominant modes of international relations theorizing in the 1960s and 1970s—whether realist, neo-realist, pluralist or structuralist—were at one, if for different reasons? in keeping them at the bottom of the agenda paper. And yet, the 1980s has seen a revival of normative international theory. The reasons for this renewal of interest are two-fold. On the one hand, the traditional agenda of normative theory, as outlined above, has never lost its salience in the real world even if unfashionable in academia; since it is in the nature of fashions to change some sort of revival of interest in the old questions was to be expected. But of rather more importance has been the emergence of a new range of normative issues: demands from the ‘south’ for a New International Economic Order have placed the politics of redistribution on the international agenda for the first time—revisionist states in the 1980s no longer make territorial demands but appeal to status quo oriented states to make concessions on the basis of economic justice. In today's world normative statements are as likely to be about the debt crisis as they are to be about the conduct of the Gulf War or the US intervention in Grenada. Mainstream international relations theory has generally refused to ask or answer moral questions, but this strategy of avoidance has not succeeded. Questions such as ‘what ought to be our attitude to poverty in the South?’ or ‘how ought the world' financial system respond to the debt problems of Brazil or Zambia?’ cannot be wished away—as anyone who has taught international political economy will be well aware. Normative theory cannot answer questions like this but it can help each individual to provide his or her own response—and no more important task exists for the discipline of international relations.
It is rather surprising to note how slow the discipline of international relations was to recognize the importance of ethnic groups as a significant factor in world politics. Whereas there were numerous works in the inter-war period that dealt with the ‘minorities problem’ for over two decades since 1945 this Issue was ignored by most, if not all, of the standard texts on international relations.
Since the early 1970s, South Africa has become an increasingly important issue within US foreign policy after a long period of benign neglect. For a considerable part of the post-war period, US decision-makers felt it possible to avoid a direct confrontation with the moral and ethical issues involved in the South African government's policy of apartheid; the relative geographical isolation of the country from many central theatres of East–West conflict in central Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia ensured that South Africa was not in the front line of strategically vital states. Furthermore, South Africa's membership of the Commonwealth until 1960 meant that, for many US policy makers, South Africa could be seen as an issue within Commonwealth relations and thus not one for direct US involvement.
In 1918 Harold Nicolson in discussing the problem of political intelligence observed that ‘any forecast of diplomatic development must inevitably deal, not with concentric forces, but with eccentric tendencies; such data as are available emerge only from a mass of heterogeneous phenomena, mutually conflicting, mutually overlapping, and striving each towards some distinct and often incompatible solution’. At the time Nicolson was writing the Foreign Office was embarking upon an early attempt to assist diplomacy through analysing these eccentric tendencies and coordinating the information emanating from the heterogeneous phenomena of foreign affairs. The vehicle for this experiment was the Political Intelligence Department (P.I.D.), and its experience contains elements common to intelligence activity throughout this century: the need for co-ordination which in turn leads to a struggle for control of the co-ordinating body, the suspicion aroused in traditional departments by any group involved in intelligence work, the pressure of the Treasury to cut costs even at the expense of useful intelligence operations, and the struggle between the prime minister's office and the Foreign Office for the control of policy. Since the turn of the century there had been a growing awareness of the need for foreign intelligence, a development which finally resulted in the creation of an espionage service in 1909 (the ancestor of the Secret Intelligence Service). This department, however, concentrated on military related intelligence. During the First World War it became evident, particularly to Lord Hardinge, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, that while there were numerous sources of political intelligence, no systematic method had been established for collecting and collating this information, verifying it against collateral sources, and synthesizing the result in succinct reports which would be of value to the policy-makers. Military intelligence was clearly the preserve of the Admiralty and the War Office, and the Foreign Office decided to establish that political intelligence fell within its purview. In the process of establishing Foreign Office primacy in this sphere, Hardinge had to fend off attempts by Lord Beaverbrook who as Minister of Information tried to use his personal political clout to control such intelligence. This was, however, only one of several bureaucratic difficulties, the P.I.D. was forced to struggle with. Finally in 1920 the P.I.D. was closed through a combination of financial and bureaucratic pressures. During its brief existence, though, it was able to prove the utility of a centralized body concerned with political intelligence. In some ways it presaged the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (J.I.C.), which in a more sophisticated and elaborate way is meant, to achieve the same ends.
The purpose of this article is to compare three approaches to conflict, those of the ‘strategist’, the ‘conflict researcher’ and the ‘peace researcher’. Strategic studies, our starting point, are usually seen exclusively within the framework of power politics and the manipulation of threat systems. This approach to conflict is clearly of great importance, especially as it is the one most frequently adopted by decision-makers. It is not, however, the only possible approach, and the lineage of each of the three approaches can be traced back to antiquity.
Can cultural differences between states affect the chances of success of deterrence strategy? If so, what differences are relevant and how do they influence outcomes? The following paper seeks to suggest some answers to these questions in the context of a discussion of the crisis that preceded the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The notion of the sovereign was one response to social disorder; obsession with witchcraft was another. Neither reaction is far distant from us. Not long ago public-spirited men condemned large numbers of innocents on witchcraft charges which they, and in many cases their victims, believed to be true. What was illusory was explained by an elaborate mythology to which rulers, jurists, and academics devoted detailed study. What was not the case was exactly described in learned and reputable volumes. A modern founder of the notion of sovereignty, Bodin, was familiar to many of his contemporaries for the handbook on witchcraft that he published in 1586. Demons and spirits might be a source of disorder. Its cure, in Bodin's view, lay in the creation of a supreme centralized power.
1. The charges against ChurchillDid Mr Churchill, Britain's wartime Prime Minister, display ‘cavalier behaviour5 towards his Cabinet over The Atlantic Charter9 of 1941? Having decided ‘to ignore’ their views, did he somehow seek to ensure, ‘rather ineptly’, that crucial telegrams should conceal his deviousness?Dr A. P. Dobson makes these accusations in this Review in April 1984,] They relate to ‘RIVIERA’, Churchill’s first wartime meeting with President Roosevelt, between 9 and 12 August 1941 in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. Concerned primarily with wartime collaboration, though the United States was not yet formally a belligerent, the two leaders outlined peace aims in a hastily drafted joint declaration, promptly named ‘The Atlantic Charter’. Their fierce debate over its fourth economic ‘Point’ reflected American pressure to secure advantage from assistance, under the Lend-Lease Act of March 1941, to Britain's war effort.
News media are primary sources of information about international affairs. The rise of the mass circulation press and the expansion of foreign news coverage have brought the public at home and abroad closer to international affairs. The British Empire and two world wars strengthened the British citizen's interest and concern regarding foreign policy. The growth of radio and television added to this proximity. Portable electronic cameras and satellites enable the television viewer to become a participant in an event as he or she watches it unfold. Within the foreign policy-making process the media are sources of information to ministers and officials, contribute to the formation of public attitudes, are channels through which governments signal to, and manoeuvre, one another, and are key means for generating public support for foreign policy at home and abroad.
These last ten years have witnessed a remarkable development of Chinese academic writing on International Relations. The late Premier Zhou Enlai had recommended the expansion of such studies in 1964 on his return from a tour of Africa after having found the relevant Chinese expertise weak and ill-informed. But the Cultural Revolution of 1966–1976 not only prevented that development, but along with most other intellectuals those few scholars engaged in the subject were humiliated and persecuted. Since 1977, in common with the other social sciences, International Relations has begun to flourish. Although it is a fairly new independent subject of study more than five hundred scholars are engaged in a variety of research institutes and several universities offer courses in it. As in the other social sciences, research in International Relations is carried out under the general guidelines of serving China's long term policies of modernization and the open door.
It is over fifty years since a young scholar named Hans J. Morgenthau sought refuge in the United States, and forty years since the publication of his influential text, Politics Among Nations. Morgenthau's ‘theory’ of political realism figures prominently in the academic study of international relations during these years and shows no sign of disappearing. Many of those scholars who differ markedly from Morgenthau regard it as worthwhile or.at least necessary to respond to his arguments. If perhaps for no other reason than that it is an appealing target, Morgenthau's political realism remains an important subject of evaluation for even its most serious and most severe critics.
The reform of the United Nations, and particularly of its budgetary procedures and Secretariat staffing, is a matter of considerable current interest among students and practitioners of international organization. These issues form part of what has for some years now been referred to as the financial crisis at the United Nations. This was the subject of a one-day conference at the United Nations held late last year. What follows is a summary of the discussion at that conference, reproduced here in order to reach a wider audience.
Much as I admire E. H. Carr's work in the international field, I intend to question the main assumption upon which it is based: namely, that it is power which always has decided and always will decide major political issues. In this respect my argument points in the same direction as two earlier lectures in this series, although my method of approach is different from theirs. My aim is to show with some precision why power, as used in political theorizing, is not only an inadequate but a confusing and even a deceiving notion. And I will begin by indicating the three main areas in which the confusions and deceptions arise.
The Economic and Social Research Council recently published a Report commissioned from a committee chaired by Professor Edwards, a psychiatrist, so that the Council, and the social science community in general, might know what was good and bad in British social sciences, and where the promising future research opportunities lie over the next decade. Boldly called ‘Horizons and Opportunities in the Social Sciences’, the Report condensed the wisdom of social scientists, both British and foreign, and concludes with a broadly but not uncritically favourable picture of the British scene.