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Conceptions of Change in World Politics: A View from Classical Realism
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Before appreciating the “unprecedented changes” of our time, we need to ask what qualifies as change, and what is the measure of significance. This paper recognizes the need to de- velop a middle ground between those who claim that the character of contemporary inter- national politics has changed fundamentally, and those who maintain that nothing signifi- cant at all has happened. A first step is to realize that notions of change and continuity constitute each other as the variable pace of political time. Change is not uniform: processes of integration are aligned with disintegration, globalization with regionalization, etc. A se- cond claim is the proposition that significance is a matter of interpretation and understand- ing. This paper takes the study of political change to be essentially a study of ideas and patterns of thought, the ways in which change is conceived. Against the common claim that realism fails to address change, I maintain that classical realism largely is about significant change, and how to come to terms with an environment in flux. A discussion of the smart power discourse serves to illustrate the enduring impact of classical realist thought on the analysis of international change. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137348OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-137348DiVA: diva2:1095452
Conference
Paper presented at the 58th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Baltimore, Maryland, February 22-25, 2017
Available from: 2017-05-15 Created: 2017-05-15 Last updated: 2017-06-01Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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Language
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