Ethics, Liberalism and Realism in International Relations: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ethics, Liberalism and Realism in International Relations

1st Edition

By Mark D. Gismondi


278 pages

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This book explores the complex issue of international ethics in the two dominant schools of thought in international relations; Liberalism and Realism.

Both theories suffer from an inability to integrate the ethical and pragmatic dimensions of foreign policy. Liberal policy makers often suffer from moral blindness and a tendency toward coercion in the international arena, whilst realists tend to be epistemic sceptics, incorporating Nietzsche’s thought, directly or indirectly, into their theories. Mark Gismondi seeks to resolve the issues in these two approaches by adopting a covenant based approach, as described by Daniel Elazar’s work on the covenant tradition in politics, to international relations theory.

The covenant approach has three essential principles:

  • policy makers must have a sense of realism about the existence of evil and its political consequences
  • power must be shared and limited
  • liberty requires a basis in shared values.

Ethics, Realism and Liberalism in International Relations will be of interest to students and researchers of politics, philosophy, ethics and international relations.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. From Covenants to Interests: The Evolution of Liberalism 3. The Enlightenment and the Lockean Transition 4. Deconstructing Liberalism 5. Realism, Tragedy, and Postmodernity 6. Covenantal Liberalism: Social Capital with Moral Purpose 7. Covenantal Epistemology and Applied International Ethics

About the Author

Mark D. Gismondi is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics

International relations is a rapidly changing area of research, reacting to and anticipating an ever more integrated and globalised world. This series aims to publish the best new work in the field of international relations, and of politics more generally. Books in the series challenge existing empirical and normative theories, and advance new paradigms as well as presenting significant new research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General