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The Romance of Realism: Pessimism as Tragedy
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för säkerhet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8900-9148
2019 (English)In: Pessimism in international relations: provocations, possibilities, politics / [ed] Tim Stevens & Nicholas Michelsen, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, 1, p. 37-52Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter argues that realism in International Relations embraces a romantic account of politics in sharp contrast to its scientific pretentions. Central to the romance of realism is the tragic and pessimistic outlook which reveals the connection between Romanticism and realism, shaping a mythical account of power politics. It is argued that the recurring tragic narrative is more than a way to moderate liberal hubris. It makes it possible to convey to the public a political pessimism building on established narratives reserving the finer moral and political understanding of realism for political theorists and diplomats. Looking backwards for patterns of ‘recurrence and repetition’ and the tragic narrative make realism vulnerable to nostalgia, forming ‘retrotopic’ visions of the future or seeking to restore ‘arcadian’ images of past glory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, 1. p. 37-52
Series
Palgrave studies in international relations
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot strategi och säkerhetspolitik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8757Libris ID: grz6cddpdlljg277ISBN: 978-3-030-21779-2 (print)ISBN: 978-3-030-21780-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8757DiVA, id: diva2:1357802
Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-12-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • ieee
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  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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