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Sir Harold Nicolson and International RelationsThe Practitioner as Theorist$
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Derek Drinkwater

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199273855.001.0001

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Liberal Realism

Liberal Realism

Chapter:
(p.37) 3 Liberal Realism
Source:
Sir Harold Nicolson and International Relations
Author(s):

Derek Drinkwater

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199273855.003.0003

Sir Harold Nicolson’s philosophy of international relations is well summed up by the term ‘liberal realism’, a fusion of two key approaches to the resolution of international problems: realism and idealism. It has its origins in ancient Greek and Roman political thought and history, notably, the writings of Aristotle and Thucydides. It also owes much to the contributions to international theory of Grotius and Kant. The liberal realist outlook closely resembles the conception of a via media. Notwithstanding this, it represents one man’s distinctive theorizing (born of his background, education, and experience) about the main issues of international relations.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Grotius, idealism, international theory, Kant, liberal realism, political thought, realism, Thucydides, via media

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