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The Art of Creating PowerFreedman on Strategy$
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Benedict Wilkinson and James Gow

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190851163

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190851163.001.0001

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‘Realism as an Unsentimental Intellectual Temper’

‘Realism as an Unsentimental Intellectual Temper’

Lawrence Freedman and the New Interventionism

Chapter:
(p.129) 8 ‘Realism as an Unsentimental Intellectual Temper’
Source:
The Art of Creating Power
Author(s):

Mats Berdal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190851163.003.0009

The post-Cold War era witnessed a growing tendency to justify the use and the threat of use of military force in international relations on humanitarian grounds. Freedman’s writing on the use of armed force in pursuit of humanitarian goals and his contribution to the field are explored in this chapter. He rejects the traditional dichotomies in International Relations scholarship between Realism and Idealism. Freedman’s work on ‘New Interventionism’, with the Chicago Speech contribution at its core, suggests that it is unhelpful to delineate sharply different existing schools of thought, or paradigms. Freedman draws a distinction between ‘realism as an unsentimental temper’ and realism as a ‘theoretical construction.’ Liberal values are important for Freedman and their universality is to be asserted, but that does not mean being naively oblivious to dangers and difficulties inherent in seeking to promote them as standards against which Western governments should be judged.

Keywords:   Humanitarian goals, Freedman, Chicago Speech, Realism, Idealism, Liberalism, New Interventionism, Strategy

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