Veröffentlicht am 17. November 2020, 13:49 Uhr
Zoom lecture: "Atlantic Realism as Project of Comparison".
Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 4-6 p.m.
(Participants will read a paper in advance. Zoom-access via Dr.
Andrea Bendlage: email@example.com )
Abstract: In this paper,
Matthew Specter discusses a central finding of his book,
The Atlantic Realist Century, 1880-1980. This work of
transnational intellectual history focuses on the writings of
six major intellectuals (Alfred Mahan, Friedrich Ratzel, Carl
Schmitt, Karl Haushofer, Hans Morgenthau and Wilhelm Grewe) and
a score of lesser-known figures. It argues that what is commonly
known today as “realism” in Atlantic international relations
theory, diplomatic practice, and public discourse on
international affairs developed over the course of a century of
German-American intellectual exchange. Specter provides an
alternative account of the development of realism to histories
that emphasize its descent from Bismarckian Realpolitik, or the
liberal response to the rise of the Third Reich. Specter
explains how and why he uses the term practice of comparison to
illuminate the intellectual history of realism. Realism
developed through a transnational practice of comparison. The
categories of “great power” and “world power” were important
categories that performed comparative work. In divergent
political contexts, the fin de siècle, the interwar period, and
in the postwar period, American and German intellectuals
nonetheless found comparison of their nations an essential tool
for describing the practices of empire and the prerogatives of
nation-states. Specter’s account of the intertwined histories of
German and American discourses on international affairs
challenges narratives of American exceptionalism and of the
Sonderweg and provincializes an influential tradition in
Western political thought.