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Title: Political realism, Freud, and human nature in international relations
Author: Schütt, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 029X
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2009
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Political realism has enjoyed a renaissance in International Relations (IR). Recent studies have provided insightful accounts of its timeless virtues and philosophical depth. Although the concept of human nature has long been the philosophical basis of realism, it has now become a largely discredited idea. The thesis, Political Realism, Freud, and Human Nature in International Relations, provides an important re-examination of the concept of human nature in realist international-political theory with special reference to one of the truly consequential figures of Western thought: Sigmund Freud. The thesis questions whether human nature is really dead and also asks whether human nature ought to be dead. Examining a variety of theorists from Morgenthau to Mearsheimer commonly invoked as classical and post-classical realism's foremost proponents, the thesis shows that contemporary realism has not eliminated the concept of human nature from its study of world politics. Further, the thesis offers a powerful argument for the necessity of a sophisticated theory of human nature within realism, seeing Freud as offering the most appropriate starting point. This study will interest IR theorists and historians of international thought as well as Freud scholars.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available