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Man, The State, and International Politics: A Reconsideration of Rousseau

Author(s): DiMuccio, R.B.A.

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Abstract: Among the political philosophers who appear in the bibli- ographies of international relations, Rousseau is perhaps the most superficially read and least understood. Illustra- tive of both of these contentions has been the work of Kenneth Waltz, whose major theoretical contributions draw extensively on Rousseau's political writings. However, Waltz's interpretation of Rousseau is fundamentally mis- conceived. In focusing narrowly on those aspects of Rousseau's approach to IR that emphasize structural causes, and in misreading Rousseau's intricate and highly novel treatment of interdependence, Waltz has recreated Rousseau in his own likeness and image, as a structural realist with a view toward interdependence as a key source of conflict among states. The effort to locate the true relevance of Rousseau's political philosophy in the study of IR and to move the evolving critique of Theory of Interna- tional Politics to higher levels must begin by clarifying the senses in which Waltz's assumptions have been mistak- enly drawn from a cursory reading of Rousseau.
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 15-38
Type of Material: Journal Article
Series/Report no.: Volume 2;
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Public and International Affairs
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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