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Realism, Neorealism, and American Liberalism

Keith L. Shimko
The Review of Politics
Vol. 54, No. 2 (Spring, 1992), pp. 281-301
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1407486
Page Count: 21
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Realism, Neorealism, and American Liberalism
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Abstract

Neorealism has recently been portrayed as an attempt to systematize the insights of classical realism in order to put them on a more solid theoretical foundation. This essay rejects this common characterization of the emergence of neorealism by arguing that neorealism constitutes a fundamentally different conceptualization of international politics than that provided by classical realists. Neorealism is best understood as an alternative to classical realism shaped by enduring liberal traditions in the United States, which is where neorealism emerged and thrives.

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