Neo-Idealism: A Practical Matter [Abstract]
Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 2 (1988)
December 2, 1988
The classical realist world view places moral standards subservient to the
power concerns of international actors. Realists did not make this valuation
without some hesitation, as the issue of morality was addressed with seriousness
and concern. The neo-realist thinking of today embraces with less hesitation the
ultimate conclusion of the realist premises: statesmen never act according to
moral precepts, thus such concerns need not be addressed by a political theory.
Kegly argues the neo-idealist position that opposes this empirical observation:
states consistently act according to values that are based on more than power
concerns. Kegley's primary intent is to show that neo-realism ignores factors
that influence international actors, and that a theory is needed that expands
the notion of self-interest to include the moral sphere.
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