Skip to main content


Showing posts from May 12, 2013

The Legacy of Kenneth Waltz: How he changed International Relations

By BarryR. Posen via Foreign Policy Magazine
Kenneth Waltz made critical contributions to the development of international relations theory, the debate on U.S. foreign and security policy, and the training of a new generation of international relations scholars. In the course of these contributions he has also served as a model of clarity of expression and logical argument. 
Waltz's first critical contribution to international relations theory was his elucidation of the "levels of analysis" problem in Man, the State, and War. The categorization of explanatory theories into ones that respectively stress the role of human nature; state-level political, economic, and social systems; or the anarchical condition of international politics has proven a critical building block of modern international relations theory. 
Through his exploration of theories at different levels of analysis, Waltz took the first giant step of his theoretical career. Even readers who do not wish to ta…

Man, State and War: Thank you Kenneth Waltz, now Rest in Peace

Nicodemus Minde As a student of International Relations and an aspiring theorist of the discipline, the news of the passing of Kenneth Waltz is sad. This guru embodied the neo-realist theory throughout his great academic history. Ken was the author of several enduring classics of the field, including Man, the State, and War(1959), Foreign Policy and Democratic Politics (1967),  and Theory of International Politics (1979).   His 1980 Adelphi Paper on nuclear proliferation ("The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Be Better"), was also a classic, albeit a controversial one. 
As a first year student at the university studying International Relations, Ken's works came in handy. We dissected and unpacked various theories of IR. Theorist such as Hans Morgenthau, the father of realism were introduced to us with the monumental piece of "Politics Among Nations". Others such as E.H Carr, Thucydides, Niccolo Machiavelli also epitomized the realist discourse. The epistemol…