This article considers convergence between classical realism and critical theory in relation to pressing political problems. It argues that the spirit of both traditions can help develop critical reflection on the state as an agent of change. I suggest that too much recent critical theorization has avoided the state in its attention to social movements, but that a critical concept of state leadership is now required to address global threats and challenges. The article rehearses this critical concept in three stages. It considers, first, how the concept of national interest drives statecraft in the authorship of Hans Morgenthau and how complex this concept is both in its own terms and with regard to the political effects of the nuclear revolution. It develops, second, a multi-layered concept of responsibility as the guiding concept of statecraft in a world of increasingly incompatible demands. It argues, third, that these concepts of national interest and responsibility need to be aligned with global imperatives so that a greater marriage between the global and the national is possible. I conclude that it is the task of contemporary critical thought to address this present through a reimagined political realism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/1755088216671736
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,536
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Solving the Nuclear Dilemma: Is a World State Necessary?Campbell Craig - 2018 - Journal of International Political Theory 15 (3):349-366.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Beyond Managerialism: After the Death of the Corporate Statesperson.John Danley - 1998 - The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics 1:21-30.
Beyond Managerialism: After the Death of the Corporate Statesperson.John Danley - 1998 - The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics 1:21-30.
Exploring the Concept of Causal Power in a Critical Realist Tradition.Tuukka Kaidesoja - 2007 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 37 (1):63–87.
A Critical Concept Of Injustice: Trichotomy Critique, Explanation, and Normativity.Marek Hrubec - 2014 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 13 (1):50-73.
Marcuse's Critical Legacy.Richard J. Bernstein - 2013 - Radical Philosophy Review 16 (1):59-71.
Richard Paul and the Philosophical Foundations of Critical Thinking.Donald Hatcher - 2016 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 31 (1):86-97.
Hannah Arendt Und Die Kritik der Macht.Christian Volk - 2013 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 61 (4):505-528.
Transformations of the Concept of Reason.Herbert Schnadelbach - 1998 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):3-14.


Added to PP index

Total views
5 ( #1,119,919 of 2,385,586 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #560,835 of 2,385,586 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes