A Spatial Approach to Regionalisms in the Global Economy by Michael Niemann (auth.)

By Michael Niemann (auth.)

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It was part and parcel of the general trend to view human activity in ‘scientific terms’ dictated by Enlightenment notions of reason and rationality. As such, the increasingly scientific treatment of IR was similar to the intellectual practices in other areas of human inquiry, albeit with somewhat of a delay. Modernity was and is not a homogeneous concept with a uniform meaning in all disciplines which permits the distinction between specific periods of history. It is viewed here more as a multifaceted regime of highly mobile knowledgeable practices … that are widely circulated across dispersed and varied locales, there to discipline interpretation and conduct, open up domains of freedom, constitute ‘modern subjects’, effect the self-evident truths of modern experience, and enable and dispose these subjects to the further replication and circulation of the practices themselves.

Pp. 6–7) he nevertheless arrives at a definition of political Realism which is driven by a reality which exists independent of human inquiry. Realism tends to depreciate the role of purpose and to maintain, explicitly or implicitly, that the function of thinking is to study a sequence of events which it is powerless to influence or alter. In the field of action, realism tends to emphasize the irresistible strength of existing forces and the inevitable character of existing tendencies, and to insist that the highest wisdom lies in accepting, and adapting oneself to, these forces and these tendencies.

Geography is seen here as a fixed, unchanging factor in international politics, unaffected by social practices and technological developments such as ICBMs which might render perceived geographical obstacles meaningless. This sense of unchanging reality also pervades Morgenthau’s analysis of cooperation. , pp. ) and of functional economic integration in Europe. , p. 532). In case the reader is left with a strong sense of disillusionment regarding the possibility of peace in the world, Morgenthau did provide one glimmer of hope for the future.

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