Is neorealism obsolete? Etzioni’s communitarian confirmation of neorealist theory

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    Amitai Etzioni has recently criticized the (neo)realist paradigm for overplaying military and economic factors and overlooking the independent power of normative ones. Relying on empirical evidence and moral reflection, Etzioni claims his communitarian paradigm to have the distinct quality of acknowledging a major role to global values sharing and political community formation, boosted by a realistic and legitimate American foreign policy that promotes “security first” universally. This essay claims that Etzioni's communitarianism offers no compelling reason for neorealists to consider abandoning their theory - rather the contrary. Etzioni's analysis confirms neorealist core propositions about states as primarily egoistic security-seekers under anarchy, strongly suggesting the actual relevance of a moderate, flexible neorealism that attributes clear priority to national security.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5 - 39
    Number of pages35
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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