Tragedy and International Relations

T. Erskine (Editor), R. N. Lebow (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportEdited book


Tragedy is an ancient plot line associated with hubris, value conflicts among actors and the propensity of our
considered actions to have consequences very different from those we intend. First applied to international relations by Thucydides, the tragic vision of politics lies at the core of classical realism.

In this volume, noted International Relations scholars and political theorists draw on range of sources, from Renaissance and modern tragedies to their Greek progenitors, and explore the ways in which tragedy has been variously theorized by ancient Greek
commentators, modern theorists – notably nineteenth century German philosophers – and postcolonial critics. In discussions that encompass but extend well beyond classical realism, these contributors ask if tragedy is a universal trope, how – and whether – it can help us to understand contemporary international relations, the extent to which sensitivity to tragedy has the potential to reduce its likelihood, and the degree to which the lens of tragedy can help us to refocus prevalent assumptions within the discipline of International Relations. These challenging questions are addressed in the context of topical issues that range
from global poverty, humanitarian intervention and the so-called 'war on terror'.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages234
ISBN (Print)9780230237520
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in International Relations


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