International Politics

, Volume 48, Issue 4–5, pp 441–459 | Cite as

No one loves a realist explanation

  • William C Wohlforth
Original Article


Responding to the special issue editors request, I conduct a retrospective evaluation of my own scholarship on realism and the end of the Cold War. I reprise the main arguments in light of what appears to be the most probative new evidence. I find that ,even though almost all scholars who write about the Cold War's end either dismiss or denounce explanations informed by realist theory, these explanations actually have stood the test of time and new evidence.


Cold War IR scholars realism constructivism regime change 



This first draft of this article benefitted from the critical comments of other project participants, especially Steve Kotkin and Dan Deudney. Later drafts were much improved by comments from Randall Schweller and Stephen Brooks.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • William C Wohlforth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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