International Politics

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 784–797 | Cite as

Realism, pragmatism and the public sphere: Restraining foreign policy in an age of mass politics

  • Vibeke Schou Tjalve
Original Article


This article explores the links between classical realists such as Hans J. Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr or Arthur Schlesinger Jr, and early pragmatists such as John Dewey or Sidney Hook. Arguing that the question of how to save the creative potential of democracy from the stifling homogeneity of modernity was at the heart of both schools of thought, it treats Early Pragmatism as a window through which perhaps the most crucial question of Classical Realism may come to life: How to make publicity a vehicle of foreign-policy restraint in an age of mass politics?


realism pragmatism democracy foreign policy populism public sphere 



I would like to thank Hartmut Behr, Kristoffer Kjærgaard Christensen, Sean Molloy, Casper Sylvest and Michael C. Williams for their useful comments and stimulating conversations on the topic of this article. All of the usual disclaimers apply.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vibeke Schou Tjalve
    • 1
  1. 1.Danish Institute of International StudiesCopenhagenDenmark

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