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Palgrave Macmillan

Political Realism, Freud, and Human Nature in International Relations

The Resurrection of the Realist Man

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  • © 2010


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About this book

This book provides an important reappraisal of the concept of human nature in contemporary realist international-political theory. Developing a Freudian philosophical anthropology for political realism, he argues for the careful resurrection of the concept of human nature in the wider study of international relations.

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Introduction

  2. Is Human Nature Dead?

  3. Ought Human Nature to be Dead?

  4. Conclusion


"This book makes an important contribution to the burgeoning literature that is currently re-examining the essential characteristics of political realism. Although the link between political realism and human nature has often been made, this ambitious book provides the first attempt to explore the link in a detailed and systematic fashion. Through a close analysis of published and unpublished sources, Schuett demonstrates a surprisingly close relationship between some of the key realist thinkers, Morgenthau in particular, and a Freudian view of human nature. This controversial assessment has important implications for how realist thinking will be assessed in the future."

- Richard Little, Professor Emeritus of International Politics, Department of Politics, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

"This book fills an intriguing gap in the history of International Relations and makes a challenging case for rethinking the significance of both Freud and human nature for international political theory today."

- Michael C. Williams, Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Canada

About the author

ROBERT SCHUETT has a Ph.D. from the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, UK.

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