Hans Morgenthau’s Pilgrimage Among the Engineers

  • Patrick Thaddeus Jackson
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought book series (PMHIT)


Most accounts of Hans Morgenthau’s relationship to his adopted country operate under the sign of exile rather than that of pilgrimage. What such accounts often do not capture, however, is the substantive vision of international affairs that scholars like Morgenthau brought to their transactions with interlocutors in the United States, and how radically that vision differed from the one on offer in the bulk of US political science. Morgenthau was not simply trying to make space for himself in his adopted country; he was instead hoping to make a contribution to political thought generally, by articulating a way of worlding that differed significantly from the twin “progressive” pillars of a faith in the perfectability of human society through reason and a brash optimism that all problems were susceptible to technical solution that he found all too common in the United States. Morgenthau’s pilgrimage was thus not to a happy place of perfect contentment but to a place which had as its chief virtue the preservation of politics as an autonomous aspect of human social life.


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Thaddeus Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of International ServiceAmerican UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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