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"Peaceful Change" in International Relations: A Conceptual Archaeology

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

As the so-called liberal international order has come under duress, the problem of “peaceful change” has reappeared on the agenda of International Relations, mainly in a realist guise drawing upon E.H.
Carr and Robert Gilpin’s renditions of the problem. Making a conceptual archaeological intervention, this paper recovers long-neglected multidisciplinary debates on “peaceful change” taking place in the tumultuous interwar period. It concurs that peaceful change is an International Relations problem par excellence, central to academic debates in the burgeoning interwar discipline, but also a more complex conceptual figure than posterity portrays it. The paper explores the debates between negative and positive conceptions of peaceful change, between political, legal-institutional and communitarian
mechanisms of peaceful change, and different policies of peaceful change, particularly its troubled relationship to appeasement. The paper concludes that the interwar debate on peaceful change, while highly embedded in its context, does offer IR an alternative and more aspirational perspective on the problem of power and order transitions
TidsskriftInternational Theory
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2019

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