Michael McIntyre at Jan. Mess Hall

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Michael McIntyre, chair and associate professor in the Department of International Studies, previewed a conference paper he is preparing at an SSRC Mess Hall presentation on Jan. 25. After briefly summarizing key touchstones and names in the development of the field of international relations (IR), Michael challenged the common perception of E. H. Carr as IR’s “first realist.” In fact, what’s called the “first great debate” flowing from Carr’s indictment of utopian explanations of international politics in his 1939 classic, The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1919-1939, never really occurred, Michael contends. In Michael’s revised reading, Carr’s post-World War I appeasement toward Germany; his dedication of The Twenty Years’ Crisis to Marxist-inspired Karl Mannheim, founder of the sociology of knowledge; and Carr’s later abandonment of the IR arena to work on his masterwork, a 14-volume, sympathetic history of Soviet Russia to 1929, all argue against the depiction of Carr as proto IR realist. To the contrary, argues Michael, Carr was doing just what realist theorists warn against.

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