Beyond Strauss, lies, and the war in Iraq: Hannah Arendt's critique of neoconservatism

Owens, Patricia (2007) Beyond Strauss, lies, and the war in Iraq: Hannah Arendt's critique of neoconservatism. Review of International Studies, 33 (2). pp. 265-283. ISSN 0260-2105

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What are we to make of the neoconservative challenge to traditional international thought? Should we content ourselves, as many have done, to return to classical realism in response? Rather than offer another realist assessment of neoconservative foreign policy this article turns to Hannah Arendt. In a very different language, Arendt articulated a critique of the dangers of moralism in the political realm that avoids realist cynicism. She is also better placed to challenge the neoconservative vision of international affairs, ideological conviction, and their relationship to democratic society. Reading Arendt against Leo Strauss suggests that the fundamental problem with neoconservative ideology concerns its understanding of the place of philosophy in the public realm, the relationship between political thought and practice, ideas and action. She suggests why neoconservatives may be experts at selling wars but seem less adept at winning them.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Patricia Owens
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:29
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 22:20

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