John Joseph Mearsheimer (/ˈmɪərʃaɪmər/; born December 14, 1947) is an American political scientist and international relations scholar, who belongs to the realist school of thought. He is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.
Mearsheimer proposed the theory of offensive realism which describes the interaction between great powers as dominated by a rational desire to achieve hegemony in a world of insecurity and uncertainty regarding other states' intentions. He was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War in 2003 and was almost alone in opposing Ukraine's decision to give up its nuclear weapons in 1994 and predicted that, without a deterrent, they would face Russian aggression. His most controversial views concern alleged influence by interest groups over US government actions in the Middle East which he wrote about in The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. In accordance with his theory, Mearsheimer considers that China's growing power will likely bring it into conflict with the United States. His work is frequently taught to and read by twenty-first century students of political science and international relations.
John Joseph Mearsheimer
|Born||December 14, 1947|
|Education||United States Military Academy |
University of Southern California
|Institutions||University of Chicago|
|International relations theory, international security, deterrence theory|
Mearsheimer was born in December 1947 in Brooklyn, New York. He was raised in New York City until the age of eight, when his parents moved his family to Croton-on-Hudson, New York, a suburb located in Westchester County. When he was 17, Mearsheimer enlisted in the U.S. Army. After one year as an enlisted member, he chose to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. He attended West Point from 1966 to 1970. After graduation, he served for five years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
In 1974, while in the Air Force, Mearsheimer earned a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California. He subsequently entered Cornell University and in 1980 earned a Ph.D. in government, specifically in international relations. From 1978 to 1979, he was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.; from 1980 to 1982, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs. During the 1998–1999 academic year, he was the Whitney H. Shepardson Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
Since 1982, Mearsheimer has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Political Science Faculty at the University of Chicago. He became an associate professor in 1984, a full professor in 1987, and was appointed the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in 1996. From 1989 to 1992, he served as chairman of the department. He also holds a position as a faculty member in the Committee on International Relations graduate program, and is the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy.
Mearsheimer's books include Conventional Deterrence (1983) which won the Edgar S. Furniss Jr. Book Award, Nuclear Deterrence: Ethics and Strategy (co-editor, 1985); Liddell Hart and the Weight of History (1988); The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001), which won the Lepgold Book Prize; The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (2007); and Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (2011). His articles have appeared in academic journals like International Security and popular magazines like the London Review of Books. He has written op-ed pieces for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.
Mearsheimer has won several teaching awards. He received the Clark Award for Distinguished Teaching when he was a graduate student at Cornell in 1977, and he won the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Chicago in 1985. In addition, he was selected as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for the 1993–1994 academic year. In that capacity, he gave a series of talks at eight colleges and universities. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mearsheimer's first book Conventional Deterrence (1983) addresses the question of how decisions to start a war depend on the projected outcome of military conflict. In other words, how do decision makers' beliefs about the outcome of war affect the success or failure of deterrence? Mearsheimer's basic argument is that deterrence is likely to work when the potential attacker believes that a successful attack will be unlikely and costly. If the potential attacker, however, has reason to believe the attack will likely succeed and entail low costs, then deterrence is likely to break down. This is now widely accepted to be the way the principle of deterrence works. Specifically, Mearsheimer argues that the success of deterrence is determined by the strategy available to the potential attacker. He lays out three strategies. First, a war-of-attrition strategy, which entails a high level of uncertainty about the outcome of war and high costs for the attacker. Second, a limited-aims strategy, which entails fewer risks and lower costs. And, third, a blitzkrieg strategy, which provides a way to defeat the enemy rapidly and decisively, with relatively low costs. For Mearsheimer, failures in the modern battlefield are due mostly to the potential attacker's belief that it can successfully implement a blitzkrieg strategy in which tanks and other mechanized forces are employed swiftly to effect a deep penetration and disrupt the enemy's rear. The other two strategies are unlikely to lead to deterrence failures because they would entail a low probability of success accompanied by high costs (war of attrition) or limited gains and the possibility of the conflict turning into a war of attrition (limited aims). If the attacker has a coherent blitzkrieg strategy available, however, an attack is likely to ensue, as its potential benefits outweigh the costs and risks of starting a war.
Besides analyzing cases from World War II and the Arab–Israeli conflict, Mearsheimer extrapolates implications from his theory for the prospects of conventional deterrence in Central Europe during the late Cold War. Here, he argues that a Soviet attack is unlikely because the Soviet military would be unable to successfully implement a blitzkrieg strategy. The balance of forces, the difficulty of advancing rapidly with mechanized forces through Central Europe, and the formidable NATO forces opposing such a Soviet attack made it unlikely, in Mearsheimer's view, that the Soviets would start a conventional war in Europe.
In 1990 Mearsheimer published an essay where he predicted that Europe would revert to a multipolar environment similar to that in the first half of the twentieth century if American and Soviet forces left following the end of the Cold War. In another article that year, in The Atlantic, he predicted that this multipolar environment would increase nuclear proliferation in Europe, especially in Germany.
In this essay and in the 1993 Foreign Affairs article "The case for a Ukrainian nuclear deterrent", he argued that to reduce the dangers of war, the United States should encourage Germany and Ukraine to develop a nuclear arsenal, while working to prevent the rise of hyper-nationalism. Mearsheimer presented several possible scenarios for a post-Cold-War Europe from which American and Russian forces had departed. He believed that a Europe with nuclear proliferation was most likely to remain at peace, because without a nuclear deterrent Germany would be likely to once more try to conquer the continent (See pages 32–33). Mearsheimer argued that it would be strategically unwise for Ukraine to surrender its nuclear arsenal (remnants of the Soviet stockpile). However, in 1994 Ukraine consented to get rid of its entire former Soviet nuclear stockpile, a process that was complete by 1996. When challenged on the former assertion at a lecture given to the International Politics department at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, he maintained that in spite of European integration and expansion, he still believed that his predictions would come true if the United States military left Europe.
Also, in op-ed pieces written in 1998 and 2000 for The New York Times, Mearsheimer supported India's decision to acquire nuclear weapons. In support of this position, he argued that India has good strategic reasons to want a nuclear deterrent, especially in order to balance against China and Pakistan, guaranteeing regional stability. He also criticized United States counter-proliferation policy towards India, which he considered unrealistic and harmful to American interests in the region.
Mearsheimer is the leading proponent of offensive neorealism. It is a structural theory which, unlike the classical realism of Hans Morgenthau, places the principal emphasis on security competition among great powers within the anarchy of the international system, and not principally on the human nature of statesmen and diplomats. In contrast to another structural realist theory, the defensive neorealism of Kenneth Waltz, offensive neorealism maintains that states are not satisfied with a given amount of power, but seek hegemony for security because the anarchic makeup of the international system creates strong incentives for states to seek opportunities to gain power at the expense of competitors. Mearsheimer summed this view up in his 2001 book The Tragedy of Great Power Politics:
Given the difficulty of determining how much power is enough for today and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass up an opportunity to be the hegemon in the system because it thought it already had sufficient power to survive.
Mearsheimer usually does not believe it is possible for a state to become a global hegemon and occasionally recognizes the global hegemon as an accomplished fact (see chapter "Night Watchman" below). When the global hegemon is theoretically impossible, it is because there is too much landmass and too many oceans which he posits have effective stopping power and act as giant moats. Instead he believes that states can only achieve regional hegemony. Furthermore, he argues that states attempt to prevent other states from becoming regional hegemons, since peer competitors could interfere in a state's affairs. States which have achieved regional hegemony, such as the U.S., will act as offshore balancers, interfering in other regions only when the great powers in those regions are not able to prevent the rise of a hegemon. In a 2004 speech, Mearsheimer praised the British historian E. H. Carr for his 1939 book The Twenty Years' Crisis and argued that Carr was correct when he claimed that international relations was a struggle of all against all with states always placing their own interests first. Mearsheimer maintained that Carr's points were still as relevant for 2004 as for 1939, and went on to deplore what he claimed was the dominance of "idealist" thinking about international relations among British academic life.
Night Watchman is "global hegemon" in Mearsheimer's terminology—theoretical impossibility as stated in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Nevertheless, in 1990 Mearsheimer mentioned an existing "watchman": Democracies lived at peace because "America's hegemonic position in NATO... mitigated the effects of anarchy on the Western democracies and induced cooperation among them ... With the United States serving as a night watchman, fears about relative gains among the Western European states were mitigated…"
Afterwards, Mearsheimer lost the watchman. A decade later, he described the "international anarchy" as having not changed with the end of the Cold War, "and there are few signs that such change is likely any time soon. States remain the principal actors in world politics and there is still no night watchman standing above them." Five more years later, Mearsheimer confirmed that "in an anarchic system there is no night watchman for state to call when trouble comes knocking at their door."
Precisely two decades since Mearsheimer detected the watchman in the world for the last time, he rediscovered him again. Watchman exists and, moreover, keeps Europe at peace. The article titled by question "Why Is Europe Peaceful Today?" unambiguously answers: "The reason is simple: the United States is by far the most powerful country in the world and it effectively acts as a night watchman."
In January and early February 1991, Mearsheimer published two op-eds in the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times arguing that the war to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi forces should be quick and lead to a decisive US victory, with less than 1,000 American casualties. This view countered the conventional wisdom at the start of the war, that predicted a conflict lasting for months and costing thousands of American lives. Mearsheimer's argument was based on several points. First, the Iraqi Army was a Third World military, unprepared to fight mobile armored battles. Second, US armored forces were better equipped and trained. Third, US artillery was also far better than its Iraqi counterpart. Fourth, US airpower, unfettered by the weak Iraqi air force, should prove devastating against Iraqi ground forces. Fifth and finally, the forward deployment of Iraqi reserves boded ill for their ability to counter US efforts to penetrate the Iraqi defense line along the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. These predictions came true in the course of the war.
In October 1991, Mearsheimer was drawn into a bitter controversy at the University of Chicago regarding Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, a visiting professor from Germany. Noelle-Neumann was a prominent German pollster and a leading academic on public opinion research, who authored the highly regarded book, The Spiral of Silence. The debate centered on an article written by Leo Bogart called "The Pollster and the Nazis". It described Noelle-Neumann's past employment as a writer and editor for the Nazi newspaper Das Reich from 1940–42. Noelle-Neumann's response to the article was to claim "texts written under a dictatorship more than 50 years ago cannot be read as they were in 1937, 1939 or 1941. Severed from the time and place where they were written, they are no longer real, for reality is in part based on time and place."
As chairman of Chicago's political science department at the time, Mearsheimer sat down with Noelle-Neumann to discuss the article and the allegations. After meeting with her for over three hours, Mearsheimer publicly declared, "I believe that Noelle-Neumann was an anti-Semite," and he spearheaded a campaign asking her for an apology. He joined other University of Chicago faculty in writing a joint piece for Commentary Magazine that reacted to Noelle-Neumann's reply to the accusation against her. They declared, "by providing rhetorical support for the exclusion of Jews, her words helped make the disreputable reputable, the indecent decent, the uncivilized civilized, and the unthinkable thinkable." Mearsheimer said "Knowing what we know now about the Holocaust, there is no reason for her not to apologize. To ask somebody who played a contributing role in the greatest crime of the 20th century to say 'I'm sorry' is not unreasonable."
In March 2006, Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, began to write jointly about the Israel lobby. Stephen Walt was the former academic dean and professor of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and together they published a Harvard University Kennedy School of Government working paper and a London Review of Books article discussing the power of the Israel lobby in shaping the foreign policy of the United States. They define the Israel lobby as "a loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer US foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction". They emphasize that it is not appropriate to label it a "Jewish lobby", because not all Jews feel a strong attachment to Israel and because some of the individuals and groups who work to foster U.S. support for Israel are not Jewish; according to Mearsheimer and Walt, Christian Zionists play an important role. Finally, they emphasize that the lobby is not a cabal or a conspiracy but simply a powerful interest group like the National Rifle Association or the farm lobby. Their core argument is that the policies that the lobby pushes are not in the United States' national interest, nor ultimately that of Israel. Those pieces generated extensive media coverage and led to a wide-ranging and often heated debate between supporters and opponents of their argument. The article was subsequently turned into a book entitled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
Mearsheimer was critical of Israel's war against Lebanon in the summer of 2006. He argued that Israel's strategy was "doomed to fail" because it was based on the "faulty assumption" that Israeli air power could defeat Hezbollah, which was essentially a guerrilla force. The war, he argued, was a disaster for the Lebanese people, as well as a "major setback" for the United States and Israel. The lobby, he said, played a key role in enabling Israel's counterproductive response by preventing the United States from exercising independent influence.
Mearsheimer was also critical of Israel's offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip that began in December 2008. He argued that it would not eliminate Hamas's capability to fire missiles and rockets at Israel, and that it would not cause Hamas to end its fight with Israel. In fact, he argued that relations between Israel and the Palestinians were likely to get worse in the years ahead.
Mearsheimer emphasizes that the only hope for Israel to end its conflict with the Palestinians is to end the occupation and allow the Palestinians to have their own state in Gaza and the West Bank. Otherwise, Israel is going to turn itself into an "apartheid state." That would be a disastrous outcome not only for Israel, but also for the United States and especially the Palestinians.
Mearsheimer's criticisms of Israel further extended to Israel's possession of nuclear weapons. In remarks made at the International Spy Museum in 2010, Mearsheimer asserted that a nuclear Israel was contrary to U.S. interests and questioned Israel's accountability in the matter, stating that there was "no accountability for Israel on any issue" because, he surmised, "The Israelis can do almost anything and get away with it."
In April 2010, Mearsheimer delivered the Hisham B. Sharabi Memorial Lecture at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC, which he titled "The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners." He argued that "the two-state solution is now a fantasy" because Israel will incorporate the Gaza Strip and the West Bank into a "Greater Israel", which would become an apartheid state. This state, according to Mearsheimer, would not be politically viable, most American Jews would not support it, and it would eventually become a democratic bi-national state, politically dominated by its Palestinian majority. He suggested that "American Jews who care deeply about Israel" could be divided into three categories: the "new Afrikaners" who will support Israel even if it is an apartheid state, "righteous Jews," who believe that individual rights are universal, and apply equally to Jews and Palestinians, and the largest group who he called the "great ambivalent middle". He concludes that most of the "great ambivalent middle" would not defend an apartheid Israel because "American Jews are among the staunchest defenders of traditional liberal values" resulting in the "new Afrikaners" becoming increasingly marginalized over time. Mearsheimer stated that he "would classify most of the individuals who head the Israel lobby's major organizations as "'new Afrikaners'" and specifically listed Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Ronald Lauder of the World Jewish Congress, Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America, as well as businessmen such as Sheldon Adelson, Lester Crown, and Mortimer Zuckerman and "media personalities" like Fred Hiatt, Charles Krauthammer, Bret Stephens and Martin Peretz.
In 2011, John Mearsheimer wrote of Gilad Atzmon's book The Wandering Who: "Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it increasingly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their 'Jewishness.' Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon's own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike."
Mearsheimer said he had "no reason to amend it or embellish" his review, and defended his position. Writing with regard to the charge by Jeffrey Goldberg that Atzmon is anti-semitic, and by implication so is his own positive review of Atzmon's work, Mearsheimer responded: "Atzmon's basic point is that Jews often talk in universalistic terms, but many of them think and act in particularistic terms. One might say they talk like liberals but act like nationalists... It is in this context that he discusses what he calls the "Holocaust religion," Zionism, and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Again, to be perfectly clear, he has no animus toward Judaism as a religion or with individuals who are Jewish by birth."
Mearsheimer asserts that China's rise will not be peaceful and that the U.S. will seek to contain China and prevent it from achieving regional hegemony. Although military, and perhaps diplomatic containment of China is possible, economic containment of China is not.  Mearsheimer believes that China will attempt to dominate the Indo-Pacific region just as, he asserts, the U.S. set out to dominate the western hemisphere. The motivation for doing so would be to gain a position of overwhelming security and superiority against its neighbors which it sees as potential challengers to its status. Additionally, he maintains that the U.S. will attempt to form a balancing coalition that consists primarily of India, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia to counter the growing strength and power projection capabilities of China. He points to increased alliances and warming U.S.–Vietnam and U.S.–India relations as evidence of this.
Mearsheimer asserts that Australia should be concerned with China's accretion of power because it will lead to an intense security competition between the China and the US that would destabilize the region. He also argues that China is implementing the militarily aggressive philosophy of the U.S. naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan, who argued for sea control and decisive battle.
Mearsheimer wrote a book that analyzes lying in international politics. He argues in Why Leaders Lie (Oxford University Press, 2011) that leaders lie to foreign audiences as well as their own people because they think it is good for their country. For example, he maintains that President Franklin D. Roosevelt lied about the Greer incident in September 1941, because he was deeply committed to getting the United States into World War II, which he thought was in America's national interest.
His two main findings are that leaders actually do not lie very much to other countries, and that democratic leaders are actually more likely than autocrats to lie to their own people. Thus, he starts his book by saying that it is not surprising that Saddam Hussein did not lie about having WMD—he truthfully said he had none—but that George Bush and some of his key advisors did lie to the American people about the threat from Iraq. Mearsheimer argues that leaders are most likely to lie to their own people in democracies that fight wars of choice in distant places. He says that it is difficult for leaders to lie to other countries because there is not much trust among them, especially when security issues are at stake, and you need trust for lying to be effective. He says that it is easier for leaders to lie to their own people because there is usually a good deal of trust between them.
Mearsheimer does not consider the moral dimension of international lying, which he views from a utilitarian perspective. He argues that there are five types of international lies.
He explains the reasons why leaders pursue each of these different kinds of lies. His central thesis is that leaders lie more frequently to domestic audiences than to leaders of other states. This is because international lying can have negative effects including blowback and backfiring. "Blowback" is where telling international lies helps cause a culture of deceit at home. "Backfiring" is where telling a lie leads to a failed policy. He also emphasizes that there are two other kinds of deception besides lying: "concealment," which is where a leader remains silent about an important matter, and "spinning," which is where a leader tells a story that emphasizes the positive and downplays or ignores the negative.
In his 2018 book, The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities, Mearsheimer presents a critique of the geopolitical strategy he refers to as 'liberal hegemony'. Mearsheimer's definition of liberal hegemony includes a three-part designation of it as an extension of Woodrow Wilson's original initiatives to make a world safe by turning its governments into democracies, turning geopolitical economic initiatives towards open markets compatible with democratic governments, and thirdly opening up and promoting other democratically liberal international social and culture societies on a global scale of inclusion. Mearsheimer states in an interview broadcast on CSPAN that this represents a 'great delusion' and that much more weight should be associated with nationalism as a policy of enduring geopolitical value rather than the delusions he associated with liberal hegemony.
After the break up of the Soviet Union, the new independent Ukraine had a large arsenal of nuclear weapons on its territory. However, in 1994 Ukraine agreed to give up nuclear arms, became a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and within two years had removed all atomic weapons. Almost alone among observers, Mearsheimer was opposed to that decision because he saw a Ukraine without a nuclear deterrent as likely to be subjected to aggression by Russia. 
In September 2014 Mearsheimer wrote the article "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault. The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin" published in Foreign Affairs. The essay was highly critical of American policy towards Russia since the conclusion of the Cold War. Mearsheimer argued that Russian intervention in Crimea and Ukraine had been motivated by what he saw as the irresponsible strategic objectives of NATO in Eastern Europe. He compared US-led NATO expansion into Eastern Europe and planned inclusion of Ukraine to the hypothetical scenario of a Chinese military alliance in North America, stating, "Imagine the American outrage if China built an impressive military alliance and tried to include Canada and Mexico."
Mearsheimer argued that Russia's annexation of the Crimea was fueled by concerns that it would lose access to its Black Sea Fleet naval base at Sevastopol if Ukraine continued to move towards NATO and European integration. Mearsheimer concluded that US policy should shift towards recognising Ukraine as a buffer state between NATO and Russia rather than attempting to absorb Ukraine into NATO. Mearsheimer's article provoked Michael McFaul and Stephen Sestanovich to publish their response in November/December 2014 issue of Foreign Affairs.
Mearsheimer has been critical of US policy toward China, which he regards as fated to engage in "intense security competition" and possible war, if it continues on its steep trajectory of economic growth. His recommended US policy towards China is containment, which calls for the US to keep China from occupying territory and expanding its influence in Asia. Mearsheimer recommended that US policy makers form a balancing coalition with China's neighbors. According to Mearsheimer, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Russia, and Vietnam could be potential allies of the United States against a mega-power China's attempt to dominate.
Three features of the international system combine to cause states to fear one another: 1) The absence of a central authority that sits above states and can protect them from each other (anarchy), 2) the fact that states always have some offensive military capability, and 3) the fact that states can never be certain about other states' intentions. Given this fear - which can never be wholly eliminated -- states recognize that the more powerful they are relative to their rivals, the better their chances of survival.
April Catherine Glaspie (born April 26, 1942) is an American former diplomat and senior member of the Foreign Service, best known for her role in the events leading up to the Gulf War.Buck passing
Buck passing, or passing the buck, is the act of attributing to another person or group one's own responsibility. It is often used to refer to a strategy in power politics whereby a state tries to get another state to deter or fight an aggressor state while it remains on the sidelines.Buffer state
A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers. Its existence can sometimes be thought to prevent conflict between them. A buffer state is sometimes a mutually agreed upon area lying between two greater powers, which is demilitarized in the sense of not hosting the military of either power (though it will usually have its own military forces). The invasion of a buffer state by one of the powers surrounding it will often result in war between the powers.
Research shows that buffer states are significantly more likely to be conquered and occupied than are nonbuffer states. This is because "states that great powers have an interest in preserving—buffer states—are in fact in a high-risk group for death. Regional or great powers surrounding buffer states face a strategic imperative to take over buffer states: if these powers fail to act against the buffer, they fear that their opponent will take it over in their stead. By contrast, these concerns do not apply to nonbuffer states, where powers face no competition for influence or control."Buffer states, when authentically independent, typically pursue a neutralist foreign policy, which distinguishes them from satellite states.
The concept of buffer states is part of a theory of the balance of power that entered European strategic and diplomatic thinking in the 17th century.Charles Koch Institute
The Charles Koch Institute is a libertarian-oriented public policy research, programming, grant-making, and fellowship-funding organization based in Virginia. Named after Charles Koch, its founder and primary financier, it pursues conservative economic policies and a non-interventionist foreign policy that has been characterized as anti-neoconservative or defensive realist.Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy
The Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy is a group of U.S. scholars, policy makers and citizens who oppose the current U.S. foreign policy, which they view as pursuing an American empire. The coalition questions both the morality and the efficacy of using military force and diplomatic pressure to achieve the aims of political and economic liberalization. As opposed to the increasingly prevalent geopolitical philosophy of neoconservatism, the coalition advocates foreign policy realism.
Members of the coalition include Andrew Bacevich, Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, Leon Hadar, James Kurth, Anatol Lieven, Scott McConnell, Doug Bandow, Nicholas Berry, Justin Logan, Christopher Layne, Christopher Preble, Steve Clemons, David Isenberg, Carolyn Eisenberg, Jeffrey Record, Charles Peña, and David Hendrickson.Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון; born 9 June 1963) is a British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer, originally from Israel.Atzmon's album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called "surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz." His albums, of which he has recorded 15 as of 2016, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a "devoted political artist."Atzmon has written novels, journalistic pieces for such publications as CounterPunch, Uruknet, The Palestine Telegraph, and polemical works on Jewish identity. His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on Holocaust denial and Jewish history, have led to allegations of antisemitism and racism from both Zionists and some leading anti-Zionists.Israel lobby
Israel lobby may refer to:
Israel lobby in the United States
Israel lobby in the United Kingdom
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
The Lobby (TV series)Neorealism (international relations)
Neorealism or structural realism is a theory of international relations that says power is the most important factor in international relations. It was first outlined by Kenneth Waltz in his 1979 book Theory of International Politics. Alongside neoliberalism, neorealism is one of the two most influential contemporary approaches to international relations; the two perspectives have dominated international relations theory for the last three decades. Neorealism emerged from the North American discipline of political science, and reformulates the classical realist tradition of E. H. Carr, Hans Morgenthau, and Reinhold Niebuhr.
Neorealism is subdivided into defensive and offensive neorealism.Offensive realism
Offensive realism is a structural theory belonging to the neorealist school of thought first postulated by John Mearsheimer that holds that the anarchic nature of the international system is responsible for aggressive state behavior in international politics. It fundamentally differs from defensive realism by depicting great powers as power-maximizing revisionists privileging buck-passing over balancing strategies in their ultimate aim to dominate the international system. The theory brings important alternative contributions for the study and understanding of international relations but remains nonetheless the subject of criticism.Offshore balancing
Offshore balancing is a strategic concept used in realist analysis in international relations. It describes a strategy in which a great power uses favored regional powers to check the rise of potentially-hostile powers. This strategy stands in contrast to the dominant grand strategy in the United States, liberal hegemony. Offshore balancing calls for a great power to withdraw from onshore positions and focus its offshore capabilities on the three key geopolitical regions of the world: Europe, the Persian Gulf, and Northeast Asia.Open Source (radio show)
Open Source is an American public radio show hosted by Christopher Lydon, former New York Times journalist and original host of The Connection. The show focuses on the arts, literature, and foreign affairs.Power politics
Power politics (or, in German, Machtpolitik) is a theory in international relations, which contains the idea that distributions of power and interests, or changes to those distributions, are fundamental causes of war and of system stability.
The concept of power politics provides a way of understanding systems of international relations: in this view, nations compete for the world's limited resources and it is to an individual nation's advantage to be manifestly able to harm others. Power politics prioritizes national self-interest over the interests of other nations or the international community, and thus may include threatening one another with military, economic or political aggression to protect one nation's own interest.
Techniques of power politics include:
conspicuous weapons-development (including nuclear development)
the massing of military units on a border, whether for stationing or for exercises
the imposition of tariffs or economic sanctions
bait and bleed and "bloodletting"
hard and soft balancing
shock and awe
asymmetric warfareRegional hegemony
In international relations, regional hegemony is the hegemony (political, economic, or military predominance, control or influence) of one independently powerful state, known as the regional hegemon over other neighboring countries. The relationship between regional hegemons and the other states within their spheres of influence is analogous to the relationship between a global hegemon and the other states in the international system.
The prominent international relations scholar John Mearsheimer writes extensively about the pursuit of regional hegemony in his book, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. According to his theory, known as offensive realism, the anarchic nature of the international system, the desire for survival, and the uncertainty about other states' intentions ultimately lead states to pursue regional hegemony. According to Mearsheimer, global hegemony is an unattainable goal; instead, a state which has achieved the level of regional hegemon will then work to prevent the development of peer competitors in other regions.The American Conservative
The American Conservative (TAC) is a bi-monthly magazine founded in 2002 and published by the American Ideas Institute. The publication states that it exists to promote a conservatism that opposes unchecked power in government and business; promote the flourishing of families and communities through vibrant markets and free people; and embrace realism and restraint in foreign affairs based on America's national interests.The Arab Lobby
The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East is a book written by Mitchell Bard, the head of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and the director of the Jewish Virtual Library, published in August 2010. It was written in response to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's bestselling albeit controversial The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, which focused on the role of the Israel lobby in shaping U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is a book by John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, Professor of International Relations at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, published in late August 2007. It was a New York Times Best Seller.The book describes the lobby as a "loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction". The book "focuses primarily on the lobby's influence on U.S. foreign policy and its negative effect on American interests". The authors also argue that "the lobby's impact has been unintentionally harmful to Israel as well".Both Mearsheimer and Walt argue that although "the boundaries of the Israel lobby cannot be identified precisely", it "has a core consisting of organizations whose declared purpose is to encourage the U.S. government and the American public to provide material aid to Israel and to support its government's policies, as well as influential individuals for whom these goals are also a top priority". They note that "not every American with a favorable attitude to Israel is part of the lobby", and that although "the bulk of the lobby is comprised of Jewish Americans", there are many American Jews who are not part of the lobby, and the lobby also includes Christian Zionists. They also claim a drift of important groups in "the lobby" to the right, and overlap with the neoconservatives.The book was preceded by a paper commissioned by The Atlantic Monthly and written by Mearsheimer and Walt. The Atlantic Monthly rejected the paper, and it was published in The London Review of Books. The paper attracted considerable controversy, both praise and criticism.The National Interest
The National Interest (TNI) is an American bimonthly international affairs magazine published by the Center for the National Interest. It is associated with the realist school of foreign policy thought. It was founded in 1985 by Irving Kristol and until 2001 was edited by Owen Harries. The National Interest is not restricted in content to "foreign policy" in the narrow, technical sense but attempts to pay attention to broad ideas and the way in which cultural and social differences, technological innovations, history, and religion affect the behavior of states.The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is a book by the American scholar John Mearsheimer on the subject of international relations theory published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2001. Mearsheimer explains and argues for his theory of "offensive realism" by stating its key assumptions, evolution from early realist theory, and its predictive capability. He readily acknowledges the inherent pessimism of offensive realism and its predictions because his world is one in which conflict between great powers will never see an end.
An article adapted from the book had previously been published by Foreign Affairs.Why Leaders Lie
Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics is a 2011 book by the political scientist John Mearsheimer.