Thursday, April 3, 2008

Zasloff on Beisner on Acheson

Dean's List: Power, Institutions, and Achesonian Diplomacy is a forthcoming review essay by Jonathan Zasloff, UCLA School of Law. It will appear in the American Journal of International Law (2008). Here's the abstract:
This review essay, forthcoming in the American Journal of International Law, considers Robert Beisner's recent magisterial biography of Dean Acheson. I ask what Acheson's diplomatic record tells us about the nature of world politics, and consider the question in light of international relations theory and international legal thought. I argue that Achesonian diplomacy demonstrates the interrelatedness of the four major paradigms of international relations theory - realism, institutionalism, liberalism, and constructivism. Each theory explains a crucial part of the impact of Acheson's record, but none can explain it by themselves. I suggest in conclusion that while the Cold War might have begun with or without Acheson, his diplomatic leadership helped ensure that it ended as soon as it did - even though he was gone by the time it occurred.

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