Has History Restarted?


It is fashionable to claim “the end of history”. As the times of classical wars seem to be over, many scholars – particularly Alexandre Kojève – argue that we currently face “the end of international relations”. This article argues the opposite, that is to say that we are now confronted with the real beginning of international relations, and even of “intersocial relations”, in which social actors and individuals are more and more involved. Such an analysis is also a way of reinterpreting the dawn of IR as a discipline, its debates and tensions, its present transformations. The article questions the traditional typology of IR theories, and points out correlations between theoretical challenges and changes or evolutions of history. It is also a way of shedding light on what could be considered, in such a chaos, the French approach to International Relations. Is it only the French touch or the basis of a new paradigm? The article criticises the previous domination of American realism, which was built on an essentially conflictual vision of international interactions. While, throughout history several alternative approaches attempted to challenge Realism, they appeared too weak to do so in a meaningful way. The global transformations since the end of the “Cold War” open opportunities for a substantial reconstruction of IR studies, in order to incorporate the growing contribution of intersocial interactions and non-state actors in World politics.

Keywords: End of History; globalization; International Relations Theory; Realism; world order; Anthropological turn; sociology of international relations.

Authors: Bertrand Badie

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