Arnold Wolfers is one of the most important figures of “mainstream” mid-20th century international-relations theory, but is now mostly cited for his definition of “revisionism” and for perhaps his most famous essay, “‘National Security’ as an Ambiguous Symbol.” Discord and Collaboration (1962) collects previously published essays and intersperses them with new ones that are aimed at making the collection more cohesive. It covers a variety of issues that remain subjects of debate in the field, such as state-centrism. Patrick and Dan discuss its arguments, the events that drive some of its analysis, and how it slots into later debates in IR theory, such as the “False Promise” dispute covered in the prior two episodes.
This is our first episode to come out since affiliating with the academic international-relations website, the Duck of Minerva. If you have questions or reactions to this episode, you might consider leaving a comment on this episode’s associated blogpost.
For the Q&A proposal – would love to hear you discuss the “hothouse” nature of Columbia’s PhD program in political science in the 1990s, why it was the way it was, and how it shaped how you emerged out of it, and perhaps contrast it to the programs at Chicago and Stanford at the time.
I guess we could revisit that insanity!