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Obama’s Pragmatism in International Affairs

Obama’s Pragmatism in International Affairs Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 2011), 81­98 Editions Rodopi © 2011 What is pragmatism's contribution, actual or potential, to contemporary International Relations theory and practice? Is there hope for constructing a pragmatist theory of International Relations? The author of this article takes up these questions by considering whether Barack Obama is a pragmatist in his handling of issues in international affairs. By examining a series of Obama speeches, the author teases out the raw material for a pragmatist theory of International Relations, demonstrating how the pragmatic practice of international diplomacy can inform a pragmatist theory of International Relations. A return to pragmatic problem solving [in international affairs] will not be easy. ­ L. H. Gelb (2009, 58) In short Obama practices the social intelligence recommended by [the philosophical pragmatist] John Dewey. He believes our practices are revisable and can be re-shaped through deliberation (read: democracy) and experimentation to enable us to live well. It is not necessary that Obama knows this intellectual movement and considers himself to be part of it. It is sufficient that he practices what they recommended. ­ Michael Eldridge (2009b) Interest in Barack Obama's status as a pragmatist has recently surged in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Obama’s Pragmatism in International Affairs

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 8 (2): 81 – Apr 21, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2011 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000203
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 2011), 81­98 Editions Rodopi © 2011 What is pragmatism's contribution, actual or potential, to contemporary International Relations theory and practice? Is there hope for constructing a pragmatist theory of International Relations? The author of this article takes up these questions by considering whether Barack Obama is a pragmatist in his handling of issues in international affairs. By examining a series of Obama speeches, the author teases out the raw material for a pragmatist theory of International Relations, demonstrating how the pragmatic practice of international diplomacy can inform a pragmatist theory of International Relations. A return to pragmatic problem solving [in international affairs] will not be easy. ­ L. H. Gelb (2009, 58) In short Obama practices the social intelligence recommended by [the philosophical pragmatist] John Dewey. He believes our practices are revisable and can be re-shaped through deliberation (read: democracy) and experimentation to enable us to live well. It is not necessary that Obama knows this intellectual movement and considers himself to be part of it. It is sufficient that he practices what they recommended. ­ Michael Eldridge (2009b) Interest in Barack Obama's status as a pragmatist has recently surged in

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2011

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