Titel: E.H. Carr and the Failure of the Inter-War International System
Autoren/Herausgeber: Joe Majerus
Ausgabe: 1., Auflage
Essay from the year 2013 in the subject Politics - International Politics - General and Theories, grade: 80/100, University of Leicester, language: English, abstract: Peace and international cooperation may not be sustained on a permanent basis simply by virtue of the illusory belief that states will invariably seek to preserve these ideals merely because they allegedly benefit the international community as a whole. Neither will their presumed adherence to a superior code of morality ultimately suffice on its own to protect the international order from major disruptions caused by the actions of one of its constituent sub-units.
As E.H. Carr remarked, ethical standards cannot exist independent of politics, in particular not without setting them in proper relation to the less abstract determinants in international relations, notably power. It was such a separation of power from morality which led politicians of the inter-war period to believe that international cooperation could be perpetuated solely through the establishment of institutions designed to resolve inter-state disputes within an international society whose members supposedly all shared the same goals, even though in reality they clearly didn’t.
Still, as Carr acknowledged, attempts to root moral ideals within the international order need not necessarily suffer the same fate they did in the run-up to World War II. Importantly, however, one must first become alive to the highly sensitive constellation of power and morality ultimately required to prevent the international system from giving rise to such forces as might before long prove a potential source of its own instability.