The Real and the Ideal

Essays on International Relations in Honor of Richard Ullman

September 01, 2001

Foreign policy analyses written by CFR fellows and published by the trade presses, academic presses, or the Council on Foreign Relations Press.

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Political History and Theory

Idealism and the pursuit of power are more closely linked than the liberal or realist traditions would have us believe. Foreign policy should be built on the principles of decency, mutual respect for rights and interests, responsible dispute settlement, and institution-building. But there is no room for idealism for its own sake: it must be tempered by legitimate responses to lawlessness and the necessities of power. For these ideas, Richard Ullman is best remembered.

A teacher, scholar, practitioner, and publicist, Ullman has been a unique and influential figure in U.S. foreign and security policy over the past forty years. The Real and the Ideal is less a summing up of Ullman's work than an intellectual kaleidoscope held up to his ideas. The result is a spirited and highly readable set of essays on U.S. foreign and defense policy by David Gompert, I.M. Destler, Michael Doyle, Michael O'Hanlon, and many other distinguished scholars and practitioners of international relations.

The collection of essays addresses the following issues, among others: changing international conceptions of state sovereignty, governmental legitimacy and ethics, and their relationship to national influence and power; new roles played by military power, including an exploration of emerging guidelines for the use of force that go beyond traditional definitions of national interest; and the domestic context for the setting of U.S. foreign and defense policy, including an analysis of heretofore unpublished polling data on the public's propensity to support international engagement.

A Council on Foreign Relations Book