Dean's List: Power, Institutions, and Achesonian Diplomacy

American Journal of International Law, 2008

UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 08-15

20 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2008  

Jonathan Zasloff

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Abstract

This review essay, forthcoming in the American Journal of International Law, considers Robert Beisner's recent magisterial biography of Dean Acheson. I ask what Acheson's diplomatic record tells us about the nature of world politics, and consider the question in light of international relations theory and international legal thought. I argue that Achesonian diplomacy demonstrates the interrelatedness of the four major paradigms of international relations theory - realism, institutionalism, liberalism, and constructivism. Each theory explains a crucial part of the impact of Acheson's record, but none can explain it by themselves. I suggest in conclusion that while the Cold War might have begun with or without Acheson, his diplomatic leadership helped ensure that it ended as soon as it did - even though he was gone by the time it occurred.

Keywords: Book Review, Dean Acheson, the Cold War, Achesonian diplomacy

Suggested Citation

Zasloff, Jonathan, Dean's List: Power, Institutions, and Achesonian Diplomacy. American Journal of International Law, 2008; UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 08-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1115873

Jonathan Zasloff (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

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