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Realism versus Strategic Culture: Competition and Collaboration?

John Glenn
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2486.2009.00872.x 523-551 First published online: 1 September 2009

Abstract

This paper takes as its starting point the possibility of empirical and theoretical cross-fertilization between strategic culturalists and realists. Indeed, recent neoclassical realist writings indicate that there is currently a move away from the more abstract theorizing of Waltzian neorealism. In order to conduct detailed foreign policy analysis, these authors have included an increasing array of variables including nonmaterial factors. The paper argues that much can be gained from examination of the alternative explanations of state behavior provided by strategic culture and neoclassical realism. Yet the benefits of competitive collaboration depend upon the particular conception of strategic culture under consideration. The paper identifies four main conceptions of strategic culture and examines the type of collaboration with neoclassical realism that is possible for each one.

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