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The Importance of Being CivilThe Struggle for Political Decency$
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John A. Hall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153261

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153261.001.0001

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Intelligence in States

Intelligence in States

(p.105) Chapter 5 Intelligence in States
The Importance of Being Civil

John A. Hall

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the great contribution of Raymond Aron to the understanding of civil behavior between states. Aron's contribution to the theory of international relations goes well beyond what can usefully be termed “simple” realism. He offered a sophisticated version of that basic approach, at once more complex and more meritorious. Two elements are involved: first, the pure logic of realism, and then, necessarily deriving from it, the sociological elements that Aron brought into realism, not to deny or to replace the basic insights of that theory but rather to improve it by better explaining both the escalation to extremes and the periods of diminished conflict that mark the historical record. Both elements combine to form not just a descriptive system but a prescriptive view as to how one should conduct oneself. What is at issue is civility and prudence.

Keywords:   Raymond Aron, civil behavior, international relations, realism, civility, prudence

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