2014 年 2014 巻 175 号 p. 175_27-175_40
Utopian-liberalism in International Relations (IR) represented by reform-minded international lawyers was dominant in the interwar years. For instance, lawyers such as Quincy Wright and Charles Fenwick endeavored to establish a more progressive international order through their academic discussions and activities. James T. Shotwell, an internationalist scholar of Columbia University, also joined in the movement, defining the study of IR as a vehicle of enhancing international cooperation among nations. The two volumes on the general academic state of IR in the US that were edited by Edith Ware under the supervision of Shotwell and published in 1934 and 1937 naturally epitomized liberal orientation, defining the field as inter and multi-disciplinary, but still explicitly highlighting international law’s significance in the field. However, toward the late 1930s, critical voices against progressive international law started to grow. Most notably, Hans Morgenthau argued that the reformers’ understanding of international law was oriented too much toward formalism.
After the war, Wright sought to reaffirm the importance of international law in IR, but his claim encountered severe challenges. While IR as an independent discipline was gaining more recognition and popularity in response to changing international circumstances, some argued that more emphasis should be laid on international politics. In 1946 the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) sponsored a series of conferences in six US cities that discussed how IR should be taught and what kind of disciplines should form IR. Even though the CFR conference report noted the growing importance of IR, it was defined as a multi-disciplinary field mainly composed of international law, international organization, and international politics.
What made the situation more complex was growing popularity of the behavioral sciences in American academia at that time. Scholars such as Morgenthau were not supportive of such an approach and instead stressed the importance of the political theory approach to IR.
In 1954 the Rockefeller Foundation sponsored a conference on international politics. Its participants included not only renowned scholars—Morgenthau, Kenneth Thompson, and Arnold Wolfers— but also former officials, such as Dean Acheson and Paul Nitze. The conference theme was the relevance and possibility of theory building in IR, but no clear viewpoint came out of it. Some pointed out the difficulty of generalization from historical cases, while others addressed the need for a specific theory applicable to actual policy making. In the meantime, Wright still advocated the desirability of a comprehensive, eclectic, and multi-disciplinary approach in IR.
Thus, American scholarly discussions of IR at the end of the 1950s were in the state of confusion. Scholars had to wait another decade or so for the emergence and dominance of a ‘scientific’ approach which gave explicit priority to political science over international law.