The Book, “The Twenty Years Crisis”, Written by E. H. Carr


TheBook, &quotThe Twenty Years Crisis”, Written by E. H. Carr


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14thJanuary 2015

Outlinepart 1

Threeessential tenets of realism

Critiqueof the harmony of interest

Scepticismtowards morality and law

Importanceof bargaining and peaceful change

Part2Firstdebate Carr vs Wilson

Attackon Wilson and other utopians

Idealismused interchangeably with utopia

Criticismof the harmony of interest

Divisionin have/have not’s

TheTwenty Years Crisis

ThreeEssential Tenets of Realism

Accordingto Machiavelli doctrines, three essential tenets act as thefoundation stones holding the realist philosophy. The first tenet ofrealism is history stands as a sequence of cause and effect, a causethat can be analyzed and understood through intellectual efforts.According to the second tenet, theory does not create a practice ashas been assumed by utopians, it does creates practice. The thirdessential tenet is that politics is not a function of ethics, whichis what utopians tend to go by rather they are ethics of politics.As such Machiavelli recognized morality, but understood moralitywould not gain effectiveness without effective authority (Carr,1964).

Critiqueof the Harmony of Interest

Theharmony of interest is inapplicable in international politics sincewhen Utopian when preaching it, innocently and unconsciously adoptsWalewski’s Maxim, and clothes his own interests in the guise ofuniversal interest, aiming to impose it on the rest of the world.Thus, he works under the theory that arrangement agreeable to himwould be beneficial to others yet this is not the case. As such,privileged groups to serve as a moral device, in order to justify andmaintain their dominant position in the society, impose the doctrineof the harmony of interest.

Scepticismtowards morality and law

Thetheories of social morality have always emerged as the products ofdominant groups especially those identifying with the community aswhole and possessing facilities not allowed to subordinate groups ofindividuals trying to compel their ideas on the community. Inaddition, theories of international morality are organized for thesame reason and process as products of the dominant groups or groupnations (Carr, 1964).

Importanceof bargaining and peaceful change

Peaceand cooperation between nations, classes, and individuals is auniversal thing despite conflicts of interests and politics. Thecommon interest in the maintenance of peace and order whetherinternational or just law and order within a nation, can be hinderedby lack of bargaining, as vested interests, selfishness in disguisewill tend to show up in implementing peace. Therefore, in order torealize peaceful change, vested interests have to be brought out anda bargain reached suitable for peaceful change (Carr, 1964).

Firstdebate Carr vs Wilson

Attackon Wilson and other Utopians

Accordingto Carr, it matters little that Wilson and other Utopians such asBriand, and Mr. Eden who were of the opinion that right more preciousthan peace, or peace come before justice, these Utopians failedthemselves and their countrymen in the constant application of theseprinciples consistently. These were not principles at all ratherthey were unconscious reflections of national policies based oninterpretations of national interests at particular times(Mearsheimer,2005).

Idealismused Interchangeably with Utopia

Beliefsgrafted in progress believing in absolute ethical standards, whichremain to be ex hypothesis static. This includes intellectualtheories and ethical standards in expression of absolute and prioriprinciples positioned as products of circumstances and interests,framed to further interests (Ashworth,2006).

Criticismof the Harmony of Interest

Theharmony of interest has been criticized to be the natural assumptionof the prosperous and privileged class, with members bearing dominantvoices in the community as such they identify the communityinterests with their own (Carr, 1964). As such the harmony ofinterest has been criticized as serving as an indigenous moral deviceused by the dominant to sustain their position (Jones, 1998).

Divisionin have/have not’s

Thepositions taken by the privileged/ haves, has in most instances beenquite overwhelming that it has been assumed to the interest of thewhole community. The collapse of doctrines imposed on the communityby the haves would imply the collapse of the community as whole.Thus, doctrines put up for the sake of harmony of interest cover theexisting divisions between the have and have not’s with theprivileged or haves have an upper hand (Jones, 1998).


Ashworth,L. M. (2006). Where are the idealists in interwar InternationalRelations?. Reviewof International Studies,32(02),291-308.

Carr,E. (1964). Thetwenty years` crisis, 1919-1939 an introduction to the study ofinternational relations.New York: Harper &amp Row.

Jones,C. (1998). E.H.Carr and international relations : a duty to lie.Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press.

Mearsheimer,J. J. (2005). EH Carr vs. idealism: the battle rages on.InternationalRelations, 19(2),139-152.