“Contrary to popular belief, international relations scholars are not doves,” according to a new survey of IR scholars (Foreign Policy article here; full results here; hat-tip Daniel Drezner), “most believe that military force is warranted under the right conditions.”
What do the others believe? That it’s warranted under the wrong conditions? Unwarranted even when the conditions are right?
As Dan remarks, the really interesting result has to do with this bit of realist convergence with liberal thinking: “we found realists to be much more supportive of military intervention with a U.N. imprimatur than they are of action without such backing. Among realists, in fact, the gap between support for multilateral and unilateral intervention in North Korea is identical to the gap among scholars of the liberal tradition, whose theories explicitly favor cooperation.” Dan Nexon comments, “I don’t believe this is because realists have suddenly turned into Wilsonsians; rather, I suspect the data reflects how a broad cross-section of realist scholars have come to the conclusion that international legitimacy greases the wheels of power and makes counterbalancing less likely.” I’m no professor, but it seems to me that reaching that conclusion substantially constitutes turning into a Wilsonian.