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IR Hall of Fame


Stephen Walt proposes an opening class:

By a “classic work,” I mean a book or article that is a genuine “must-read” in the field when it is published, and that retains that status for a decade or more. We’re talking tape-measure home runs here, not singles. One doesn’t have to agree with these works to recognize them as seminal contributions. I can think of plenty of scholars who have written one “classic” work, but not that many who have written two.

But let’s raise the bar even higher. How many people can you think of who have written more than two “classic” works? Off the top of my head, here are three obvious candidates:

Kenneth Waltz: (1) Man, the State, and War; (2) Theory of International Politics; and (3) “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Be Better “(Adelphi Papers, 1981)

Samuel Huntington: (1) The Soldier and the State, (2) The Third Wave; and (3) The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.

Robert Jervis: (1) Perception and Misperception in International Politics; (2) The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution; and (3) “Cooperation under the Security Dilemma,” (World Politics, 1978).

While I can’t really quibble with the three proposed entrants, I do wonder whether the “two classic works” metric is the most helpful way to think about enshrinment. Hans Morgenthau, after all, hit .488 with 21 home runs back in 1947; sure, they counted walks as hits, but the schedule was only 82 games. More seriously, while it could be argued that E.H. Carr and Morgenthau only each published one “classic” IR work, both had enormous influence over the early history of the discipline, influence which proved enduring in Morgenthau’s case. As to other potential enshrinees, Walt’s comment sections yields several plausible candidates:

Robert Keohane
John Mearsheimer
John Gerard Ruggie
Robert Gilpin
Peter Katzenstein
Alex Wendt
Hedley Bull

Christ, that’s a bit of a sausage fest, ain’t it? My discipline sucks… maybe also Martha Finnemore? Other proposed candidates?

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