Realist Visions of European Union: E.H. Carr and Integration

Daniel Kenealy, Konstantinos Kostagiannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The past 15 years have seen an explosion of interest in the scholarship of E.H. Carr. As a founding figure of the realist approach to International Relations, as a philosopher of history and as a historian of the Soviet Union, Carr made important contributions. His work on the post-war political organisation of Europe has been somewhat neglected. While not going so far as to argue for the introduction of ‘another E.H. Carr’ – Carr the European integration theorist – this article argues that Carr’s specific brand of realism has much to say not only about the establishment, but also about the subsequent development, of the European Economic Community. Carr’s realism was, we argue, capable of understanding change in international society. This understanding was grounded in an appreciation of the role of power and morality in international politics and stands in sharp contrast to the emphasis on the structural factors that are prized by neorealists. While Carr’s vision of post-war Europe has not materialised in its entirety, it captures some of the crucial fault lines that animate the European project. Building a bridge between European integration studies and Carr’s realism will provide a fruitful avenue through which classical realism can once again begin to engage with developments in international politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-246
Number of pages26
JournalMillennium: Journal of International Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • E.H. Carr
  • European integration
  • nationalism
  • realism


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