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Melvyn Leffler

Kenneth Waltz and the Agency of Mankind

On Saturday, the New York Times published an obituary for Kenneth M. Waltz, the seminal scholar of international relations theory, who died last week. The Times piece focused on some of Waltz’s more provocative ideas, including his argument that the “bipolar” world of the Cold War represented the most stable arrangement of power, and his view that, in terms of nuclear proliferation, “more may be better.” These controversial claims aside, the Times praised Waltz as a scholar and acknowledged his influence in developing the field of international relations theory, explaining that “the field developed in the 1950s, when the experiences Read more