Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

The Community of Interests and the Responsible Leadership in Hans J. Morgenthau's Political Thought and Their Inspirations for the Contemporary European Integration Process

Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

The Community of Interests and the Responsible Leadership in Hans J. Morgenthau's Political Thought and Their Inspirations for the Contemporary European Integration Process

Article excerpt

Abstract

This article refers to the concepts of the community of interests and the responsible leadership present in Hans J. Morgenthau's political thought. The author analyses both ideas in a broader context of Morgenthau's understanding of power and politics and the need to master the destructive potential of politics. The second aim of the article, however, is to indicate the community of interest and the responsible leadership as two interesting points of reference while analyzing the process of European integration and its current problems. The article concludes that both concepts remain the useful tools in this analysis and without the reference to the community of interests it would be difficult to talk about the effectiveness of the mechanisms aimed at limiting the presence of power in Europe. The case of the responsible leadership is a bit more problematic in this regard yet the responsible leadership remains the indispensable element of the regional strategy to master the destructive potential of politics in Europe. Finally the author refers to possible consequences following the collapse of the mechanisms that Europe has so far developed to tame and limit the struggle for power on the continent.

Keywords: morgenthau, power, politics, community of interests, responsible leadership, European integration

1. Introduction

The recent renditions of Hans J. Morgenthau's political thought indicate that his understanding of power and politics is much more sophisticated than it has been presented before. Indeed the lecture of Morgenthau's works confirms that he was aware of the key role of power in politics yet he was at the same time conscious of the need to tame and limit the struggle for power. The Morgenthau political thought has never been a naïve vision of the perfect harmony of interests but it is much more nuanced than the brutal real politics and accepts different mechanism able to limit the presence of power in politics.

Thus the concepts of the community of interests and the responsible leadership become two important ideas in Morgenthau's strategy to master the destructive potential of politics. The community of interests could be a basis for the culture of moderation and acceptance of the interests others than ours while the responsible leadership is indispensable in controlling the lust for power and the struggle for power in politics. The leadership requires prudence, self-limitation as well as a perfect knowledge of the nature of politics.

Yet this article points that both the community of interests and the responsible leadership could be an interesting point of reference in a broader analysis of the regional integration processes and the European integration is a good example in this regard. The case of Europe illustrates that without the community of values it would be difficult to develop the mechanisms accommodating the national interests on the continent. It would also be difficult without the effective leadership and the reference to the community and the leadership becomes even more important in the context of the current crisis of the European Union's identity.

As a result the aim of the article is twofold. First it is going to present the role that the community of interests and the responsible leadership play in the Morgenthau's strategy to master the destructive potential of politics. Both ideas are presented against the background of Morgenthau's specific understanding of power and politics and his emphasis on the need to tame the struggle for power in politics. The second aim is to consider the community of interests and the responsible leadership as two important points of reference in the context of the European integration - its achievements and its current problems.

The article refers to the works of Hans J. Morgenthau, especially Politics Among Nations. The Struggle for Power and Peace and Scientific Man vs. Power Politics, as well as to the recent works on Morgenthau's political theory, to include the books of Oliver Jíitersonke, Seán Molloy, Richard Ned Lebow, Miheala Neacsu, William E. …

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