Among serious students of the social and physical sciences, there is a widely held value which requires the articulation of the analyst's assumptions. Whether he is attempting to describe an event, explain a relationship, or predict an outcome, the scholar accepts this obligation to lay bare a large part of his intellectual soul. It is not an obligation which one accepts easily, since it makes a given written product not only appear more pedantic, but also much more susceptible to criticism; in a sense, the key elements in one's conceptual framework are removed from their normal position of invisibility and placed under the spotlight. Here they are much more vulnerable to attack.
But if one's major concern is to explain and educate rather than to cajole and persuade, the liability must be accepted. Of all the fields of social science inquiry, in none is it so important to articulate assumptions as in international relations. Perhaps no other field is so enmeshed in complexity or so obscured by prescientific hunches and emotion-laden value judgments. Nor are the implications of error and confusion so ominous as in this problem area. For these reasons -- and despite the fact that this, too, will be largely a pre-scientific study -- let me devote this brief