De Gaulle and the Death of Europe

The French understanding of the "national interest," epitomized by De Gaulle's thinking, reminds realists of the necessity of reflection on national identity.

Issue: Summer 1997

The concept of "the national interest" is omnipresent in contemporary
discussions of foreign affairs--in the speeches of presidents and
senators, in the scribblings of editorialists, as well as in the
speculations of academic specialists. The influence of this idea is
one of the lasting legacies of the so-called "realist" school of
international relations, whose luminaries included the political
scientist Hans Morgenthau and the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

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