European Review

Research Article

The Obsolescence of almost all theories concerning International Relations

Maarten Brands*


The implosion of the Soviet empire undermined most theories concerning International Relations. Only a few political scientists have conceded afterwards the weakness of their theories, which were mostly ahistorical, based on the deformation of politics with history omitted. The question asked in this article is what kind of International Relations as a discipline may be more reliable and helpful in the future.

Maarten Brands is Professor of Modern history and Director of the Germany Institute at the University of Amsterdam. He is a member of the Hague Academy of International Law and was previously Chairman of the Dutch Government Council for Foreign Affairs and defence. His most recent book was Stability and Security in Europe. The Changing Policy Arena (1995).


* Duitsland Instituut, Herengracht 487, 1017 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.