While all of the social sciences have been interested in theory, the disciplinary history of International Relations (IR) has been, in many ways, a story of a continuous, yet frustrating, attempt to formulate an all-encompassing theory of international. This attempt formed a crucial context for the recently rediscovered the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on the Theory of International Relations 1953–1954. This article reconstruct the post-World War Two disciplinary history of International Relations. In the 1940s, the field faced a profound identity crisis. It was in this context that interest began to be directed at developing a theory of international politics. Increasingly, theory was viewed as the solution to the problems that the field was facing. The article describes these developments and relates them to the deliberations of the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Council on Foreign Relations, history of IR, interwar period, IR theory, Rockefeller Foundation, science
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2019.1646780
Journal International History Review
Citation
Schmidt, B. (2019). The Need for Theory: International Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on the Theory of International Relations, 1953–1954. International History Review. doi:10.1080/07075332.2019.1646780