Knowledge for statecraft

Knowledge for Statecraft: The Challenge for Political Science and History

"Knowledge for Statecraft: The Challenge for Political Science and History," by Alexander L. George. 44-52 in International Security 22, no. 1 (1997). (L 1997)


According to Alexander L George (1997), he was a professor at Stanford University who was interested in international relations and political science. The University of Chicago awarded him a degree in political science. Alexander wrote extensively on international cooperation and conflict. The majority of his work was based on deterrence in American policy, which earned him the Bancroft medal and an honor in presidential decision-making in foreign policy. The journal offers ways for historians and political scientists to collaborate. The study of statecraft assisted in finding the management, resolution, and avoidance of international conflicts both scientifically and historically. Alexander realized that the historical perspective was useful and their lessons as well since it would help in answering some questions that are relevant to policy.

The Importance of Statecraft

The knowledge for statecraft book provides interest that would help both the political scientists with the same questions. For the historians, the diplomacy provided them with ways to which they can interact between themselves and the specialist in charge of international relation. They will be able to make decisions and have a deliberate interaction rather than making assumptions. Alexandra (1997) urges his colleagues who are also political scientists that they should approach the study of statecraft considering the theory of international relation fully. The theory includes the history behind it and how it works.

Historical Examples

The problems that Alexander is talking about in the knowledge for statecraft can be distilled using the historical example of the world war 2. History shows that the diplomatic revolution is something that happened since the 1970s with different historians. Alexander collaborated with Paul Gordon, Peter Paret, and Gordon Craig. Alexander decided to use their research to solve their problems like the Egyptian crisis and the United States policy towards Japan. The political can use the history behind it since back then there was invaluable teaching and research. If the historians have had the necessary equipment on to solve some problem they would have found it easy. Some of the equipment they would have used is the technology, better communication, and influence in public opinion. The political scientists have an advantage since they have the recent technology, but they have also used the old-fashioned way.

Collaboration between Historians and Political Scientists

Alexander (1997) decided to write this article to show how he collaborated with another scientist to work on various problems that were both affecting the society regarding international relation. He could show how the problems were solved and managed in the past despite the fact that they did not have things like technology. He was hoping to achieve ways in which diplomatic issues would be solved using the technology right now and how the historians used back in the day.

His argument was to encourage the political scientist to do the historical case studies by collaborating with the historians. Here they were capable to learns ways in which the historians used to do their research. He also made other political scientists to consult other historians and work with the archives. It is evident that in the article Alexander is encouraging the historians and political scientist to work together especially the ones that have specialized in international relations. Organizational meetings and arrangement were made purposely to bring them together and work together. His argument according to this article is that the history and the present work along each other since they were experienced in the past and they are still being experienced now. Therefore, I agree with Alexander that the historians and the political scientists can work together since they are dealing with the same thing and the main reason is to solve and manage the situation at hand.


L, George Alexander. “knowledge for statecraft.” the challenge for political science and history, 1997: 44-52.

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