Journal article

Why International Relations should be more optimistic

Melissa Conley Tyler

AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2021

Abstract

The field of international relations has been described as a discipline rooted in pessimism. This stems from misunderstanding optimism and from downplaying the negative consequences of pessimism. Insights from the psychological literature on optimism challenge these assumptions. In particular, the optimism-pessimism binary needs to be broken down and optimism seen as a healthy middle state between overconfident risk-taking and debilitating pessimism. There are proven techniques that could be used by those working in international relations to promote an optimistic outlook to help avoid falling into despondency. The field will limit the ability of its scholars, practitioners and students to c..

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University of Melbourne Researchers