hat tip to sasha, who has actually whined about me not hat-tipping him irl. get a life, man!
i do not believe neorealist international relations theory is all that insightful, but i do believe it a) exists and b) is of extremely high importance to the field of international relations.
basically, im with these folks on the matter. the next dumbass who wants to kidnap and abuse a political theory term so they can go around on their little blogs and pundit shows saying they come up with stuff is going to get slapped (by me). look, i know "realist" kind of sounds like "believer in all that is realistic," and i know that "neo" is that jesus character from the matrix. i know that joining the two words really sounds badass, but you cant go around stealing terms like that.
major burn for kenneth waltz and john mearsheimer. they may have influenced the entire state department and every major american university, but nobody knows who they are. lol.
in the international relations sense of the word, a neorealist is someone who believes value-neutral, empirical research (something like the scientific method), the state system, and realpolitik are here to stay. lowry wants it to mean "neoconservative ideals + the prudence of realism." i wish i knew what he meant by that, since realism isnt necessarily prudent. i stand by my rude quip that he just picked it to sound cool.
you know, id give lowry "neorealist" if him and his ilk and all you goddamn people out there would give the word liberal back to liberalism. it is very difficult to discuss economic and democratic reform with people who believe "liberal" means hippie and not, well, liberal. the popularization of the term neoliberal helped, i suppose.