Sir Harold Nicolson was seen during his lifetime, and has been regarded since his death, as a gifted authority on diplomacy. He was also the twentieth-century heir to a tradition of Western diplomatic theorists who espoused diplomatic values deriving from ancient Greek and Roman political theory and history. As an international relations thinker, Nicolson had much in common with the scholars of the English School (e.g., the conception of an international society). While his international thought contains elements of realism and idealism, Nicolson made a unique contribution to international theory through his liberal realism—an amalgam of realist and idealist outlooks on international affairs. It constituted a coherent approach to the central questions of international order, diplomacy, European integration, world government, and universal peace.
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