Arbitration and Conciliation in American Diplomacy - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 26, No. 1
A former ambassador to the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and a former member of the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. State Department, George F. Kennan is now a Professor at the School of Historical Studies, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. He is one of America's best known scholars and writers on foreign affairs.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
In 1951-1952, being then on leave of absence from the State Department and enjoying the hospitality of the Institute for Advanced Study, I did a bit of reading in American diplomatic history and was struck with the highly unrealistic nature—partly Utopian, partly rigidly legalistic—of the enthusiasms pursued by various American statesmen in the period of the 1880's to the 1930's. I set out to prepare a study on this subject, to consist of a series of essays, each dealing with a different aspect of these tendencies in American statesmanship. This work was interrupted by President Truman's decision to send me as ambassador to Moscow. I did not have time to complete the series or even to edit properly the drafts that I had prepared. The latter have therefore reposed, ever since, in my private files. One of these essays was addressed to the subject of arbitration and conciliation. It was intended to show the lack of realism and of a sense of proportion in the efforts put forward by the United States government, over those earlier decades, to establish the arbitral principle as a basic regulatory and peace-keeping influence in world affairs. This paper, aside from a few proofreading changes, is presented herewith as originally written. From the factual standpoint, I would now have nothing to add to it or to take away. There are, however, two modifications which, were I writing on this subject today, I would wish to introduce into the text as it now stands.