Realism And Liberalism Research Paper

Satisfactory Essays
In International Relations it is commonly accepted that there is a wide range of different theoretical approaches which attempt to provide an explanation for the different dynamics of the global political system. Realism and Liberalism are well known theories which are considered to be two of the most important theories in international relations. They are two contrasting ideas when it comes to explaining how two states relate to each other in the absence of a world government. Both theories agree that the world is in anarchy and therefore it is helpful to start with a definition of anarchy and what it implies. This essay aims to discuss the contrasts between Liberalism and Realism as well as how these two theories agree that the world is anarchy.

To begin with, anarchy refers to the world as a whole having no government. Individual states have varying degrees of supreme power or authority in their own land, but no single state may create laws for the whole world. However, while the theories discussed in this essay accept that the world is in a state of anarchy, what separates these two theories is how the government should deal with this problem. This essay tries to give an overview on the main assumptions of liberalism and realism and provide explanations of how they relate to one another as well as coexist, yet are opposite in theory. (IN TEXT)

“Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man....To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent: that nothing can be unjust. The notion of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have...

... middle of paper ...

... governmental organisations .

In conclusion realist and liberalist theories provide contrasting views on goals and instruments of international affairs. Each theory offers reasons why state and people behave the way they do when confronted with questions such as power, anarchy, state interests and the cause of war. Realists have a pessimistic view about human nature and they see international relations as driven by a states self preservation and suggest that the primary objective of every state is to promote its national interest and that power is gained through war or the threat of military action. Liberalism on the other hand has an optimistic view about human nature and focuses on democracy and individual rights and that economic independence is achieved through cooperation among states and power is gained through lasting alliances and state interdependence.
Get Access