Since a state is basically a group of people the ruler is also a person, however because they are the decision maker of the state they function as a rational actor promoting the interest of the state. Niccolo Machiavelli had this in mind when he argued that a ruler must be prepared to undertake any action that lead to the preservation of the state. This usually means the ruler tries to stay in power so that they can ensure the sovereignty of the state. While there is an international system above the state the most that system can do is to influence the state to act towards its own best interest within that system of other nations and organizations. The state does not act for the system above it, it acts for itself.
Persuasion and attraction is soft power. Realism is a theory essentially about power and security, states seek power and security because they exist in a self-help system, people seek power, people seek prestige most of all they seek autonomy. Realists don’t believe in the utopian levelled ‘scheme that would provide a perpetual peace in the world, all states are alike functionally, they all need to perform similar tasks to function. With this in mind Power is historically unsurpassable, which is why the realists believe that if states do not have the capability to protect themselves with special regards to their military capabilities, their nation will not be secure nor will they be able to perpetuate themselves in an anarchic international system. A
Constructivism Lamy, Steven L, John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens. Introduction to Global Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Parmar, Inderjeet, Linda B Miller, and Mark Ledwidge. New Directions in US Foreign Policy.
There is no question that states used to be the building blocks of the international system in the past because they had the sovereignty in the political, security, and social areas. However, with globalization, states are subjected to external influences and it is becoming questionable if states are still the fundamental actors of the international system. Cooperation is becoming a key motivation in the international system nowadays. ()This implies that states may have to sacrifice their policies to maintain universal standards of living or the international peace. Although states are still the ultimate power source, it is important to accept the fact that the idea of sovereignty is changing with globalism.
The use, or at least the perception, of power is so fundamental in nationhood that those who wield the most power can easily dictate world events. A country need not take direct actions against others in order to establish dominance. Coercing threats can easily be applied by a powerful nation against a nation of lesser means. When a clear pecking order is established, the meager nation has no illusion that they will bow to the will of the superior. Luckily for states with equally matched political assets, a state needs only to appear stronger to the state it wishes to dominate.
And states seek security through balancing the distribution of power. Second, polarity, which is determined by distribution of, has a significant impact on the choice of balancing behavior of states. And consistent with the history, this theory suggests that states are more likely to go to war under multipolarity while a bipolar system is relatively stable because of security dilemma between two great powers. After this, I will discuss two liberal critiques of the theory and further explain why realist theory best explain the onsets of these events. First, both liberals and realists agree that international system is anarchic and survival of the state is the primary interests (Marten 9/19/2011).
This can be seen as a strength and a weakness. A state is more inclined to favor an agreement or sign a treaty if there is a significant gain for the state than if it would have minimum benefit. The strength behind this realist idea is that the state will always look out for the best interest in its people and for its security. Classical realists are correct in describing states as motivated by self-interest and this claim is still relevant in current international politics but because of the dynamic of the current international system an excess in self-interest could lead to massive global instability. Although this idea may seem trivial and straightforward, it’s a main ideal of classical realism that has significant weaknesses in the current international system.
Another aspect of a good life, according to Hobbes, is the assurance that contracts will not be broken. In a nation where contracts are not guaranteed citizens would fear that one party may not follow through with their end and potentially harm the other party. Hobbes also claims that comforts, property and even spirituality are not important for the living of a good life. These, while desirable to many individuals, are less valuable to a pers... ... middle of paper ... ...n effect, Goldman is the opposite of Hobbes in both her view of the idea of a good life and political legitimacy. Between these two views of political legitimacy Goldman’s is the more accurate.
The development of neorealism helps to explain what realism could not, accounting for global developments since the creation of the theory of realism. Thus, the realist philosophy, with aid from neorealism, remains a credible philosophy that is capable of dealing with the challenges put forth by liberalist critics. This essay will review the realist theory, examine challenges offered by its opponents through the liberalist theory, and discuss how the neorealist theory has negated these challenges and provided a new foundation for the claim that states are the most important actors in world politics in light of a world where armed conflict is no longer the primary fixation of the world’s states. Background Realism is a theory, which while formalized in the 20th century, has a long history, dating back thousands of years (Kegley, 27). The theory of realism states that “all [states] must have survival as independent agents as their primary interest” (Waltz ctd.
Realists believe that the world exists in a state of anarchy. Since there is not a world government to keep states from attacking each other, or to punish them when they do, it becomes very important for each government to be able to protect itself and ensure its survival. It is also why states are considered the most important actors in realism. Due to the anarchy, the world operates in power is extremely important. If a state has military power, and to a lesser extent economic power, they are able to defend themselves and even influence other states.