Realism and the Concepts of Collective Security and Defense

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Realism is a theory that suggests the need for anarchy in the global arena, whilst at the same time realist doctrine suggests that stability can only be achieved through a “balance of power”. With this said, are the doctrines of Collective Security and Defense fundamentally different from realism or does the idea of a “balance of power” mean that even the anarchical law of Realism is destined to seek order or at the very least is at the mercy of its necessity? Evaluation of the bounds of realism and the examination of the “practiced” institutions of Collective Security and Defense can hopefully clarify this. It is essential therefore to define the fundamentals of realism, collective defense and security in order to understand the differences between them and possible correlating factors necessary in the overall evolution of Realism/Neo-realism. Realism as defined, actually applies to pretty much anything. Whether discussing science, mathematics, ethics, or politics, the nature and application of realism can be applied. As such, it is essential therefore to narrow down the scope of individual study on realism. For the purpose of this paper, the focus will remain on realism solely in terms of its application to International Relations of which it is seemingly the most dominant of theories.1 Also called “Political Realism”, its antithesis is generally considered to be Liberalism. Political Realism stresses the conflicting and competitive nature required of states that seek to remain stable and positively ever evolving. Adversely, Liberalism suggests the necessity of cooperation amongst states.2 The defining factor therefore in Realism is the ever present necessity of a state to look out for its own well-being while promoting its... ... middle of paper ... ...xist in everything as an integral and commanding aspect of humanity. Works Cited "Collective Security." University of Colorado Boulder. http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/collsec.htm (accessed May 27, 2011). Gallis, Paul E.. "USIA -- NATO: Article V and Collective Defense." Federation of American Scientists. http://www.fas.org/man/crs/97-717f.htm (accessed May 27, 2011). Kemos, Alexander. " Thucydides in the Modern World." HR-Net Home page. http://www.hri.org/por/thucydides.html (accessed May 27, 2011). "Political Realism in International Relations (Stanford Study of Philosophy)." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/realism-intl-relations/ (accessed May 27, 2011). "Realism (Stanford Study of Philosophy)." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/realism/ (accessed May 27, 2011).
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