This school of thought focuses on ways in which power affects the international arena by assessing how states influence each other as the most important actors in world politics. Realpolitik pays attention to political power matters such as military preparedness and industrial capacities, ignoring issues of morality, ideology and other social aspects as reasons for actions of states. In this way, realism sets up a strong framework for understanding short-term, interstate relationships, yet leaves the comprehension of deeper, long-term issues weak in the background. Power politics maintains that human nature is generally selfish. This belief comes from their understanding of the trends in international relations.
Classical realism and neorealism both have been subjected to criticism from IR scholars and theorists representing liberal and constructivist perspectives. The key tenets to realism contain three essential characteristics of international relations which are the state, anarchy and the balance of power. This essay will closely analyse all three characteristics with special regards to power being central to the realist perspective. The oxford dictionary has attempted to define power as the “ability to influence people or control the behaviour of people”. Power has been related to different forms such as political economic, military and even psychological.
Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy Although the aspirations and goals of states are often motivated by external political pressures, analysis of recent foreign policy decisions demonstrates how internal political forces can play equally crucial roles in the pursuit and execution of these objectives. Thus, it would be invalid to claim that domestic politics and the nature of regimes play minor roles in either the goals a state pursues or the means it employs to reach them. By understanding how the diffusion of power in governments affect policy decisions, one can develop increased awareness of the linkages that exist between the internal pressures of domestic politics and the external forces of foreign politics. Before discussing the impact of domestic politics on foreign policy objectives and their execution, one must first understand the different types of policies that states pursue. The foreign policy of states can be directed toward the protection and enhancement of valued possessions (“possession goals”) or intended to improve the environment in which it operates (milieu goals).
It exposes that the cultural, political and economic struggles among social forces and state clarify the emergence of international regimes and global civil society. The essentials of thus neo- Gramscian include that the hegemony bases upon the consensus and consent rather than the coercion. A wider theory of state emerges within this neo- Gramscian theory. The concept of hegemony relative to this theory’s perspective is the comprehensive concept of control. Thus concluding it, the neo-Gramscian concept of hegemony is the appearance of largely based authority apparent in the approval of ideas and supported by institutions and material resources.
It is now in the heart of the international relations. Classic works like Thucydide, Hobbes, and Machiavelli, form the essential base for Neo-realism. Hans Morgenthau (1967) and Raymond Aron (1962) were fundamental to the implementation of the realism’ approach and left their marks on the international-relation’s discipline’s foundation. The classic realistic theories centered their analysis on the State—mainly those considered powerful. According to such realists, the State is the main actor in international relations insofar as it evolves in an anarchy international system.
Both of these are international relations theories. International relations theories aid the individual in better understanding why states behave the way in which they do and “several major schools of thought are discernable, differentiated principally by the variables they emphasize” (Slaughter 1). That being said, to understand offensive neorealism, one must firstly be able to know the basis of realism in itself, as well as differentiate neorealism from neoclassical realism. Stephen G. Brooks argues in his article “Dueling Realisms” that both “neorealism and postclassical realism do share important similarities: both have a systemic focus; both are state-centric; both view international politics as inherently competitive; both emphasize material factors, rather than nonmaterial factors, such as ideas and institutions; and both assume states are egoistic actors that pursue self-help” (Brooks 446). Structural realism is another term for neorealism, and both will be used interchangeably in the following case study.
What are major predictions by realism? Why have states become that self-serving? All of the previously mentioned points must be pondered in order to better understand the role and approach of realism. Neo-realism is another realistic based set of beliefs that differ slightly of those of realism. According to neo-realism, its main belief is that it focuses on the anarchic nature of world system based on competing sovereign states.
Guzzini (2013) defines the important features of international relations theories, which define the underscoring themes of “realism” as a dominant type of political methodology for American imperialism. Realism is a theory that relies heavily on the notion of self-interested and fear-based notions of protecting national interests, which the United States have utilized through its powerful military. This international relations policy has generated a trend in post-9/11 American politics that have defined a unilateral approach to national threats on a global scale. Guzzini (2013) defines the underscoring political issues in American unilateralism that defines the realist perspective as a type of political responsibility of the United States to defend democracy around the world. This form of neo-imperialism is based on the premise that
I will argue this claim by showing that too much of an idealistic point of view will result in naïve thinking and too much of a realistic view will result in a distant global relationship. I will compare and contrast the scholarly works of Mordecai Roshwald and Jack Donnelly and their thoughts on Realism and Idealism in politics; Charles W. Kegley and his thoughts on realism and its challenges; and J.A. Hobson’s view on idealism in International relations. I will then connect all the scholarly works together and construct my own proposal and my contribution to this topic of idealism and realism in International Relations. Both realism and idealism... ... middle of paper ... ...s we should carefully study and understand both views but ultimately dispose realism, Kegley disagrees, and believes that neither realism nor idealism can be seen as correct on an individual viewpoint, and in order to ensure the optimal view and explanation in International Relations, a good balance between both is needed.
Realism is the contrast of the Idealist conception that society can change on the foundation of an idea. The “Clash of Civilizations” by Samuel Huntington is a brilliant illustration that exhibits the power of ideas that has vastly influenced both foreign policies of countries, but also the discipline of International Relations. Samuel Huntington's “the clash of civilizations,” is based on the hypothesis: “In the post-Cold War world the most important distinctions among people are not ideological, political, or economic. They are cultural”. (Huntington, 1996, p. 21) Huntington recognizes the significance of the realist approach that the nation states will stay as the most influential actors in international relationships, but he refutes that nations’ interests can be described without any reference to culture (Huntington, 1996, p. 34).