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.
Luckily for states with equally matched political assets, a state needs only to appear stronger to the state it wishes to dominate. The uses of direct and indirect threats are a disciplinary tactic used the world over to achieve a means. The fear of power can be just as useful as the application if applied to the right situation. The line between intimidating ones enemies and taking action became increasingly skewed during the Cold War. The words of John F. Kennedy best exemplify this in his following statement, “…Armies and modern armaments serve primarily as the shield behind which subversion, infiltration and a host of other tactics steadily advance…” (Walker 1993, 164) The atmosphere created by the USSR and America in 1962 was of a threat,... ... middle of paper ... ...holds free elections, changes to a free market system, and respects the civil liberties and human rights of its citizens.
Focuses in the case of western societies in general, and more specifically the United States as the iconic model of the western world, states tend to favour a realist perspective in terms of national security. Albeit, what is exactly the realism theory in the national security field? According to Glaser the realist view proposes the achievement of most high standard quality of national security focused on the acquisition of superior grades of power among the relative states sparking the idea of the presence of an anarchical international system . Taking into account that states asses its strengths in order to adopt the most effective strategies to deal with potential menaces, westerns states understand the advantages of the aforementioned theory. The current threats that the Western world take into account are composed by local, regional and global menaces.
The irony of this form of ‘realism” provides a strategic method of “expanding” military and political policies to prevent a future threat from a potentially threatening enemy. This type of policy has been popularized in American governmental policies, since it rationalizes unilateral military interventions on a much broader scale than was previously utilized in the 20th century. The issue of terrorism and other covert “threats” to the U.S. can now be used as a modus operandi for large-scale invasions of sovereign nations with the approval of the United Nations. Meiser makes specific connections between the theory of realism and U.S. policies that define the international relations dilemma of American military unilateralism in contrast to utilizing more diplomatic solutions through the United Nations.
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).
On the other hand, neoliberalism contributed to clarification of the complexity constituted by different actors and problems in the issue, while demonstrating the rationality of states, as well as the birth of the institution forming international norms. Therefore, the author believed the two perspectives are not contradictory, but complementary. Analysis Framework Neorealism-Structural Realism What neorealism believes is fear and distrust originated from the anarchy of international system, resulting in the pursuit of power for survival. As stated by Mearsheimer (2010), power is the currency of international politics. The statement addressed a simple but important question: “why do states want power?” While “human nature” is always claimed by the classical realism, the neorealists, or the structural realists such as Mearsheimer specified the structure or architecture of the international system which forces states to pursue power.
“We Saved The World” WWI can help explain the debate and tension between Wilsonian idealism and realism. This tension takes place when America rose to power and influence during WWI, as the U.S. transitioned from unilaterism to internationalism. Also, each theory tries to reshape America’s national interest differently. Wilsonian idealism says U.S. national interest should be based on values like democracy, self-determination, human rights, and freedom. As a result, Wilson argues that America needs to be more engaged in internationalism.
He looks beyond the explicit clash of interest and Imperialist gains and endeavours to outline the implicit human motivations of fear, glory, and honour. The explicit motivations made war a continual threat; the implicit motivations and human interactions made it inevitable. It is this discussion within Thucydides' "history" that realists have taken as proof of his status as a founding father of realism; indeed, casual reading of the "History" may suggest this to be the case. However, it is my hypothesis that Thucydides was more optimistic of man, society and the possibility for peace. It is my intention to discuss Thucydides' assumptions of war and human na... ... middle of paper ... ...sm, the security dilemma is never fully advanced as an adequate explanation of Athenian imperialism.
According to such realists, the State is the main actor in international relations insofar as it evolves in an anarchy international system. The aforementioned anarchical system involves a constant model of competition to assure their security and protect their interests. The State’s urge, or rather nature—one that is for all sakes and purposes selfish, seeks to its most nationalistic interest. As such, the nation’s interest stems from the pursuit of power. Although this currently dominates the field of political science, particularly that of international relations, it searches for power remains, in this regard, limited in the understanding of the terrorism.
For the purpose of this essay, I will assess the strengths and weaknesses of Neo-Classical Realism; focusing on the theory’s core assumptions about the International System and how it interacts with units. I will discuss the theory in relation to the international politics of the region, with particular reference to the build up to the Iran-Iraq war. Neo-Classical Realism has updated and systematized certain insights from Classical Realism , as well as incorporated key tenets from other Realist paradigms. For Realists, the International System is anarchic; creating the conditions of self-help and a balance of power, both of which determine state behaviour . Proponents of Neo-Classical Realism contend that it is relative power in particular which determines a state’s foreign policy .