The basis for the realist perspective focuses on the struggle for power; and, proposes that this is the central cause of events in international affairs. This perspective “sees the world largely in terms of a struggle for power in which strong actors seek to dominate weak ones and weak actors resist strong ones to preserve their interests and independence…There is no overarching or universal center of power in the world that is recognized by all actors as legitimate…[It} emphasizes power: human nature at the individual level, aggressive states at the domestic level, leaders pursuing domestic and international power at the foreign policy level, and the balance of power at the systemic level” (Nau, 2012, p. 6 & 10). Realism began to gain momentum in domestic politics during the 15th and 16th century; and, it served as the predominant interpretation of the causes and effects surrounding war, with little to no opposition.
The dominance of this perspective peaked during the Cold War (1947-1991) when the world superpowers of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. entered into an intense power struggle, the core of realism. Other world events such as the Truman Doctrine, Marshal Plan, Vietnam War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Korean War, and the Afghan War all “purely served the realist paradigm’s fundamental postulates” (Amin, Naseer & Ishtiaq, 2011, p. 2). By the end of the Cold War, there was a notable shift in the realm of international relations theory away from realism because a shift in world order had occurred. The U.S. had emerged as the leader in economics, technology and politics.
Because anarchy in the international arena of states, due to the absence of a central authority over all, relatio...
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