The most historically entrenched theoretical perspective in international relations theory is that of classical realism. Surprisingly though classical realism was not sensationalized in the international relations arena until World War II despite its existence in fifth-century Athens. Many great philosophers such as Thucydides, Machiavelli and Hobbes developed the basics of classical realism and in 1948 Hans J. Morgenthau made the great leap into contemporizing classical realism theory with his six principles of political realism, the basics placing the state as the central power in the IR system.
Barely three decades later the world has developed so rapidly that theorists such as Kenneth Waltz went on to address a new model of modern or “structural" realism in his work Theory in International Politics. Waltz sees the chief characteristics of international relations through his composition approach which emphasizes the structure of the international relations system as the force of power on the state vis-à-vis vice versa. Waltz takes a closer look at the international relations arena from an outside in approach whereas traditional or classical realists took a more inside out analysis. The dangers of both proves that only having one eye open means they were missing out on a multitude of perils and assistance from each style of thoughts. This paper will attempt to address such shortcomings, or advantages as may be to post structural realism.
Classical realism is “concerned with questions of order, justice and change at the domestic, regional, and international levels.” (Lebow, 2010) Power is at the core of the foundation of classical realism and the reason for this is because clas...
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Doyle, Michael W. and G. John Ikenberry, eds. (1997) New Thinking in International Relations Theory. Boulder, CO: Westview Pres.
Dunne, T., Kurki, M., Smith, S. (2010). Classical Realism. In International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity. Lebow, R. L.; New York: Oxford.
Dunne, T., Kurki, M., Smith, S. (2010). Classical Realism. In International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity. Mearsheimer, J.J.; New York: Oxford.
Kaufman, D., Parker, J., Howell P., Doty, G., (2004). Six Principles of Political Realism. In Understanding International Relations: The Value of Alternative Lenses. Morgenthau, H. J.; New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kaufman, D., Parker, J., Howell P., Doty, G., (2004). Six Principles of Political Realism. In Understanding International Relations: The Value of Alternative Lenses. Waltz, K.N.; New York: McGraw-Hill.
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