Essay on The Realism of Kenneth Waltz

Essay on The Realism of Kenneth Waltz

Length: 2320 words (6.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

“Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!” Most famously quoted from the movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, this black and white satiric film produced and co-written by Stanley Kubrick in 1964, is a prime example of Kenneth Waltz’s Realist theories in regards to International theory.
The realism that will be the focus of this paper is that of Kenneth Waltz. Kenneth Waltz presents his theory of realism, within an international system, by offering his central myth that, “Anarchy is the permissive cause of war”. Kenneth Waltz’s central myth helps answer the question as to why war happens in the first place. During the cold war, there was a heightened sense of insecurity between Russia and the United States due to presence of nuclear weapons. The Movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb used cold war tension between the two countries to tell the story of a general who went crazy and decided to unleash his fleet of nuclear bombers onto Russian military bases.
The film tells the story of a deranged United States Air Force general who orders a first strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. United States Air Force Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper who was the commander of Burpelson Air Force Base, launches a planed nuclear attack on the Soviet Union via his nuclear-armed B-52 fighter jets, which were holding at their fail-safe points, to move into Soviet airspace, based upon a twisted paranoia that the communist party was contaminating “our precious bodily fluids”. The movie follows the course of events proceeding General Jack D. Ripper’s ordered attack.
In Kenneth Waltz’s book called Man, the State and War he attempted to show how realist pr...


... middle of paper ...


...r and interactions among super powers. Through Kenneth Waltz’s IR theory of realism, it becomes easier to understand the dynamics and motivations behind the characters actions.



Works Cited

Dr. Strangelove, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Prod. Stanley Kubrick, Victor Lyndon, and Ken Adam. By Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George, Gilbert Taylor, Anthony Harvey, and Laurie Johnson. Perf. Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, and James Earl Jones. BLC, 1963. DVD.
Waltz, Kenneth Neal. Man, the State and War: a Theoretical Analysis. Columbia U.P.; Oxford
U.P, 1959. Print.
Waltz, Kenneth Neal. Theory of International Politics. Boston, MA:
McGraw-Hill, 1979. Print.
Weber, Cynthia. International Relations Theory: a Critical Introduction. London:
Routledge, 2010. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Kenneth Waltz : An American Political Scientist Essay

- Kenneth Waltz was an american political scientist who was one of the most prominent in the field of international relations. Mr Waltz is considered the founder of neorealism in international relations theory. He was highly recognized as one of the preeminent scholars of the postwar period with his profound theorists of international relations. He focused on real world issues and showed us how an theory can be used to illuminate crucial policy issues. Keeping that in mind, yes i do believe that he is considered an realist....   [tags: United States, Cold War, European Union]

Term Papers
1079 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Realism and Neo-Realism

- INTRODUCTION 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....   [tags: International Reliations]

Term Papers
1166 words (3.3 pages)

Structural Realism and Non-State Actors Essay example

- The rising power of transnational terrorist organizations post 9/11 has weakened the state-centric framework of the international system and challenged the structural realist’s conception of power. As one of the major theories, one would assume that the premises of structural realism would be more applicable in the 21st century. However, leaders of today are enveloping countries in a globalist mindset, contesting a state mentality that honors sovereignty. 9/11 represents a historical turning point; in which clashes between state and non-state actors increased the vulnerability of state actors and challenged their internal sovereignty....   [tags: Foreign Relations]

Term Papers
1125 words (3.2 pages)

What´s Neo-Realism Essay

- Introduction Neo-Realism was the most appropriate political theory to explain events during the Cold War. This paper will explore the rise to prominence of Neo-Realism and its assimilation to the praxis of the Cold War. The main scholar I will be concerned with is Kenneth Waltz (considered father of Neo-Realism). Before I begin my analysis, I would like to note that this paper excludes the breakdown of offensive and defensive Neo-Realism as specific strands, I mainly focus on the theory at large....   [tags: political theoy, cold war, anarchy]

Term Papers
1145 words (3.3 pages)

Definition Of Realism, Liberalism And The English School Theorise And A Cold War

- Thesis statement: Due to the anarchic system within international society, state actors exhibit aggressive behavioural tendencies through regimes, norms, rules and principles that make it impossible to achieve world peace. Plan of investigation: It is the purpose of this essay to use Realism, Liberalism and the English School theorise and correlate them with their appropriate historical era that explores and demonstrates political examples of regimes, norms, rules and principles that exhibit how achieving world peace as impossibility in international society....   [tags: War, Peace, Democratic peace theory]

Term Papers
1476 words (4.2 pages)

Understanding The Policy Agendas Of Nation Essays

- Prior to assessing which theoretical frameworks are most relevant to understanding the policy agendas of nation-states in relation to health pandemics, the highly debated definition of security itself must first be examined. Security: Despite an abundance of literature on the application of security, the conceptual identity of the word oscillates among theorists, with many claiming that security is an inherently disputed concept. David Baldwin challenges this, claiming that security is more accurately described as “insufficiently explicated [rather] than essentially contested,” having not received the serious conceptual analysis afforded to other philosophies such as power, justice, equali...   [tags: International relations, Realism, Concept]

Term Papers
731 words (2.1 pages)

International Relations Essays

- The first paradigm of international relations is the theory of Realism. Realism is focused on ideas of self-interest and the balance of power. Realism is also divided into two categories, classical realism and neo-realism. Famous political theorist, Hans Morgenthau was a classical realist who believed that national interest was based on three elements, balance of power, military force, and self interest (Kleinberg 2010, 32). He uses four levels of analysis to evaluate the power of a state. The first is that power and influence are not always the same thing....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Realism, Neo-Realism]

Term Papers
2631 words (7.5 pages)

Critical Review: Bradley A. Thayer, Bring in Darwin: Evolutionary theory, Realism, and International Relations

- In Thayer’s article, he makes an attempt to incorporate Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory into the international security studies. The article tries to answer a central question that what are the implications of Evolutionary theory to realist theory of international security and in what way can peace be achieved if warfare is part of human nature. This paper agrees with Thayer that Evolutionary theory provides a scientific theory foundation for realism and is an ultimate cause for war and ethnic conflicts, as well as the assumption that origin of war is intrinsic in human nature as part of their evolution history....   [tags: International Relations]

Term Papers
1208 words (3.5 pages)

The, The State, And War, Waltz, By Kenneth Waltz Essay

- Answering the question of what caused World War II to break out is difficult and cannot be answered with certainty. In the end, there are an infinite number of factors that could have played a role in causing the outbreak of WWII. Though difficult to pinpoint exactly which actor, or action led to the start of WWII, it is possible to break down the possibilities through various levels (or, ‘images’) of analysis provided to us by Kenneth Waltz. In his book, Man, the State, and War, Waltz stated that there are three levels of analysis that may be used to explain conflicts that occur in the international system....   [tags: World War II, United States, Nazi Germany]

Term Papers
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Realist Viewpoint of World War II Essay

- ... At that time General Eisenhower expressed his dreading opinion of the devastating decision, the Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson though the strategy move was necessary to win against Japan. Eisenhower thought the contrary, he even tried to go speak with President Truman and his advisors to change their mind, however his recommendation was ignored. Why would a General risk his position if he did not thought it was truly necessary. He believed Japan was trying to surrender but did not know how to do so and maintain its face, expressing his depression for the shock that would be given to the world....   [tags: interest, devision, surrender, war]

Term Papers
871 words (2.5 pages)