The different -isms: each ism will have different answers. Realpolitik literally means the politics of reality - politics based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations. Minimalist (need to get to your goal without going overboard)/expansionist, militaristic. It doesnt matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice - deng xiaoping; it often leads to unholy alliances (eg. communist and nazi alliance, regardless of ideology. Power politics, actors following their own national interest. Places its emphasis on acceptance of facts and on the analysis of their causes and consequences. carr criticizes leaders at that time for being idealists, and they should have been realists. The state of nature: *a war of every man against every man * Life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short . Legal positivism : justice is whatever the laws says it is. In international systems, we do not have a leviathan.