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Realist, liberal, critical.docx

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Political Science
POLS 2940
Sandra Withworth

Realist,Liberal,Critical CHAPTER 2-3-4 Realist  Terms of power  Realism developed in-reaction to idealism  Ideologies, religions and cultural factors cannot explain the actions states make  Rationally pursuing own interest  Can be summed up with:  States are the most important actors  They act as individuals towards power  They act due to lack of central government Idealism  Human nature is good  International law, morality and international organization over power  Good habits and education can make a peaceful international relationships  League of nations Neoliberalism  Explains international events by system structures  International system  More scientific than realism by proposing general laws  Critiques say that it has lost some traditional elements (geography, willpower, diplomacy)  Some debates saying that institutions do have effect on states while others say they do not Power – Defining Power  Central aspect of realist  The ability to force an actor to do actions  Power Capabilities include: size, levels of income and armed forces  GDP can be the best indicator of “power capabilities” Elements of Power  Natural resources, industrial capacity, moral legitimacy, military preparedness and support of the government by the people  Long term: GDP, population, territory, geography and natural resources  The size and military capabilities matter for a short-term  Money is the most important capability because it can buy other capabilities  Realist see military power as the most important national power in the short term Rationality  National interest  Actors can perform a cost-benefit analysis to see if an action is worth the cost  All states have the same values and interests Anarchy & Sovereignty  The current international situation to realist is that it is a anarchy, not total chaos, but a lack of central government  States should not look at the intentions of other states but their capabilities Sovereignty  The government in principle has the right to do whatever it wants to its territory  Should not interfere in the affairs of others  Security dilemma, when the state takes action to ensure its own security – which tends to threat the security of other states Security Dilemma  Realist tend to see it as unsolvable Balance of Power  One of more states balancing out the power of the group  By forming an alliance, the state can have a cheaper, faster and more effective power balance  Sometimes smaller states jump on the bandwagon for the stronger states for protection Great Powers and Middle Powers Great Power  The great powers generally have the world’s strongest military forces and the strongest economies  Large populations, natural resources, technology, and educational labor force Middle Power  Have dominance and huge influence in their regions Power Distributions  The most important characteristic to realist is power distribution  Multipolar systems have five or six centres of power  Bi-polar systems have 2 major states as powers – IR scholars do not agree if its peaceful or warlike  Tri-polar, 3 great powers – such a atmosphere is rare because there is a chance that 2 will join a alliance  Some IR scholars believe that peace is best preserved by equal power distribution Hegemony  For neo-realist, hegemony is the holding by one state in the international system, so that it can single-handedly dominate the rules and arrangements by which international politics and economic relations are conducted Strategy  Use strategy to pursue a good outcome in bargaining with one or more other actors Statecraft  Classic realist – managing state affairs  Kinds of capabilities to develop, given limited resources in order to maximize international influence Chapter Summary  Realism explains international relations in terms of power  Realists and idealist differ in their assumptions about human nature, international order and potential f
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