diffrences of REALISM and Neorealism.docx

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Arizona State University
Aerospace Studies
AES 204
Douglas Portmore

CLASSICAL THEORY OF REALISM: 1) Introduction: The story of realism more often begins with a mythical tale of the idealist or utopian writers of the inter- war period (1919-39), writing in the aftermath of WW I, the idealists, a term that realist writers have retrospectively imposed on the interwar scholars, focused much of their attention on understanding the cause of war so as to find a remedy for its existence. It is the most debated and dominant theory of IR. It provides the most powerful explanation for the state of war which is the regular condition of life in the international system. It can be found in theory form since 18th and 19th century but was revived after WW II. Post second WW era was the era of Realism. Its main features were Cold War, Arms race, Super power rivalry, proliferation of arms (nuclear and conventional) and struggle of power not only b/w superpowers but also b/w other regions and states. Robert H Jackson writes in “The Globalization of World Politics”: “Statecraft was theorized by Machiavelli (1469-1527), particularly in his classic study of The Prince, as an instrumental foreign policy viewpoint in which political virtue was equated with astuteness in the development and employment of state power, and political vice with a Christian faith in justice, honour, glory, fortune, necessity, and above all virtue – in the strictly secular sense of skillful statecraft – are central ideas for Machiavelli and other renaissance political commentators. These ideas form an important part of what has come to be known as the classical theory of realism.” 2) Defining Realism: I. Realism in IR is “set of ideas which take into account the implications of security and power factors.” II. “IRs as anarchic relations exists among sovereign political states. These states recognize no supreme international judge or referee. They revolt to war to protect their vital interests.” III. “Realism considered IR as a struggle for power. Realists argue that the adaptation of legalistic and moralistic behaviour in IR tends to run contrary to the forces of nature and results either in defeatism or in violent and struggling spirit. They consider game of international politics revolve around pursuit of power; acquiring it, increasing it, projecting it and using it to bent other to one/s will.” IV. “Realists are often political conservatives. According to them people are self-interested and selfish by nature and seek to dominate others. They cannot be dependent on to cooperate and will stop cooperating when it is not in their narrow and immediate interest.” V. “The basic assumption underlying realist theory is continuous existence of conflict among nations in one form or the other. This is taken as stable doctrine. Thus competition for power is going on and can neither be controlled nor regulated by international law or world government or international organizations. Thus realism clearly accepts the permanence of the struggle of power as its guiding principle.” VI. Realism identifies the group as the fundamental unit of political analysis. 3) Important writers of realism: Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli, George Kennen, Hans Morgenthau and Henry Kissinger. Thomas Hobbes considered international politics “a war of all against all”. Morgenthau in ‘politics among nations’, ”international politics is a struggle for power, power is always the immediate aim.” 4) Six Principles of Morgenthau: I. Objective laws of human nature: these laws provide a certainty and confidence in predicting rationale political behaviour. II. National interest: III. National interests are dynamics: interest is not stable and can be shaped according to environment. IV. Universal moral principles: moral pr
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