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Structural Realism.key points.docx

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Political Science
POL 2240

Structural Realism : Key points: • International Politics is essentially a struggle for power not because of human nature but due to anarchy • Thinkers like Kenneth Waltz argue that the anarchic international system is itself responsible for producing state behavior. • Anarchy is not chaos, but the absence of a political authority • Three elements of the international system (Waltz): (1) organizing principle (2) differentiation of units & (3) distribution of capabilities • Two different organizing principles : anarchy and hierarchy • Anarchy reflects to the decentralised nature of international politics • Hierarchy is the basis of the domestic order • Units of the international system are functionally similar sovereign states • Distribution of capabilities across units is key to understanding international politics • Distribution of power in the international system is the key independent variable to explain war and peace, alliance politics, and the balance of power • Rank-ordering of states allows to differentiate the Great Powers that exist at any particular moment • Number of Great P
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