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Political Science
M.Hoffmann- Universityof Toronto

CHAPTER 5: REALISM INTRODUCTION: THE TIMELESS WISDOM OF REALISM Pg. 86 – the idealist focused much of their attention on understanding the cause of war so as to find the remedy for its existence  Ignored the role of power  Overestimated the degree to which human beings were rational  Mistakenly believe that nation-states shared a set of interests - New realist approach replaced idealist approach - Realism taught American leaders to focus on interests rather than on ideology, to seek peace through strength, and recognize great powers can coexist even with different values and beliefs - Raison d’etat is the fundamental principle of international conduct, state’s first law of motion - Survival of state can never be guaranteed, use of force is an instrument of statecraft - The state is the principal actor - Argues that survival requires state leaders to distance themselves from traditional morality - Raison d’etat speak of dual moral standard – one moral standard for individual citizens living inside the state and a different standard for the state in its external relations Pg. 87 – raison d’etat argue that states represent moral force, existence of state create an ethical political community to exist domestically - Realism’s core elements – statism, survival, self-help – classical realist - Since peace of Westphalia, sovereign state as principal actor in international polities (state- centric assumption of realism) - Statism – idea of state as legitimate representative of collective will of people - Outside boundaries, anarchy exist (international politics with no authority above) - Each sovereign states consider them to be its own highest authority and it doesn’t recognize a higher power - Assume all states wish to perpetuate their existence - Self-help – the principle of action in an anarchical system where there is no global government - If states feel threatened, should seek/engage in military arms build0up Pg. 88 – balance of power – if survival of a state or weaker states is threatened by hegemonic state, they should join forces, establish alliance, seek to preserve independence by seeing opposite’s power - Warsaw Pact and NATO ex. of balance of power in cold war - Critics: unable to explain the increase, incidence of intra-state wars plaguing global south  Unable to provide accounts of regional integration, humanitarian intervention, security community in West Europe ONE REALISM, OR MANY? Pg. 89 – periodization of realism: classical realism (beginning with Thucydide), modern realism (First Great Debate), structured or neo-realism CLASSICAL REALISM - Thucydides’ representation of power politics as a low of human behaviour - Human nature explain why international politics is power politics (Hans J. Morgenthau) - Politics governed by objective laws with their roots in human nature - The struggle for belonging Pg. 90 – Thucydides’ explanation of the growth of Athenian power and fear which caused in Sparta  Sparta’s national interest was survival and change in distribution of power represent threat - Athens pursue power to preserve empire - Athen’s leader Pericles was ambitious, fear, self-interest - Machiavelli – all obligations and treaties must be disregarded if security of the community is under threat Pg. 91 – mid-20 century anarchy could be miligated by wise leadership and pursuit of the national interest in ways that are compatible with international order - Acting only of power/self-interest without moral/ethical principles result in self-defeating policies STRUCTURAL REALISM - A struggle for power but not result of human nature - Conflict because of lack of authority above states and relative distribution of power - Waltz structure of international system – organizing principle, differentiation of units, distribution of capabilities - 2 organizing principles: anarchy and hierarchy Pg. 92 – numbe
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