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Chapter 3

Chapter 3+4.docx

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Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3250

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Chapter 3 Realist perspectiveEmphasizes power and national interestDirects attention to political security than to economic security Oldest school of thought in IRstThucydides1 realist authorGood starting point for comparison with competing models Realism is an important perspective about the decline of the US economic hegemony 2 strains of realismoMachiavelli an Italian philosopher and diplomat saw a connection between economics and politics where only befits him to reason about the state over profit and loses Military strength was more important than wealth in making warDevoted little attention to economics oThucydidesAttributed war to several economic changes growth of trade etcWealth is a critical source of military strength Basic tenets of the realist perspective Realists assert that the international system is anarchic There is no central authority above the stateIR is a self help system where states must look after their own interests The state is the principal actor The need to preserve national sovereignty is important where it has legitimate use of force and external sovereignty free of control of outside authoritiesThe state is A UNITARY ACTOR Sub national and transnational actors are in subsidiary positionsStates are RATIONAL ACTORSseeking to maximize their benefits minimize the costs of pursuingtheir interests States settle for VALUE SATISFYING OVER VALUE MAXIMIZING The nature and purpose of International Economic Relations In terms of security states are most concerned with RELATIVE GAINS and its position vis a vis other states in terms of power is most important IR is a ZERO SUM GAME where one groups lossesanother groups gainsFocus on the Redistribution of power within the capitalist system The relationship between politics and economics Give priority to politics over economics The economy is a creature of the state according to realists
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