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Levels of Analysis, Realism, and Liberalism - Essay Example

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According to D’Anieri, there are three key levels of analysis in explaining or interpreting certain event or phenomenon in the field of the international politics: individual, state, and system (18)…
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Levels of Analysis, Realism, and Liberalism
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Download file to see previous pages In the individual level, it is posited that a particular war -- which is a form of an international phenomenon -- is caused mainly by an individual, generally or specifically. Further, the factor at the individual level is substantially an immediate one (Cashman and Robinson 4). It is widely believed that the immediate cause of the 2003 Iraq War was primarily in the individual level. More specifically, U.S. President George W. Bush was the mastermind on why America went to war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. His personality or belief system was an important factor in realizing the war. If Al Gore had been the U.S. president, Levy and Thompson assert that America would probably have not invaded Iraq in the post-9/11 era (212). In the state level of analysis, war -- such as the Iraq War -- is significantly caused by the nature or form of the state, government, or political party. Hallenberg and Karlsson contend that the 2003 Iraq War had materialized due essentially to the Republican Party’s neo-conservative stance (233). Also known as neo-imperialism, the Republican Party believes in the so-called “manifest destiny” in which America is tasked to free the “savage” countries from fascism, terrorism and others. It must be noted that Iraq, in the pre-Iraq War, was dominated by a dictatorial leader. To free the Iraqi people from bondage and oppression, America via the Republican Party went to war against terrorism. ...
Particularly using the realist paradigm, scholars and people are able to view this war phenomenon in a more objective fashion. Perhaps it is true that the individual level is somewhat compelling in saying that it is immediate cause of the Iraq War; nevertheless, the whole picture elucidates that there are bigger forces or factors that greatly shaped the realization of war: power politics. In the pre-Iraq War period, the U.S. arguably felt threatened, real or imagine, with Iraq’s rising military power under Saddam Hussein. Based from the realist framework, the logical action for the superpower U.S. to do was to invade Iraq in order to secure America’s survival. The system level provides a much bigger picture in analyzing why America went to war. Compare and Contrast: Realism and Liberalism D’Anieri differentiates the two popular paradigms prominent in the field of international politics: between realism and liberalism. These two theories or praxes differ markedly on how they generally view the world politics. On the one hand, realism sees the international political arena in a more pessimistic way (D’Anieri 60). As its fundamental precept, the praxis of realism stipulates that states or nation-states greatly vie for power. D’Anieri notes that realism highly considers the theories of hegemonic stability and balance of power. Their similarities basically define the concept of realism: (1) anarchy is the major condition that constrains state action and/or policy, (2) rational/unitary states are the fundamental actors in the international political scene, (3) distribution of power defines and confines the system, among other things ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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