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World Politics, Power and Ethics: Conflicting Realities, Contrasting Theories - Essay Example

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List of Questions: 1. Compare and contrast the assumptions about international phenomena made by Liberalism and Realism. What assumptions about the nature of world politics are advanced by each tradition?…
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World Politics, Power and Ethics: Conflicting Realities, Contrasting Theories
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Download file to see previous pages What accounts for the rise and fall over time of their relative popularity as paradigms for organizing the study of International Relations? 2. War is often said to be rooted in multiple sources located at various levels of analysis. Select two levels of analysis (individual, state, or global) and compare the contributions that theories at each level have made to our understanding of the causes of war. 3. In attempting to explain the persistent underdevelopment of the Global South, some theorists direct attention primarily toward what happens within these countries while others focus on the position of developing countries in the global political economy. How does Dependency Theory explain the causes of the economic gap between rich and poor countries? Do you find it convincing? Why or why not? 4. How important are individual leaders in determining the content and direction of U.S. foreign policy? What factors limit the influence of individuals? Cite specific examples from class where leaders were influential and specific examples of constraints on leaders’ decisions. 5. Neoliberalism believes that international law, organizations, integration and democratization are the best approaches to preventing armed conflict in Global Politics. Compare and contrast this approach with the Realist approach of Balance Of Power. Which approach stands a greater chance of producing peace in the international system? Answers: Realism, being a view point that holds up the sovereign “political authority” of the state above all the other factors in international political scenario, has suggested that at any time, the struggle for dominance, the exercise of power by the strong states over the weaker ones, and “a constant possibility of war” constitute the international political scene (Kegley and Blanton, 32). The making of alliances is very crucial to the realist approach just “because each state is ultimately responsible for its own survival and feels uncertain about its neighbors’ intentions” (Kegley and Blanton, 32). At individual level, realism has propagated the view that “people are by nature selfish” and as an extension of this thought to the nation-level, it has been concluded that each state is justified in giving primary importance to the protection of the selfish interests of its people alone (Kegley and Blanton, 32). According to the realist perspective, “in a condition of anarchy, state pursues the national interest” but in practical world politics, it has been seen that even when “territorial and political integrity were not at stake”, a nation like the United States “pursued a policy of the ‘national interest’” by interfering in other states’ affairs (Bromley, 30). It is from the inability of realism to explain phenomena like this that liberalism emerged (Bromley, 30). Liberalism, at individual level has stressed on the moral value system that can influence and change individuals towards a more humane approach, and replaces power-seeking with ethics and struggles involving military with institutional control (Kegley and Blanton, 37). From such a view point, for example, the actions of the US can be explained either based on a sense of ethical responsibility or based on a felt lacuna in the institutionalization of the world political equations. To be more clear, the US actions can be either justified by its supporters as representative of a sense of moral responsibility in giving leadership to the world or can be refuted by its detractors as the wielding of unauthorized power in the absence of a powerful international institutional set up to ensure equality among states. The realist world view has preceded the liberalist one and has dominated the international ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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