This paper aims at comparing the two traditions in realism by citing the works of Kenneth Waltz, Hans Morgenthau, and other realists. The essay will present an underlying understanding of the major similarities between traditional realism and neo-realism…
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Modern debate on international politics can be traced back to the period between the first and the Second World War. Many scholars and political analysts still contemplated on the underlying reasons behind the wars. Politicians and nations endeavored to set up organizations such as the League of Nations, which would help in the maintenance of order all over the world. At this time, realists developed arguments that explained the debates on power relations, the balance of power, as well as international politics. Realists such as Hans and Waltz made notable contributions, which tend to have some similarities. Therefore, traditional realism and neorealism can be regarded as similar in a number of ways (Mearsheimer 1990, p. 10).
First, in their definition of power, both traditional realists such as Morgenthau and neo-realists such as Waltz tend to share similar thoughts. Traditional realism and neo-realism see power as the main currency in the international arena, which they view as a hostile stage. As such, the concept of power forms the basis of how these two blocks of realism analyze international politics. Both traditional realists and neo-realists hold that the material structure that makes up the international system has a significant bearing on state behavior (Burchill et al., 2009). Neo-realists and traditional realists both argue that some of the most notable aspects of power include the armed forces and the military. These two blocks of realism also contend that power may comprise of the ways in which a nation controls another.
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