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Liberalism and Realism - Essay Example

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The author of this essay entitled "Liberalism and Realism" draws the difference between the above-mentioned social concepts. According to the text, a paradigmatic approach to international relations refers to the view of the world. …
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Liberalism and Realism
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Liberalism and Realism A paradigmatic approach to international relations refers to the view of the world. The worldview includes agreement such as on what the basic needs are and an explanation to the core problems. It also seeks the appropriate theory to give an explanation. Although other scientists argue paradigms in definite terms, political scientists feel that everyone has a different view about the international system as much as it concerns the physical world (Shimko 331-332).
All paradigms try to achieve all but the same thing. The paradigms are in efforts to provide a straightforward map of reality. They take all the complexities of the real world and reduce them to a central set of assumptions. The set of assumptions makes global events that seem complicated, isolated, and unrelated to be comprehensible. They help people in simplifying and systematizing the complicated world. They do that by adopting theories that are accurate, simple, and elegant. In reference to students of international relations, they equip them with minds that will analyze the world’s future politics after they are done with studies (Shimko 331-332).
Liberals base their view on three core beliefs. First, liberals assume states as the main actors in the field of international relations. Second, they stress on the fact that the internal characteristics of different states vary. The differences have extreme impacts on the state’s behavior. Liberal theorists believe that internal arrangements such as democracy are preferable than others, for example, dictatorship. According to them, there are bad and good states within the international system. The good states have cooperative policies and can start their own wars. Bad states are always in conflict with their neighbors and use force to get what they want. The only way to peace is populating the world with courteous states. Thirdly, liberals believe than concerns about power accounts less in explaining the behavior of the worthy states. Bad states get the motivation from the desire of gaining power to the disadvantage of other states because they are misguided. Power can be irrelevant in an ideal world where all states are good (Shimko 41-45).
Realists are more of pessimists in international politics. They agree that it is desirable to have a peaceful world. They view no possibilities of escaping the harsh world that is dominated by insecurity, war, and competition. The need to create a peaceful world is a good but not a practical idea. They also have three beliefs that form their basis. They regard states as the main actors in the world of politics. Great powers shape and dominate international politics as well as being the cause of wars. Realists also believe that the external environment influences the behavior of the great powers. In principles, great powers resemble billiard balls whose only variation is in size. Third, realists consider that power calculations dominate the thoughts of states. States always engage in competitions for power. The competition at times demands the need for war and it is at times considered as a good weapon of statecraft. A zero-sum quality brands the competition that makes it intense and unforgiving. States occasionally cooperate, but they have conflicting interests at their roots (Shimko 38-50).
The two theories have various common aspects from which they base their arguments. First is the distribution of Power. It refers to the state’s ability to manage outcomes. It is the ability of state B to get state A do something with state A having no options about it. The second one is war. War is a state-directed violence or violence across state borders. The third aspect is the national interest that makes states do what they prefer. They do not act because of leaders personal wishes, but to advance human rights and democracy (Shimko 40-54).
Liberalism is compelling. Liberals are of the option that the presence of US forces in Iraq will bring democracy and freedom. It will foster perpetual peace and terrorist activities in that region. Personal or money sacrifices are no objects as it will result to friendly and safe world.
Works Cited
Shimko, Keith L. International relations: perspectives, controversies and readings. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2013. Print. Read More
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