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Realist Theories of IR - Essay Example

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The realist theory first acknowledges that the world is rationally imperfect. However it goes further to posit that the world is a result inherent in human nature, which one must work…
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Realist Theories of IR
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Download file to see previous pages The strong point of this view is the accommodation of the element of conflict that exists even within an individual. Human nature is constantly waging war against itself with the desires of a person mostly conflicting with outside influences such as learning. A political realist is holistic in thought because of the acknowledgement of the existence and relevance of standards other than the political ones. The political realist refutes the “legalistic moralistic approach” to international politics and cannot subordinate standards of other schools of thought to those of politics. The realists vehemently defend the autonomy of the political sphere against its subversion by other modes of thought without disregarding their existence and importance (Morgenthau 14).
Kenneth Waltz also had a realist perspective to international relations which he called neorealism or structural or defensive realism. This theorist used the turmoil inherent in international relations to restrict the global “net” to its classical international component (Waltz 29). From the neorealist approach examination of the structures of international systems is the best way to understand international politics. The structures of the international system are reflected alliances and other cooperative arrangements between nations (Mearsheimer 32). The polarity of the system becomes the key factor in international relations; and depending on the number of dominant superpowers, a system might be unipolar bipolar or multipolar.
John Measheimer took a different view which he referred to as “offensive realism”. Measheimer’s perspective follows on the principles of Kenneth Waltz’s theory to utilize the “structure” of the international system to derive the behavior of states (Mearsheimer 25). The theoretical foundation of Measheimer outlines that: the international system in anarchic, all ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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