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Realism in International Relations

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Mubashir Khawaja

on 7 May 2015

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Transcript of Realism in International Relations

Realism in International Relations
Realists utilize a Statist perspective: states are the only actor in international relations that matter
All states engage in the pursuit of power.
Realists view the international system as anarchic, and conflict is inevitable
1. Statism
Organize power domestically and maintain laws and orders to prevent security issues

2. Survival
For each individual state, the first and ultimate goal is survival
Controversy: whether states are security or power maximizer
Ethic of responsibility

3. Self-help
States think and act in terms of their self-interest, power
increases prudence: a good tendency according to realists
In an anarchical society, a state cannot assume other states will come to their defense, even if they are allies
Security dilemma
Realism and its 3 perspectives
Drive to maximize power and state's self interest rooted human nature "nasty, brutish and short" (Hobbes).
which explains security issues, competition, fear and international conflict
Thucydides (430-406 BCE)
The strong do what they have the power to do, and the weak accept what they have to accept
Offensive realism - classical realist believe states are power maximizers
Classical Realism
Agree with classical realists that int. politics is a struggle for power, but they disagree that the cause is human nature.
neo realists believe that the lack of an overarching authority above states (anarchic nature of the int. sphere) and the relative distribution of power perpetuate this cycle of conflict and security issues
Number of great powers determines balance of power
Defensive realism - states are security maximizers
Structural/ Neo-Realism
Realism definition
Realism Case Studies
Influential Thinkers of Realism
Realism vs. Liberalism: In theory
Thomas Hobbes,
Life in the state of nature is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short".
The state provides order, leading to prosperity and security.
But, in the international realm, there is no overarching state, only anarchy.
Kenneth Waltz,
Theory of International Politics
Anarchy causes logic of self-help so that states seek to maximize the security.
The stablest distribution of power in the system is bipolarity
Fall of USSR with the support of Taliban
Power politics as element of Realism
Military support to Pakistan and Afghanistan
Influence of Saudi Arabia and U.S combined
Neoliberalism ideas not shared by Neo-realists (Neoliberalism vs. Neorealism)
Anarchy doesn't mean cooperation is impossible
Actors with common interests will try to maximize absolute gains (common interests)
successful responses to security threats require the creation of regional and global regimes that promote cooperation among states, and the coordination of the policy responses to security threat

Lamy, Steven L. Introduction to Global Politics. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.

Smith, M. Shane. "Game Theory." Beyond Intractability. Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: August 2003

Viotti, Paul R., and Mark V. Kauppi. International Relations Theory: Realism, Pluralism, Globalism. New York: Macmillan, 1987. Print.

Kimball, Roger. "Francis Fukuyama and the End of History." The New Crterion. N.p., Feb. 1992. Web. 7-5-2015
Fall of USSR: Cold War
U.S Involvement in India. Financial and Military Support
Guettemala, the Banana Republic
VETO in the United Nations
China's involvement in Pakistan
India-Pakistan's relationship
Mubashir Khawaja
Sara Mohsin
Maria Rajput
Full transcript