Realism if there is exist conditions under


Realism is considered the most leading school of thought
in international relations, as realism is also one of the oldest and most entrenched
theories of International Relations (Steans, Pettiford, Diez & El-Anis
2013, p. 53). All realist share a perspective that states are unitary
rational actors that are encouraged by the desire for military power and
security rather than principles or ethics. Realists view human nature as self-seeking,
conflictual and competitive and consider that states are inherently violent as
realism values order and does not welcome change. There are several
forms of realism such as, structural, neo and classical, however this essay will
focus on classical realism, its key theorist, and its strength and weakness and
how my view on international politics has changed over the course of this unit.


Classical realism is a theory of international relations that
was founded in the post-world war 2 time that pursues to explain international
politics as a result of human nature. Classical realism is also a state level theory that
argues that all states seek power, which is driven by desire to achieve
national interests. Classical realists concentrate on two areas of politics;
restrictions imposed by human self-interest such as, egoism and anarchy in the
absence of international government (Donnelly 2013, p. 32). Power is the key
concept for realists and they argue that to survive, states must increase their
power by internal development such as in the economic system, technological,
diplomatic and military means (Nayef, 2007, p. 21). Realists understand
and study the world as it is, and not as how it should be, as the idealist
theory does. Realists consider and view the world as flawed and imperfect, as classical
realism puts more importance on the role of human nature and it discusses that
the power lies in human nature and that the laws of the govern politics are created
by man and also highlights that international politics is a struggle for power
which proceeds from human nature (Morgenthau 1984, page 25). Classical realism
theory is linked with thinkers such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Reinhold Niebuhr and Thomas
Hobbes who views human nature as self-centred and
conflictual except if there is exist conditions under which humans may coexist.
Moreover, there were many
great philosophers such as Thucydides and Machiavelli that developed the basics
of classical realism and in 1948 Hans J. Morgenthau made the huge leap into contemporizing
classical realism theory with his six principles of political realism, the basics placing
the state as the central power in the international relation system. Furthermore, in regards to the strength and
weakness of classical realism in international relations then one of the greatest strengths of Classical Realism is that it
acknowledges the resemblances between the domestic political domain and the
global political domain in both, community and a sense of common values are
pre-conditions for stability. Therefore, Classical Realism provides us with an understanding
as to why violence has reduced radically since the start of the 20th century.
Classical Realists oppose that the reduced violence comes from the result of
identity shifts through liberal democracies’ forceful integration of states
into the liberal democratic “world community.” In contrast to Liberalism,
Classical Realism claims that what’s discouraging conflict to occur is not associated
to the material effects of economic integration, rather it has to do with the
shared feeling of community within the liberal democratic states. Democracies
and advocates of liberal economies tend to expand and sustain this community
through exercising their power in the name of justice and differentiating
themselves from outsiders. Although
Classical Realism assists with clarifying some of the contentious concerns in
international relations, its weaknesses come from its emphasis on the struggle
for power. Human’s desire for power can neither be dignified nor validated.
Without empirical evaluation of such desire, the Classical Realist evaluation
would be mostly based upon uncertainty. Take China’s current rise as an
illustration. Scholars find it hard to forecast its effects on the world
because of the unknown intentions of the Chinese Communist Party. In contrast,
liberalism describes China’s rise and increased openness to the world, uttering
that its involvement in international organizations and interdependence with
other countries contributes to its stability. This also brings us to another
weakness of Classical Realism, which is that it neglects non-state actors such
as international organizations and multi-national corporations. Also,
Classical Realism does not focus enough on contemporary non-military issues
with security implications as refugees, environmental issues, and political
economy issues that can weaken the state.

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