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June 27, 2017

Theory of Realism in International Relations | Definition

Theory of Realism
Realism was first developed systematically by twentieth century thinkers such as Morgenthau and Waltz although it is often associated with a great tradition of political thinkers which includes Thucydides, Hobbes and Machiavelli. Long the dominant perspective in International Relations, realism emphasizes on unending competition for power and security in the world of states.
What is realism?
As it name implies, realism seeks to describe and explain the word of International politics as it is, rather than how we might like it to be.
According to realists.
Accordingly, the world is revealed to realists as a dangerous and insecure place, where violence is regrettable but endemic. In their account of the coflictual nature of International politics, realists give high priority to the centrality of the Nation State in their considerations, acknowledging it as the Supreme political authority in the world.
Pillars of realism.
There are four pillars of realism.
1. Statism
According to this, State gives security, protection and justice to the citizens and in response State gets support of the people. In International Relations there is no global government. In State only the State Government is powerful.
2. Survival
To survive in the International arena State has to increase her National interests and maintain her Sovereignty. Survival is the rime ingredient of any Nation State and for survival every State has to capture power, be it soft power or hard power.
3. Self help
Self help means to make one’s State powerful above all States and survival can only be possible if Balance Of Power (B.O.P) is created.
4. No universal moral principles
According to this, moral principles vary from place to place. Survival of the is the primary ingredient of any system and for this a leader have to tell a lie or commit crimes.
Summary of Theory of Realism

  •     Tool: Power
  •     It says, “If you have muscles, they must be tested”
  •     Conflict is natural with human nature
  •     Main concern: security
  •     Belief: Military power & foreign policy

Famous realists in the history
1. Thomas Hobbes in 19th century
He said, “human nature is merciless, corrupt and selfish
2. Bismarck
He was a German Chancellor and gave development of armaments in Germany. He was known as EVIL GENIUS because of having five arms agreements with biggest powers of Europe.
He said, “Foreign policy of States must be of blood and iron
He is the favorite personality of Henry Kissinger, as he had mentioned in his thesis named “White Revolution”
3. Thucydides
He was a Greek historian and philosopher. His famous novel is “Spartan War”. He is known as Father of the realistic school of thoughts.
4. Machiavelli
He was an Italian and an eminent politician of 18th century. His book “The Prince” describes the quality of a leader in following way.
According to him a leader should be,

  1.     Cunning like a fox
  2.     Brave like a lion
  3.     Responsible like a father.

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