• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Realism, idealism and neoliberalism

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

POLITICAL STUDIES POL1005S COVER SHEET Student Name: Brian Lockyer Student Number: LCKBRI001 Tutor: Talisa McMillan Tut Group No: 1 Assignment No:1 Date: August 17th, 2009 Plagiarism Declaration 1. I know that plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism is to use another's work and pretend that it is one's own. 2. I have used the Harvard convention for citation and referencing. Each contribution to, and quotation in, this essay from the work(s) of other people has been attributed, and has been cited and referenced. 3. This essay is my own work. 4. I have not allowed, and will not allow, anyone to copy my work with the intention of passing it off as his or her own work. Signature ______________________________ The realm of international relations encompasses many political theories which have had varying degrees of influence on shaping the political world that we live in today. However, the two main theories that most influence the study of International Relations are Realism and Idealism, since the formation of both theories there has been a constant debate about the relevance and implementations of both theories which has therefore resulted in much conflict between the advocates of each theory. This essay will attempt to examine and contrast the theories of Realism, Idealism and neo-Realism and show how they differ and relate to each other. ...read more.

Middle

Both powers were relentless in their pursuit of seizing and securing power and influence throughout the world. It was the sheer strength and dominance of both the USA and USSR that resulted in a shift in world power and therefore the continual ideological conflict between capitalism and communism which divided the world. However, the post Cold War is very much different and the concept of realism is no longer a dominant theory in International Relations. Realism is an anarchical theory, and it is held that under anarchy, survival of the state cannot be guaranteed (Baylis and Smith, 2001:143). On the other hand the concept of Idealism, presents more of an optimistic view on world politics. Referring to great thinkers like Immanuel Kant and his thoughts on perpetual peace, modern Idealism highlights the necessity for cooperation, rationality, morality and non-state actors in order to bring about the fundamental pre requisites for the onset of peaceful and cooperative international relations (Owen, 2000:34). Idealist theories emphasize the positive impact that economic liberalism has on world politics as the generation of wealth through free trade with less national boundaries stimulates economic growth and promotes harmonious relations. Individual states and organisations such as the United Nations are the main implementers of idealist theories. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, for Neo-realists, power is not merely the accumulation of military resources and the ability to intimidate and coerce other states, it is viewed as the combined capabilities of a state. (Baylis and Smith 2001: 209). Neo-realist ideology highlights the importance of anarchy and its effects on defining the international system as all states are functionally similar units who therefore all suffer the same constraints from an anarchical system and are all striving to maintain their position in the system (Baylis and Smith 2001: 209). To conclude all three theories have been influential in shaping the contemporary political landscape of the modern world. However, it must be noted that Realism, after the fall of the USSR began its downfall. Its ineffectiveness in predicting the end of the war meant that it had not fulfilled its primary function and much of its credibility as a political science was therefore lost. Realism was a theory which majorly influenced international relations where it was still relevant but in the 21st century it is nothing more than archaic. Today states no longer view the international sphere as a struggle for power, but more as a mechanism for opening free markets and creating political unions. Supranational institutions are increasing in number and power as a reflection of this. And as this happens realism loses more and more credibility as a theory of international relations in the 21st century. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Breaking down the Walls: A Discourse of Ideology and "Otherness"

    Put altogether, hooks is declaring that it is fully wrong and at the same time dangerous for whites to believe that all who fit into a group of "otherness" experience or label objects, ideas, or instances in the exact same manner.

  2. Why was the Dreyfus Affair so bitterly divisive in France? The Dreyfus Affair began ...

    of justice, there was a growing belief, from the left, of a clerico-military plot, and a general feeling that they needed to "defend the republic."29 In particular, following the publication of 'J'accuse' the army began to be attacked as an institution.

  1. Assess critically Marx's distinction between ideology and science

    In reality, conceptions of the Young Hegelians, be it atheism, self-glorification or self-consciousness - conceptions that allegedly debunked Hegel's theology of the Spirit, the Absolute, etc. - were flawed, because they were not based on the material conditions of men.

  2. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    Opportunism goes a long way toward explaining the phenomenon of the many "taxi" parties, and some of the more visible parties that are born and die out every election cycle as well, plus the abundance of independent candidates who dispense with party labels.

  1. Notes on John Stuart Mill's On Liberty

    It is clear that Mill would allow for all of these exceptions, and his theory should be understood as including them. I state them here for two reasons, so that you will have a greater understanding of Mill's theory, and so that no one can try to object to Mill

  2. The cold war

    In this vein, it is impossible for humanitarian agencies to be neutral because their action, willingly or unwillingly, has an influence on the dynamics of the war. Thus as Anderson puts it, "aid provided in a context of conflict becomes an active part of that context" (1998:142).

  1. Explain the Impact of Globalisation

    Sceptics of globalization argue that it is causing the world to conform to American standards, that there is a loss of culture associated with globalization, and many people in the countries being globalized do not want it to happen. No one should ever argue that globalization is perfect, because it is not.

  2. Compare Hobbes and Locke's views on the obligation to obey the law.

    costly to do this that refraining from doing it cannot count as a voluntary act.) (Hardimon, Michael (1994). ?Role Obligations,? Journal of Philosophy) The dilemma of man outside civil society is constituted, in Hobbes's theory, not by the absence of a moral law, but by the total or partial frustration of that law.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work