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

Realism and World Politics

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is realism? How does it differ from the liberal view of world politics? What does constructivism add to realism and liberalism? Realism is a theory of international politics that dictates that the international system is anarchic, meaning there is no authority above states regulating their interactions, and that states are rational, unitary actors in pursuit of their own interests, the most important of which are security and survival in the system. According to notable Realist author Hans J. Morgenthau (1985), six principles define realism: 1. Politics is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature. 2. The concept of interest is defined in terms of power. 3. The idea of interest is the essence of politics and is unaffected by circumstances and time; it is universally valid. ...read more.

Middle

Renowned international politics author and professor at Harvard University Joseph Nye Jr. (2008) notes that Realism responds to this criticism by quoting 17th century English realist Thomas Hobbes: "'Just as stormy weather does not mean perpetual rain, so a state of war does not mean constant war."' (p. 5) Constructivism is a theory that puts international relations in the context of which aspects of it are socially constructed, meaning which aspects are shaped by social interaction. Constructivists analyze international relations by looking at the goals, threats, fears, cultures, identities, and other elements of "social reality" on the international stage as the social constructs of the actors. Alexander Wendt (1992) is the man most often credited with developing Constructivism. ...read more.

Conclusion

(p. 65) Indeed, an important factor in determining if two states will be friends or foes are the individuals of those states, especially the leaders. Nye (2008) in his book Understanding International Conflicts cites the 1991 Gulf War in which Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a critical factor in instigating as an example of an individual affecting international politics. (p. 36) Of course, the Gulf War example is just one of many throughout history of individual leaders dictating the course of states, which is not consistent with the Realist idea of the state itself being an individual in the international system. Essentially, what Constructivism adds to Realism and Liberalism is the view that individuals and the constitution of and the interaction in society has a much bigger effect on international relations than Realists and Liberalists have traditionally argued. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. Comparative Analysis: The churches and their affect on society and politics in the cases ...

    government, illustrates the transformation of the Nambian churches from being mouthpieces for the voiceless to being gags to the oppressed. Comparative, concluding analysis The theory that religious symbols can be utilised by opposing groups for resisting social change, or bringing it about, seems to be proved in the cases of South Africa and Namibia.

  2. What is Politics UK politics revision notes

    * Might be too complex for the voters. * People might not vote for the issue fully. * Pressure groups might affect the votes. * Not everyone votes. Advantages of Representative Democracy * If people can't understand what the issue is then they won't vote.

  1. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    In fact Malta had already a building known as the Lazaretto, (meaning isolated people) where people with plague could shelter themselves. In the years of 1810-1811, we had the plague in the Eastern Mediterranean, yet Levant trade was very important for Malta and ships went to the Middle East.

  2. Environmental Politics

    The Labour party has difficulty promoting environmental policies for different ideological reasons. The Labour party was created when there was mass unemployment and workers were tired of having no real power, an underlying principle of the Labour party has always been that employment is fundamental and that anybody who wants a job should be able to find one.

  1. British Politics.

    The Monarch must dissolve parliament to call an election but - by convention - (s)he does so on the advice of the Prime Minister. The composition of, and powers of, elected Assemblies. For example, in the USA one chamber - the Senate - represents the 50 states, 2 per state.

  2. What is Politics

    In the USA political divisions are between the Republican and Democratic Parties or in Germany between the CDU (the Christian Democrats) and the SPD (the Social Democrats). Conflicts in non-democratic countries. Even in undemocratic countries politics is present. Military leaders who stage a coup in order to wrest a country

  1. Ben Hanson - Politics - Mr

    Despite this statement appearing to imply that Parliament governs, it actually means that the government has to work through parliament. J.S Mills described the Westminster model by saying, "Instead of the function of governing, for which it is radically unfit, the proper office of a representative assembly is to watch and control the government."

  2. Religion v Politics.

    verse 4:34, The Women, "Men have authority over women because God has made one superior to the other" (The Qu'ran, pg. 64). Classical analysis explained this phrase as referring to the dominance of men over women in a number of religious, political and intellectual fields and was frequently quoted to

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