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Realism remains the dominant paradigm in International Relations theory. Discuss

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Realism remains the dominant paradigm in International Relations theory. Discuss In this essay, I will be answering the question as to why realism remains the dominant paradigm in International Relations theory. I believe it is still the dominant paradigm in International Relations. This essay will consist of not only my thoughts as to why it is the dominant paradigm but certain facts and thoughts of other people. I will be attempting to provide you with an insight on the several different theories in international relations. The main topic of discussion will be realism as it is part of the question, in addition there will be explanations on the several different types of realism; human nature, classical and neo-realism. The history of realism in accordance with actual events will be provided and several other reasons will be explained to help me provide an adequate answer as to why realism remains the dominant paradigm in International Relations theory. It is perhaps necessary to begin this essay with an explanation of what realism actual is and an insight to the different types of realism. Realism is just one of the several different types of theories in International Relations. Realism is not just a theory; it branches out into major schools of thought. There are several 'branches' of realism; human nature realism, classical realism and neo-realism. ...read more.


From this time, each realist has contributed in some way to the realist cause. Machiavelli with 'The Prince', where he demonstrated the ruthlessness which a ruler should display so that the security of the state could be protected.3 Realism since 1919 possessed a 'history' which will arguably span over many years and more importantly have a history that no other theory will have. The realist world view is that we live in an anarchical society, with those with power, rule. Whether people like it or not, that is how the world is. This reality must be confronted. Therefore by having a systematic view of the world detailing the conflict and unrest among states, realism portrays a familiar patterned and rigidly ordered framework of understanding, which is thus realist in nature.4 The change in political climate is one reason as to how realism has survived as a theory for so long and thus been so dominant. The period of crisis and prolonged uncertainty between 1930's and mid 1950's; provided the space for realism to fill. This period supplied realism with a space to expand its principles and secure a foundation from which it could assume its position as the dominant paradigm in international relations.5 Also on many occasions throughout the past century, realism has always had an answer to major events occurring. ...read more.


Realism as a whole has been difficult to challenge. No theoretical approach to the study of international relations is without its critics. However, realism has enjoyed a large amount of appraisal. Despite its critics, realism ranks as the most important attempt thus far to isolate and focus on a key variable in political behaviour; namely power, and to develop a theory in international relations. In conclusion, I have discussed why realism remains the dominant paradigm in international relations, what realism is and the different strands of realism have also been discussed. The 'history' of realism, change in political climate and the difficulty in criticising realism are points made to help answer the question of why realism is the dominant paradigm in international relations theory. Because it is so difficult to challenge, there is no new approach which has emerged armed with the rationale to displace the realist paradigm from its longstanding position as the dominant paradigm in international relations theory. I do not agree with the assumptions of realism but I also do not agree with any theories of international relations; giving a personal opinion, realism as well all international relations theories, are just theories to help us make sense out of complex situations. No one theory can capture all the complexity of world politics; however Realism alone does it the best which is why it remains the dominant paradigm in international relations theory. ...read more.

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