Liberalism and realism

The unsentimental power politics emphasis of Realism in the present era has its antecedents in the writings of Thucydides and Sun Tzu, as well as later thinkers such as Niccolo Machiavelli of the 16th century. However, the obvious failure of such efforts to prevent the Second World War helped bring Realism into the prominence it held throughout the Cold War. Deeper theoretical explorations and the emergence of new empirical challenges, particularly after the end of the Cold War, have brought changes in IR theory. Among the new factors are:

Liberalism and realism

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Bea Kylene JumarangJul 2views This content was written by a student and assessed as part of a university degree. Any student of international relations can be counted on to study the basic foundations of IR, which are the theories behind the study of IR itself.

Among the most prevalent of these theories are realism and liberalism. Until the present, professors still speak of the motto from the work of Thomas Hobbes, entitled Leviathan, that speaks of the state of nature being prone to what Hobbes calls bellum omnium contra omnes or the war of all against all Hobbes: De Cive, and Leviathan,as well as Francis Fukuyama naming Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government Fukuyama: The End of History and the Last Man, Realism is, therefore, primarily concerned with states and their actions in the international system, as driven by competitive self-interest.

Thus, realism holds that international organizations and other trans-state or sub-state actors hold little real influence, in the face of states as unitary actors looking after themselves. It is then reasonable to contend that realism places man as a creature whose greatest instinct is self-preservation.

Insofar as self-preservation and the gain of resources and prestige remain aims of the human creature, then maybe, taken collectively, these aims can and are being projected across state borders. One will remember, I hope, that states act in their own interest, a concept not too far from human choices in the name of self-advancement and the accrual of resources, first for survival, and eventually as whims of luxury, paralleled by the section in Thomas Hobbes work, which says the first [competition] maketh man invade for gain, the second [diffidence] for safety and the third [glory] for reputation Hobbes: Additionally, as long as armed conflict, ideological rifts and possibilities of aggression remain, then realism will continue as a valid means of interpreting international politics, since yet another of its core assumptions lie in the measurement of power in terms of military capability, within an anarchic global system, where natural antagonism presents little possibility for peace and cooperation.

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All that said, however accurately realism can account for aggression, conflict and militaristic-expansionist policies, its assumptions prevent it from possessing effective explanatory capacity when it comes to the concept of transnational cooperation, free trade, the relative peacefulness of the international system, the prevalence of democratic governance and the growing emphasis on economic linkage and globalization.

Among the main faults ascribed to realism are its disability to predict and account for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the pervasive peace between liberal nations McMurtrie: Thus, we now have the opposite of realism itself, the liberal school of thought.

Liberalism, in stark contrast to realism, believes in the measurement of power through state economies, the possibility of peace and cooperation, as well as the concepts of political freedoms, rights and the like.

Francis Fukuyama, quite notably, believed that progress in human history can be measured by the elimination of global conflict and the adoption of principles of legitimacy and observed the extent to which liberal democracies have transcended their violent instincts Burchill: That having been established as core assumptions of liberal international theory, can it be supposed, that since there are observable limits to human nature and altruistic action, as in the realist school of thought, liberalism is therefore overly idealistic in its belief in human capacity and the eventual obsolescence of war as the measure of state power in the international system?

As I believe, liberalism offers the possibility of peace even as states amass power, on the basis that power has now taken a less destructive form, from guns to bank notes and exports. In my opinion, there need not be an overarching stress on the frailties of humanity even if world peace seems too lofty of an ideal.

This shift creates the need for greater linkage therefore, the new emphasis on globalization as well as increased cooperation. For this reason, states still amass power even under the liberal system, the main difference being the fact that power is now better accrued if more cooperation is realized within the framework of international politics.

As it stands, in my opinion, liberalism operates under real-world conditions, reflecting state interest and aggrandizement, if only that such advancement results in peace instead of the expected dose of conflict.

Still, the debate continues as to which school remains the most relevant and timely, with regards to the interpretation of the international system.Realism in international relations or what is also referred to as Political Realism, is seen as “one of the oldest theories to international relations, and is widely held as a worldview” (Pease, 43).While it is one of the earliest theories, “[t]he first coherent expressions of a realist approach to the study of international politics evolved out of the apparent failure of liberal.

Published: Mon, 5 Dec Thinking about the number of high-stake political issues and the wide variety of aspects in which people have tried to understand these issues and come up with effective ways of resolving them are all packaged in different intellectual traditions and worldviews.

Liberalism and realism

The debate continues as to which school of International Relations remains the most relevant and timely with regards to the interpretation of the international system. Some will always say realism is politics as it is while liberalism is an example of politics idealized.

Perhaps the true path lies in combination. Ramsey, Frank Plumpton (). British mathematician and philosopher who contributed to the second edition of Russell and Whitehead's Principia's "Truth and Probability" () and Foundations of Mathematics () clarified the nature of semantic paradox, developed modern applications of the probability calculus, and introduced the redundancy theory of truth.

Realism Vs Liberalism And Issues In World Politics Politics Essay.

Liberalism - International Relations - Oxford Bibliographies

Print Reference this. Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional academic writers. liberalism and realism have very different approaches to explaining and understanding the world and the way it.

[Content warning: Discussion of social justice, discussion of violence, spoilers for Jacqueline Carey books.] [Edit 10/ This post was inspired by a debate with a friend of a friend on Facebook who has since become somewhat famous.

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