Realism

In: Social Issues

Submitted By syyzxc
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1. What are the key assumptions and major theoretical arguments of realism?
Realism, as a very basic definition, is a theory based on the following ideas:
Sovereign states are sacrosanct, they are the major players in global relations.
Sovereign must not be violated by interference from outside a state.
A state’s primary duty is to look after its own interests. This means developing a strong economy which can support a strong military to ensure the security of the state.
Economic realism, mercantilism, involves protectionism on a zero-sum basis.

Realism = State is highest form of authority. International Relations is full of conflict and anarchy. Concerned with Balance of Power, therefore war is inevitable, due to power shifts. Global governance is created through super powers to offset on another (US and USSR in Cold War). International Organizations are tools of that the state, that can be influenced and act in states national interests. International Institutions affect international relation stability, reflecting Balance of Power, so security is competition, always want power and the powerful states will shape/influence institutions in their interests.
Use collective security to keep power of states. Hesitate is cost outweighs benefits, and will use its own force outside collective security if need be.
Environment is seen as a minor issue, due to problem of free rider where states do not contribute, which allows them to use their resources/money to improve else where in economy and military which becomes threat to power. Similar to environmental issues, low priority due to cost, and tragedy of the commons. Think that they should not have to put in resources when other countries(3rd world) do not.
The opposite theory, again on a very basic level, is Liberalism, which is based on cooperation, interdependency, free-trade, and…...

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