Explain The Realist Theory Of International Relations. How Does It Differ From Idealism

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Explain The Realist Theory Of International Relations. How Does It Differ From Idealism

Explain The Realist Theory Of International Relations.

The realist theory of international relations is a perspective that focuses on the role of power and national interest in shaping international relations. Realists believe that states are the primary actors in international relations and that they are motivated by their own national interests, which are often defined in terms of security and survival. Realists argue that states seek to maximize their own power and influence in order to achieve these national interests and that they do this by building up their military capabilities, forming alliances with other states, and engaging in diplomacy.

Realists believe that international relations are characterized by anarchy or the absence of a central authority and that states must rely on their own resources and capabilities to defend themselves and pursue their national interests. This means that states must be prepared to use force, if necessary, to protect their own interests and to deter potential threats. Realists also believe that states are motivated by self-interest and that they are willing to sacrifice the interests of other states in order to pursue their own goals.

Realists also argue that international relations are shaped by the balance of power or the distribution of power among states. Realists believe that states seek to maintain a balance of power that is favourable to their own interests and that they will work to prevent any one state from becoming too powerful. This can involve forming alliances, building up military capabilities, and engaging in diplomacy.

Realist theory has been influential in shaping the way that international relations are understood and studied, and it has had a significant impact on foreign policy and international relations. Realist theory has been particularly influential in the study of international security, and it has been used to explain a wide range of phenomena, including the causes of war, the formation of alliances, and the dynamics of international relations.

How Does Realist Theory Differ From Idealism

Realist theory and idealism are two competing perspectives on international relations that offer different explanations for how the world works and how states interact with one another. Realist theory is a perspective that focuses on the role of power and national interest in shaping international relations, while idealism is a perspective that emphasizes the role of ideas and values in shaping international relations.

One of the main differences between realist theory and idealism is their view of the nature of international relations. Realists believe that international relations are characterized by anarchy or the absence of a central authority and that states must rely on their own resources and capabilities to defend themselves and pursue their national interests. Idealists, on the other hand, believe that international relations can be shaped by ideas and values and that states can work together to achieve common goals.

Another difference between realist theory and idealism is their view of the role of power in international relations. Realists believe that power is the primary determinant of international relations and that states seek to maximize their own power in order to achieve their national interests. Idealists, on the other hand, believe that power is not the only factor in international relations and that ideas and values can also play a significant role in shaping the behaviour of states.

The third difference between realist theory and idealism is their view of the role of international organizations and institutions in international relations. Realists are sceptical of the ability of international organizations and institutions to shape international relations, and they believe that states are the primary actors in international relations. Idealists, on the other hand, believe that international organizations and institutions can play a significant role in shaping international relations and that they can serve as a forum for states to work together and achieve common goals.

Overall, realist theory and idealism are two competing perspectives on international relations that offer different explanations for how the world works and how states interact with one another. While realist theory emphasizes the role of power and national interest in shaping international relations, idealism emphasizes the role of ideas and values.

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