Some theorists see structural realism and classical realism as two distinct theories.
Please excuse any grammatical or other mistakes that might appear in this paper. In trying to do so, they have been using the various levels of analysis.
The purpose of this paper therefore is to discuss the Classical realism theory and apply it under the three recognized levels of analysis. The first section of the paper will define the key terms, the emergence and the four central assumptions of realism will also be discussed before focusing on Classical realism, to lay a smooth foundation for understanding this theory.
The third section of the paper will discuss Classical realism, supporting it with examples. The fourth section will therefore focus on the three levels of analysis, and under each level the theory will be applied with relevant examples.
Lastly, a conclusion will be drawn summing up all the main arguments of the paper. According to Huitt, paradigm may be thought of as pattern or model of how something is structured, the parts and their interrelationships and how the parts function thus behaviour within a specific context or time dimension Huitt,p.
In short a paradigm can be treated or defined as a theory. Another scholar states that international relations tries to explain the interactions of states in the global interstate system, and it also attempts to explain the interactions of others whose behaviour originates within one country and is targeted toward members of other countries Burchil, et al.
Put in simple terms, International Relations can be defined as the way states relate and interact in an international arena. These levels offers a useful basis for the integration of domestic as well as international or environmental explanatory factors Ray,p. It became dominant after Second World War and it had powerful explanation of international relations and conflict.
Also realism brought about clear criticisms of the League of Nations. In the s, classical realism gave way to another trend in international relations theory— neorealism Halliday,p.
Therefore, Realism is a broad paradigm, which composes of two variants, the Classical realism and the structural also known as the Neo-Realism. The two have the same fundamental values as they are cut from the same cloth and they focus on things as they are, not as they ought to be Hobson,p.
It focuses more on the state and views the state as the principal political actor in International relations. Even though it realizes the state as the main actor, it also recognizes the role played by other non-states actors such as multilateral organizations Nayef,p.
Realists put more emphasis on states because their relations have more impact in the international system Nayef,p. Realists view states as unitary actors interested in protecting their own interests. Thus, it argues that states are more interested in achieving their national interests with one voice and in whatever they do, they are guided by these interests.
For example, when formulating foreign policies, nations are guided by their interests, guided by those things that they want to achieve as a nation Nayef,p. Realists also assumes that states are rational actors moving toward their national interests, that they are always consistent, they have their priorities arranged in a specific way and in that they can calculate the costs and the benefits in order to maximize their benefit Nayef,p.
Lastly, they argue that the international system is anarchic in that there is no central government to guide the behavior of states in the world system Jervis,p. It argues that power lies in human nature, as the laws that govern politics are made by men and also emphasizes that International Politics is a struggle for power which emanates from human nature Morgenthau ; The theory states that people are greedy, insecure and aggressive and they also competes for scarce resources, so this makes them to attack one another for gain.
The lust to possess power and selfishness of individuals are considered to be the causes or bases of conflicts that emanates amongst the individuals Brown,p.
In addition to that, Hobbes identified three principal causes of conflicts which are fundamental to human nature; competition, diffidence and glory Hobbes,pp. People want to achieve their own interests and in so doing, they are prone to irrational behaviour as they become simple minded and likely to be controlled and used Shimko,p.
Classical realism is a state level theory that argues that all states seek power, which is driven by desire to achieve national interests. Power is the key concept for realists and they argue that to survive, states must increase their power by internal development such as in the economic system, technological, diplomatic and military means Nayef,p.
The theory argues that states seek to increase their power and decrease the power of their enemies and everything they do is in the name of power accumulation Jervis,p. States in this theory see others with power as enemies, because power when is not in your hands is threatening.
Sparta had to attack the Athenians first because they had become more powerful and therefore there was a shift in the balance of power, exposing Sparta to danger.
This came as a threat to Sparta and they resorted to attacking the Athenians first, as a way of defending themselves.
Increase of power of one state can therefore pose a threat to another state and result to war, as the increase in power of the Athens threatened the Lacedaemonians and compelled them to go to war Forde,p.
There can be peace, but for it to last long it should be based upon balance of power lubricated by fluid alliance systems Williams,p. The theory states that in order for the system to be stable, there should nations with equal powers at the top and others at the bottom of the system.This essay has shown the problems of trying to fit Waltz‟s and especially Morgenthau‟s ideas into predefined labels such as „realism‟ or „classical realism‟ and „ neorealism‟.
The fourth and final section contrasted the normative and critical aspects of Morgenthau‟s and Waltz‟s writings. Classical Realism and Neorealism: A Comparison.
Classical Realism and Neorealism: A Comparison The theoretical paradigm of realism emerged in the IR academy in the late s to address the inadequacy of liberal idealism to understand the political currents of the inter-War period - Classical Realism and Neorealism: A .
Classical Realism is an important theory that defines the international politics relations. Realists see and study the world as it is, and not as how ought to be, as the idealist theory does.
From a rational point of view the realists believe that the world is imperfect, as the base, is human nature, as Morgenthau stress “is the result of. Political Realism Essay examples. Realism and Neo-Realism Essay Words | 5 Pages. relations theory is that of classical realism.
Surprisingly though classical realism was not sensationalized in the international relations arena until World War II despite its existence in fifth-century Athens. Many great philosophers such as Thucydides.
Neo-realism and neo-institutionalism Neo-Realism and Neo-Institutionalism.
1. Compare Waltz and Keohane/Nye and discuss differences and similarities between them with regard to how they understand political rule, international relations and political actors. Realism is commonly viewed as the most dominant and oldest theory of IR, starting with the classical realism of Thucydides, Hobbes, Machiavelli and later Morgenthau to structural realism whose major advocates are Rousseau, Waltz or Mearsheimer.