3 General Agreement Among Realists State-prime actor in International RelationsThe use of force to adjust relationsCompetitive and conflictual character of international relationsWar as the remaining option for the resolution of conflictPessimism about peace
4 Context of Realism Cold war (East / West blocks) Arms race (nuclear weapons)
5 Postclassical Realism NeorealismBothState centricInternational relations as inherently competitiveMaterial factors as opposed to non-material factorsState-egoistic actors
6 3 Assumptions Differentiating Neorealism and Postclassical Realism The most important assumption: Possibility of conflict (Neorealism) or probability of aggression (Postclassical Realism).
7 Postclassical Realism NeorealismPostclassical RealismPossibility of conflict shapes the actions of StatesHeavy discount rate. Short-term military preparedness over long termMilitary vs. economy -- military preparednessStates’ actions are based on assessment of probabilities of threatsLong-term not subordinate to short term preparedness for military actionMilitary vs. economy – economic trade off if probability of war is low
8 Possibility vs. Probability NeorealismPostclassical RealismImminent possibility of conflictInternational relations as brutalAnarchy-suspicious and hostile contextWith states deciding whether or not to use force, war may at any time break out in the absence of supreme authorityRational state never lets down its guard: states adopt worst-case perspectiveProbability of conflict rather than imminent possibility of conflictLower security pressure
9 Neorealism 3 principles guiding the worst-case perspective: Costs of war triggering possibility of conflictMaterial capabilities signal potential for aggressionDefensive precautions are the only assurance against aggression
10 Short-term vs. Long-term NeorealismPostclassical RealismMaximize military security in short-term due to the potential of immediate aggressionMaximize short-term security from potential rivalsHigh-discount rateSee the world under lower security pressure lower discount rate No possibility of imminent war but probability
11 Trade-off Between Military and Economic Security 45°MRSEconomic
12 Military Security vs. Economic Capacity NeorealismPostclassical RealismMilitary security first before economic capacity (rationality)In case of conflict between military objectives and economic military objectives favored (trade-off)Power = military preparedness + economic capacityWealth determines powerPower is the ultimate goal of the stateSeeking power ≠ conquest. Conquest can increase wealth, but one can also increase wealth by:changing international trade patternshaving efficient institutionsusing comparative advantage to secure raw materials from weaker statesreducing non-productive expenditure
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