Presentation on theme: "REALISM. Origins of Realism The realist theory of international relations came into being during the time of the Great Depression of 1929 when the economies."— Presentation transcript:
Origins of Realism The realist theory of international relations came into being during the time of the Great Depression of 1929 when the economies of the major powers of the world collapsed. This together with the rise of two brutal dictators gave rise to the realism theory of international relations. Realism presents a very negative view of human nature. The classical realist Machiavelli points out that “it must needs be taken for granted that all men are wicked and that they will always give vent to the malignity that is in their minds when opportunity offers.” Realists believe that nation states are always in conflict with each other and the disputes can only be resolved through war.
Origins of Realism They believe that the state is the most important authority and all power is concentrated in the hands of the state. All the other non- state actors are unimportant and play a very limited role. The realists say that sates should act to pursue their own interests, even if that involves going to war with another state. They say that other theorists present a very idealistic notion of the state reject the fact that disputes can be solved through peaceful means.
Features of Realism Human nature is a starting point for realism in international relations. Realists view human beings as inherently egoistic and self- interested to the extent that self-interest overcomes moral principles. Realists, and especially today's neorealists, consider the absence of government, literally anarchy, to be the primary determinant of international political outcomes. The lack of a common rule-making and enforcing authority means, they argue, that the international arena is essentially a self-help system.
Features of Realism Insofar as realists envision the world of states as anarchic, they likewise view security as a central issue. To attain security, states try to increase their power and engage in power-balancing for the purpose of deterring potential aggressors. Wars are fought to preventcompeting nations from becoming militarily stronger Realists are generally skeptical about the relevance of morality to international politics. This can lead them to claim that there is no place for morality in international relations, or that there is a tension between demands of morality and requirements of successful political action, or that states have their own morality that is different from customary morality, or that morality, if any, is merely used instrumentally to justify states' conduct
Criticisms of Realism . Firstly, it is said that realism mainly prescribes policies and aims that lead to war rather than peace. Realists believe that war is inevitable and will take place at all costs. They do not frame policies which can avoid war, because their motives can be to gain from the war politically, economically and socially Secondly critics also point out that states are not necessarily always in conflict with each other, but share common interests and common rules. They also ignore the role of the non state actors such as the NGO’s which are also extremely important actors in a state. The liberalists point out that human nature is not necessarily evil and wicked but is generally peaceful and that there is scope for peace and development.
Criticisms of Realism The liberalists point out that human nature is not necessarily evil and wicked but is generally peaceful and that there is scope for peace and development. Commercial liberalism promotes the idea of free trade and comparative advantage. They say that in the fast moving world of globalization nations are extremely dependent on each other and have to engage in trade. Free trade would mean that the nations would be dependent on each other and so war will be avoided.
Conclusion Thus in my opinion also the realist theory of international relations shows very one dimensional approach. Many criticisms of this theory have been presented by other theorists as well. But I also think that there is some truth in this theory because if we see the world today it s categorized by conflict and chaos between different nations and violence and terror is becoming the order of the day. The other theories that present a critical evaluation of realism also have their limitations.