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Plan for Today: Understanding Classical Realism and Neorealism PowerPoint Presentation
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Plan for Today: Understanding Classical Realism and Neorealism

Plan for Today: Understanding Classical Realism and Neorealism

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Plan for Today: Understanding Classical Realism and Neorealism

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  1. Plan for Today:Understanding Classical Realism and Neorealism Introducing history and distinctive concepts of classical realism. Introducing neorealist principles.

  2. Classical or Traditional Realism • Ancient roots – Thucydides. • Realist Athenians vs. utopian Melians. • Strong always win over the weak. • Lesson: tragedy befalls those who rely on hope, justice, and supposed friends.

  3. Classical or Traditional Realism • Classical realism (20th Century). • E.H. Carr – The Twenty Years’ Crisis. • Critique of liberal “utopianism” dominant after WWI. • Response to failure of League of Nations and collective security. • Creators of League: if you believe in something enough, it will come true.

  4. Classical or Traditional Realism • E.H. Carr – The Twenty Years’ Crisis (continued). • In reality, nations’ selfish concerns dominate. • Aggressive actions by states are fully rational and natural.

  5. Classical or Traditional Realism • E.H. Carr – The Twenty Years’ Crisis (continued). • Need to analyze politics objectively as it is, not as it should be. • Clash among national interests inevitable. • Only way to minimize war is balance of power among states.

  6. Classical or Traditional Realism • Hans Morgenthau – Politics Among Nations(1948). • First attempt at realist textbook. • Trying to create “science” of international politics. • Level of analysis: More emphasis on human nature than structure of system itself.

  7. Classical or Traditional Realism Morgenthau’s 6 principles of political realism: • Politics governed by objective laws with roots in human nature. • Interest defined as power. • Forms of state power will vary with time and place, but interest defined as power will remain constant.

  8. Classical or Traditional Realism Morgenthau’s 6 principles of political realism: • Political action has moral consequences, but morality cannot guide action. • There is no universally agreed set of moral principles. • Political sphere is autonomous from legal, moral, or economic spheres. Politics deals with power.

  9. Conclusion: What principles do classical realists share? • Must look at world as it is, not as it ought to be. • Interest of states and leaders is power. • Ambition for power comes more from human nature than structure of system. • Moral claims or arguments about justice have no place in foreign policy. • These principles are permanent aspects of international politics.

  10. Neorealism – Waltz, Theory of International Politics (1979) Principles of neorealism: • To explain international system, must create system-level theory. • Units of system (states) functionally similar. • International politics different from domestic politics.

  11. Neorealism – Waltz, Theory of International Politics (1979) Principles of neorealism: • Anarchy central defining aspect of system. Consequences: • Self-help – cannot rely on others. • Uncertainty – attack always possible. • Anarchic system drive for power to attain security.

  12. Neorealism – Waltz, Theory of International Politics (1979) Principles of neorealism: • Consequences of anarchy lead to: • Drive for power to attain security. • No assumptions about human nature necessary. • States behaving similarly under similar constraints.

  13. Neorealism – Waltz, Theory of International Politics (1979) Principles of neorealism: • Search for power has limits – states really seek security. • Excessive power grab can prompt security dilemma.

  14. Neorealism – Waltz, Theory of International Politics (1979) Principles of neorealism: • Alliance behaviour: • States will always balance rather than bandwagon in alliances. • Bipolar systems more stable than multipolar systems.