Global Issues: How Does a Political Realist See the World? (Essay Sample)
Use the following prompt to construct your essay response.
How does a political realist see the world? What are the basic assumptions of realists? what aspects of international relations would you say that realism explains well? What are some aspects of international relations that realism fails to explain?
How Does a Political Realist See the World?
Political realism is a perspective on international politics that focuses on the competitiveness and the pursuit of power. Suggestively, a political realist acknowledges the state to be the principle actors. The states are concerned about their security and undertake operations in the pursuit of their national interests and supremacy in the competition for power. In this light, the political realist has an emphasis on power and self-interest when addressing matters of ethical norms in international relations (Kat). For national politics, they see it as the realm of authority and law, while international politics is sometimes perceived to be an arena where there is no justice, and it is characterized by ongoing or potential conflicts among nations (Korab-Karpowicz 1). Nevertheless, not all political realists observe the international community as a realm that lacks ethics. The variation can be drawn from the differences of classical realism and radical or extreme realism. The classical realism embraced by people in the twentieth century, such as Reinhold and Hans Morgenthau is based on the ideology that in the national interest, not everything can be justified because of state and it does not entail adoration of war and conflicts (Korab-Karpowicz 1). From this perspective, although the classical realists have some ethical judgment in international politics, they show a critical approach that fails to take into account political realities. Suggestively, they see the world from a standpoint where the rightness of a particular action is determined by considering various possible alternatives based on the severity of the political consequences.
What Are the Basic Assumptions of Realists?
There are four basic assumptions of realists that are as follows:
State Is the Principal Actor and Most Important Actor
International relations involve understanding the interactions of these actors (Milner 67). The sovereignty of the state gives it the monopoly of legitimate power to engage in resolving conflicts between people and groups within its territories, as well as between itself and other international actors (Mearsheimer 424). Although realists recognize non-state actors such as multinationals and international organizations, they are of secondary importance.
State as A Unitary Actor
Realism assumes that the country faces the outside world as a single unit (Mearsheimer 426). Suggestively, states are integrated units that ...
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