Realism Essay

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Table of contents

  1. Classical Realism:
  2. Principles of classical realism:
  3. Neo-Realism:
  4. Concepts of Neo-realism:
  5. Analysis with respect to the Current scenario between India and Pak:
  6. References:

Classical Realism:

It is defined as a theory that was established in the post-world war 2 era and explains international politics as a result of human nature. The term “classical realism” was coined by Richard Lebow. The word “order” has importance in this theory. Classical realists argue that order is fragile and created through constant matters between state nations. Also, related to classical realism theory there is another theory called human reshaping which puts forth that the world can become a better place through changes made by humans through self-interest.

Principles of classical realism:

Hans Morgenthau’s six principles are considered very important in this theory, they are described below:

  1. Politics is governed by objective laws which have roots in human nature- By this, he means that human nature is fairly constant and it can help in formulating foreign policy which can guide the action of states in international relations.
  2. National interest is defined in terms of national power- this principle is regarded as the core of Morgenthau’s realism. This principle holds that nations always define and act for securing their national interests by means of power. He stated that: “The main signpost that helps political realism to find its way through the landscape of international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of power. This concept provides the link between reason trying to understand international politics and the facts to be understood”
  3. Interest is always dynamic- it states that the content of national interest is changing in nature. It is not static. It changes with the social and political environment. National; interest is dynamic and has to be constantly changed and analyzed for examining the policies and actions of a state.
  4. Abstract moral principles cannot be applied to politics- it says that realism believes states are not expected to observe the same standards of morality as are observed by men. For instance, the individual can say that “Let justice be done even if the whole world perishes”, but the state has no right to say so. A state cannot sacrifice the liberty or security of national interests for following moral principles.
  5. Difference between moral aspirations of a nation and universe- this principle says that realism refuses to accept that national interests and policies of any particular nation reflect universally applied principles. The moral laws that govern the universe do not apply to their actions. Their actions are always based upon national interests as based on power. The policy of a nation as such cannot be equated and should not be confused with universal moral principles.
  6. Autonomy of international politics- political realism accepts the autonomy of international politics as a discipline. It has its distinctive intellectual and moral attitude towards political matters. This realism is neither idealistic nor legalistic and not even moralistic in its approach to international politics.

Neo-Realism:

It is a theory based on outgrowths of the balance of power. It was first given by Kenneth Waltz in 1979 and is also termed as structural realism.

Concepts of Neo-realism:

There are some basic concepts about neo-realism described below: Anarchy, structure, capability, distribution of power, polarity, and national interest.

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  • The first two concepts “anarchy” and “structure” are intertwined. The structure of the international system is said to be anarchic. Anarchy doesn’t imply the presence of chaos and disorder. It simply refers to the absence of world government. An anarchic structure has implications that every actor in the international system is responsible for looking after itself,e self-help system. secondly, states feel threatened by a potential attack from others. Where no one commands by virtue of authority, no one is obliged to obey.
  • As each state constantly feels insecure each needs to be capable of fending for itself. This leads to the third concept of capability. Capabilities are requirements for states to survive. As each state has a different level of capability so states in the international system are differentiated via their level of capability.
  • Another concept is the “security dilemma”, because states are perpetually insecure, they wish to acquire more capabilities. This renders the others more insecure and compels them to prepare for the worst. In the competition for security, states will achieve more levels of capability.
  • The “notion of polarity” can be explained regarding the above concepts. The polarity of the international system is determined by the distribution of capabilities. It is generally three types of polarity i.e unipolarity, bipolarity, and multi-polarity. Unipolarity tells that a single state is superior i.e United States in the current scenario, bipolarity tells when there are two powerful states eg, the US and the soviet union in the cold war era, and multi-polarity occurs when more than two actors possess power eg, the countries in world war 1 and 2.
  • “National interest” is an elusive concept. To secure their selves, states tend to gain more capabilities than rival states. At the same time, the level of capability a state possesses equips states to pursue such interests.

Therefore, within a neo-realist concept, the national interests of states are best understood with reference to their relative capability ranking.

Analysis with respect to the Current scenario between India and Pak:

The fact that classical realism is usually based on human nature for decision making, ego, and personal choices play a significant role when a decision is being made. While on the other hand when neorealism is taken into consideration, the need and want for Power take over. In the current scenario, Modi’s election campaign was based solely on hatred against Muslims and he used it as a good weapon it played an important role in his winning the general elections and in being re-elected as Prime Minister of India. It was his personal ego and hatred towards the Muslim community which he used during the campaign and not the truth, so we can relate this example with classical realism as he was keen on going to war and thought violence was the only logical solution.

Neorealism is used in the context of someone wanting to exercise power or feel powerful and rarely thinking about the consequences of the actions which people opt for. India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution of India was the decision, taken by the Modi government to exercise power or feel powerful and show the world their strategic position and an upper hand over Pakistan. In this regard when protests erupted in Jammu and Kashmir they announced a state of emergency and things got violent.

This whole scenario or situation leads up to only one person’s vision who doesn’t like Muslims and is making sure that they don’t like him either. In neorealism, the fear of states not trusting each other results in a lot of countries being ready for war. Pakistan is still keen on peace but has the army ready in case India does raise the flag of war. A country needs to be prepared for any possible change that arises which results in one country being more powerful than another due to the amount of availability of resources.

References:

  1. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199743292/obo-9780199743292-0037.xml
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_are_the_basic_concepts_of_neorealism
  3. http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/international-politics/morgenthaus-realist-theory-6-principles/48472
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Realism Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/realism-essay/
“Realism Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/realism-essay/
Realism Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/realism-essay/> [Accessed 23 Apr. 2024].
Realism Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2024 Apr 23]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/realism-essay/
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