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Realism: The Predominant IR TheoryRealismo2,500 yearsoThucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, MearsheimeroSkeptical of human nature, institutionsoSingle source elucidation- Politics Among Nations by Hans MorgenthauThe state is alloThe modern state is a social organization with a monopoly on means of coercion (army, police, courts, laws and customs)oSecurity of the state always at risk in a world system of anarchy Essence of realismoState is supreme- sovereign, no higher authorityoSurvival- all else (ex. economies, diplomacy, etc. is “low politics”)oSelf-help- marriages, threats, bargainsMajor varieties of realismoClassicalHuman nature produces realist worldPatriotism essential to survivaloStructural No overall authority in systemPower is means to securityHistory of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, 411 BCEo“Love of power caused the war”oAthenian historian, general, political philosopheroWar between Sparta and AthensoPericles’ Funeral Oration, 430 BCEFamous speech from History of the Peloponnesian WarSpeech by Athenian politician Pericles at end of first year of war aspart of annual public funeral for those who died in warSaid Athens is an “education to Greece” (liberal)“It may have been wrong to acquire a tyranny, it certainly is dangerous to let it go”- realistoMelian Dialogue, 416 BCE“The strong take what they will, the weak suffer what they must” –Athenians to MelosAthens invaded island MelosNiccolo Machiavelli, 1469-1527oFounder of modern political science and political ethicsoItalian oWrote The Prince, 15321stwork in Christendom with no reference to conventional Christian moralityStudies principalities, not republics
“Raison d’etat”- a purely political reason for action, becomes the standard“How we live is so different from how we ought to live that he who studies ought to be done rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation”oOpinion on warWars necessary to Prince’s reputationOne’s own soldiers are “sinews of war” (sinew means piece of tough fibrous tissue uniting muscle to bone)The Prince’s main study must be war“Wars are made with steel, not gold”oThe Prince as a leaderLearn to do evil on behalf of the stateAct quickly and ruthlesslyBetter to be feared than lovedThomas Hobbes, 1588-1679oHis world- English civil warsoEnglish philosopher, especially political philosophyoBook Leviathan established social contract theoryAddresses the questions of the origin of society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individualIndividuals have consented to surrender some of their freedoms to authority of ruler in order to protect their remaining rightsoOpinion on human natureWe’re all equal- all can kill each otherThe “state of nature” is “the scrimmage of all against all”“The life of man is nasty, poor, solitary, brutish, and short”Only a “common power” formed by a contract can prevent constant strifePolitics Among Nations-