2.21.08 - Realist counterargument: dynamics of human...

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The Realist Tradition 2/21/08 What is “realism”? Body of thought stressing the pursuit of power by states in international anarchy o Realists are pessimistic about what happens when groups of people interact “Power has its own logic” Is realism really “realistic” Historic Development of the Realist Tradition Thucycidides (5 th Century BC) Niccolo Machiavelli (15 th Century) Thomas Hobbes (17 th Century) 20 th Century Realists o Importance of World War I o Reaction against “idealist” solutions to war
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Unformatted text preview: Realist counterargument: dynamics of human interaction cannot be controlled by law or reason Key Claims of 20 th Century Realists The state is the only important actor in the international system o Other actors are dependent on states Anarchy is the defining feature of the international system States pursue their national interests States balance against the power of other states...
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