International Politics Midterm

International Politics Midterm - Eric Grandmaison TA Amy...

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Eric Grandmaison TA: Amy Cox The way anarchy is interpreted is the single most influential factor in forming international policy. It is determines how one views his neighbors, his allies, his enemies, and consequently, how one acts in a world with no rules. The three most common interpretations of anarchy, including one of violence, one of uncertainty, and one of optimism, are directly linked to three of the most common systems of international decision making. The interpretation a particular country seems to ally itself with will determine the way it behaves in today’s world. Realism is one of the oldest political theories in the world. Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Locke were some of the most famous realists of their time. The theory revolves around the notion that nothing else matters in international relations besides States. All other things, their various domestic institutions, international institutions, people, and local governments, are completely irrelevant on the whole. That is to say, because the world is inherently anarchic, and because there is no global police force, there can be no way for a country to be held accountable for its own actions. What goes on within a country is irrelevant; it is only the actions of the State that matter. Because there is no one to protect oneself, security is viewed as the main goal of realism. And in a world where all motives are viewed with the greatest skepticism, the only way to assure security is attain the greatest amount of power possible. As a result, realism results in a world where arms races are possible, power struggles are inevitable, and the cost of being less powerful than someone else is huge. It is a world driven by fear, but a world driven by rational thinking. Since there is no way to ensure that anyone is telling the truth, it seems logical that one must
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automatically assume the worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, the world that results is one where peace is impossible. A debate has raged within the field of international politics between realism and liberalism.
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International Politics Midterm - Eric Grandmaison TA Amy...

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