realism and neo-realism 1 (1).ppt - Realism and Thucydides...

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Realism and Thucydides Power Politics
The tenets of realism go back several centuries and appear to many over time as eternal truths. We see much commonality in both ancient and modern thinking about international relations. Modern diplomacy is still often based on Realist theory– A result of Thuycides view of the Peleponnesian War
Realist thinkers include: Sun Tzu (Ancient China) Thucydides (Ancient Greece) Machiavelli (Medieval Italy) Thomas Hobbes (civil war torn England) Mao Tse Tung (Communist China) Hans J. Morgenthau (USA 1950s) They have all come to similar conclusions about the characteristics of the international system that can be grouped together as the theory of realism.
Realism is a theory based on power politics Main Assumptions: 1. States are most important actors 2. Unitary-Rational Decision-making 3. International system is anarchic and conflict- prone: often zero-sum situations 4. All States must pursue power to survive 5. States balance against threats 6. Morality has no place in international politics 7. International politics more important than domestic politics. 8. Value Relative over Absolute Gains
Why do Realists claim that states must pursue power or that morality has no place in world politics? The world is anarchic (Chaos) and it is a self-help system. To survive states must pursue power. Also, if there is no higher authority, then there is no international law that states must abide by.
Why is international politics seen as more important than domestic politics by Realists?

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