¶But even more importantly, Taiwan, or any state for that matter, is not simply a unitary actor subject to a set of predetermined laws of physics.Glaser’s rational theory, and the realist school of thought on which it is based, fails when it assumes away prior history, culture, and philosophy.¶Rational theory can be irrational when it incorporates blind spots inherent in the realist tradition. Glaser calls himself a defensive realist. His theory draws from structural realism, which is a prevailing view within realism that the structure of the international system–meaning the distribution of material capabilities–forces great powers to behave cooperatively or competitively. As an academic approach, structural realism is ahistorical and state-centric. It does not focus on histories of states. It examines a state, not the individual, as the unit of analysis. With the state as the unit, the realist approach treats states as billiard balls that act and react against one another akin to Newtonian physics. These blind spots are severe.¶Structural realism, which is the basis of rational theory, does not take into account the close friendship nor the cooperative partnership that the 23 million people in Taiwanhave with the United States and its people. They are not simply billiard balls as described under realism. These academic theories inadequately describe Taiwan’s loyalty and close cooperation with the US before World War II, throughout the Cold War, and to the present day.¶Let’s not forget that Taiwan was a US mutual defense treaty ally from the 1950s to the 1970s, that it previously held the China seat at the United Nations Security Council, and is a vibrant democracy today with a rich multiethnic culture and history. Realism ignores this valuable bit of history.
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People's Republic of China, Political status of Taiwan, Taiwan.