Theories of International Relations at Hochschule Rhein-Waal

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Exemplary flashcards for Theories of International Relations at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal on StudySmarter:

What are the characteristics of Realism?

Exemplary flashcards for Theories of International Relations at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal on StudySmarter:

What is power?

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What is "political morality" in Realism?

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Exemplary flashcards for Theories of International Relations at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal on StudySmarter:

What is the ulitmate goal of the state according to Realism?

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How do states reach their ulitmate goal according to Realism?

Exemplary flashcards for Theories of International Relations at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal on StudySmarter:

What are the characteristics of Classical  Realism?

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Classical Realsim according to Thucydides

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Exemplary flashcards for Theories of International Relations at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal on StudySmarter:

Classical Realism by Machiavelli

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Classical Realism by Hobbes

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What does Hans Morgenthau say about Realism?

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What is Neorealism / Structural Realism?

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What does Kenneth Waltz say about Realism?

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Exemplary flashcards for Theories of International Relations at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal on StudySmarter:

Theories of International Relations

What are the characteristics of Realism?

  • state = principal actor of international politics ("statism")
  • emphasize on the relevance of power and conflict for international relations
  • anarchy in the international system
  • no higher authoriy (world government)
  • most important values: national security and survival
  • all states pursue their own interest (international cooperation is uncerain)
  • self-help is the principle of action (each state has to ensure its own security)

Theories of International Relations

What is power?

  • Traditional / narrow definition: power = military forces
  • wider definition: capabilities linked with size of population, territory, resource endowment, economic power, military
    strength, political stability and competence (Waltz)
  • Two characteristics of the power concept:
    1. Power is exercised in relation to other entities (relational
      aspect)
    2. Beside the own power capabilities the power of other
      states has to be taken in account as well (relative
      aspect)

Theories of International Relations

What is "political morality" in Realism?

“Political morality” is different from “private morality”

  • since the ultimate concern of a state is national security, state leaders might be required to ignore traditional moral / ethical standards (“ethic of responsibility”)
  • Individual acts of immorality are justified “for the greater good”

Theories of International Relations

What is the ulitmate goal of the state according to Realism?

The ultimate goal of the state is to secure its survival.

  • ethic of responsibility (poiltical morality vs private morality)

Theories of International Relations

How do states reach their ulitmate goal according to Realism?

  • security can only be realized by self-help
  • international relations = security dilema (spiral of insecurity)
  • balance of power: joining forces to ensure survival for weaker states

Theories of International Relations

What are the characteristics of Classical  Realism?

  • human nature explains: competition between states, drive for power & domination / war ("power politics")
  • normative approaches that focus on political values and political ethics

Theories of International Relations

Classical Realsim according to Thucydides

Thucydides (460-395 BC):

  • inorder to survive and prosper, all states have to make decisions and act in accordance with the given reality of power distritbution
  • Political ethics is characterized by foresight prudence, caution and judgement
    • state leaders have to align to political ethics that are different from private morality and the principle of justice

Theories of International Relations

Classical Realism by Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 - 1527)

  • supreme political values are survival and security (strong leader)
  • the ultimate responsibility of political leader is to respect the maxims of power politics
    • compliance with traditional moral values such as charity, avoid violence etc. is regardes as politial irresponsibility that endangers everything

Theories of International Relations

Classical Realism by Hobbes

  • "state of nature" is a "war of all against all"
    • creating / maintaining sovereign states in order to escape
    • sovereign states protect the people from threats and to provide security
  • establishing nation states provides internal security but creates externally an "international state of nature"
  • states can conclude treaties with each other in order to establish a legal basis for the relations

Theories of International Relations

What does Hans Morgenthau say about Realism?

  • International politics is power politics
  • International politics reflect human nature (Animus dominandi = characterized by power-seeking behaviour)
  • Duality of moral standards: the morality of the private sphere and for the political sphere differ

Theories of International Relations

What is Neorealism / Structural Realism?

  • international relations are characterized by a permanent struggle for power (bc of structure of international system)
  • structure of the system is the central analytical focus

Theories of International Relations

What does Kenneth Waltz say about Realism?

3 elements define the international structure:

  1. anarchy as the organizing principle in contrast to hierachy
  2. all states are alike with regard to the basic functions ( functional similar units of the system)
  3. states differ significantly with regard to the capabillities 
    • relative distribution of capabilities is the key variable to understand the outcomes of internaional politics
    • changes of the structure can be explained with changes in the distribution of capabilities between states
  • bipolar international systems are more stable than multipolar systems
  • power is a mean to the end of security 
    • states are not power maximizers but security maximizers
    • defensive realism

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