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3. the Theoretical Foundations of Global Governance - Realism

3. the Theoretical Foundations of Global Governance - Realism

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Published by: _Q__4413 on Oct 02, 2011
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3. The Theoretical Foundations of GlobalGovernance - Realism
1. The attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and beingprepared to deal with it accordingly.2. The view that the subject matter of politics is political power, notmatters of principle.
Realism theory is based on the assumption that:1.
Individuals are generally power-hungry, and2.
They act in a rational way to protect their own interests.
Realists’ Concept of St 
States are primary actors;2.
States act in a unitary way (state is the unit in IR); and
States protect their own interest generally defined in terms of maximizing power and security;4.
States co-exist in an anarchic international system (noauthoritative hierarchy);5.
States must rely primarily on themselves to protect themselves;(7
Fleet / China will not come!);6.
States do so through balance of power (treaties) and deterrenceand (conventional and nuclear).
Realists and Morality 
Realists believe that no rules or norms that restrain a state;2.
Hans Morgenthau said in
Politics Among Nations
 , “…normativesystems… keep
aspirations for power within socially tolerable
bounds… morality mores and law intervene in order to
 protect society against disruption and the individual against enslavement and 
extinction.” (Hindutva)
John Mearsheimer has argued, “The most powerful states in the
system create and shape institutions so that they can maintain
their share of world power, or even increase it.” (IMF)
Realists do not acknowledge the importance or strength of non-state actors such as NGOs and MNCs.
Neorealism or Structural Realism
The core difference between the traditional realists andneorealists lies in the emphasis placed on the structure of theinternational system.2.
The neorealists do not accept any overarching authority. Theywould rather have anarchy than an order or an internationalsystem based on a principle.
They do believe in distribution of power among states under fixedconcepts. There would either be a balance of power (12:12) or ahierarchy of relations between states of unequal power(12:6:3:2:1 etc.).4.
What matters are state’s material capabilities (instruments of war
and means of delivering a large dose of lethal power
L. B.Johnson).5.
The order does not emerge from state actions or frominternational institutions (UN) but from the system structure.6.
The possibilities of international cooperation are therefore slim inthis atmosphere of counting relative gains. Unlike the neoliberals,
the neorelists do not say “actors with c
ommon interests willmaximize their
gains.” Basic question seems to be, “Who will gainmore?” (Pak
-India trade)7.
These relative gains are more critical in security matters than ineconomic issues. While a neorelist may be liberal with dollars, hewould punish a non-compliance from an ally in security mattersseverely.8.
Neorelists believe that the importance of internationalinstitutions has been grossly exaggerated. John T. Mearsheimerhad said in 1994 that American reliance on such institutions wasapt to lead to more failures.9.
Since anarchy fuels insecurity, states are wary of becoming toodependent on others, preferring greater control and increased
capabilities. (Pakistan’s independent approach to war on terror in
Afghanistan-Pakistan in an environment of heightened insecurity).
Criticism of Neorealism

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