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Assignment 1 International Relation

International Relations
Assignment 1 International Relation

Approaches of International Relations

In international relation there are two approaches. There are two approaches to
morality. The realistic approach wants to avoid too large a gap between the ought
and the is and focuses on what it is possible given existing realities. This approach,
however, inhibits us from challenging fundamentally unjust institutions and policies.
The idealistic approach, in contrast, requires us to assess current reality in light of
our highest ideals. Its weakness is that it may not help us answer the question of
how to act in this non-ideal world. Discussions about the ethics of migration require a
full range of perspectives using both approaches.
Assignment 1 International Relation

An approach is a set of standards governing the inclusion and the exclusion of the

Realism: the science of power politics:
One of the principal reasons that
realism has been such an enduring approach
in it is because it set itself up as a non-
nonsense practical science of international
politics. Another reason is that it central
tenets are clear and easy to grasp and
seems to have immense explanatory power.
By this we mean that the way that realists
explain the forces that drive foreign policies
seems to fit neatly with those aspects of
world politics. One of the most staking way in
which this is the case is the way that the
realists argue that any object analysis of
international affairs must focus on power
relations between the states. This seems to
allow them to cut through utopian political
rhetoric and focus on the realities of the
situation. This appears to give realist a
powerful starting point.

Morgenthau said that:
The concept of interest defined as power imposes
intellectual discipline upon observe, infuses rational order
Assignment 1 International Relation

into the subject matter of politics and thus makes the
theoretical understanding of politics possible. On the side of
the actor it provides for rational discipline in action and
creates that astounding continuity in foreign policy which
makes American British or Russian appear as in intelligible
rational continuum by and large consistent with in it
regardless of the different motives preferences and
intellectual and moral qualities of successive statesmen.

The first key feature of realist international theory is, then, the focus on power.

This can be refined further by recognising that realists limit their enquiries to
the study of states power. Realists emphasises the fact that states are the primary
actors of the centres of power politics helps us explain state action. This does not
mean that it is not interesting or worthy of study. It simply means that any search for
the essences of world affairs will eventually be reduce to power relation between
national states. If for example you want to understand the character of international
law or of IGOs such as UN you will eventually have to understand them in terms of
the power states. This claim to be realistic to cut to the chase is why the realists
gave themselves this title.

Sharing a concern to focus on the realities of power politics leads realists to share
other core ideas such as attempts to understand statecraft the nature of the security
dilemma facing actors in world politics the ways in which configurations of power
change over time for understanding and conducting international politics. What
emerges is something like a manual for understanding and conducting international
politics and this is another of the great appeals of the tradition.

A further attractive feature of realism is its claim to be engaged in a practical
science of politics. As we shall see in the exploration of some of the key figures in
the realist school the tradition aspires to scientific rigor, to the generation of objective
laws, to the theoretical elaboration of law that are provable b observation and
Assignment 1 International Relation

experiment. When we are dealing with something as vital as national survival surely
we want to premise out thought and actions on the truth about the world.

The history of realism:
It claims a rich and venerable history. The core themes of realism, it is
argued, are to be found repeatedly in some of the classical works in the history of
political thought. In Machiavelli we find clear expression of the ideas of power
politics, necessity, and reason of state and the primacy of politics over ethics.

Machiavelli was writing at the birth of the modern states but the history of
these key features of relations between organized political units is much older.

Morgenthau’s six principles:

1. Political realism believes that politics like society in general, is governed by
objective laws that have their roots in human nature.
2. The main signpost that helps political realism find its way through the
landscape of international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of
3. Realism assumes that its key concept of interest defined as power is an
objective category which is universally valid.
4. Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action while the
individual has the moral right to sacrifice himself in defence of such a moral
principle the state has no right to let its moral disapprobation get in the way of
Assignment 1 International Relation

successful political action, itself inspired by the moral principle of national
5. Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspiration of a particular nation
with the moral laws that govern the universe. To know that the nation are
subject to the moral law is one thing, while pretend to know with certainty
what is good and evil in the relation among nations is quite another. It is
exactly the concept of interest defined in terms of power that saves us from
moral excess and that political folly.
6. Political realist maintains the antinomy of the political sphere, as the
economist, the lawyer, the moralist maintain theirs.

The key massage we can draw from the whole approach is that realism is
necessarily a simplification of the world. It is intended to close off a manageable area
of study and to focus on its core features tether than to be an exhaustive theory of
world affairs. Politics is to be considered distinct from law, morality and economics
and we are asked to focus on the basic concept of political interaction. There is also
the idea that politics is somehow more realistic than the other disciplines which must
cleave to the political.

Criticism on realistic approach:
 Psychological relations

 Wrongly assumed theory

 Power wrongly assumed

 Power in permanent guiding factor
Assignment 1 International Relation

 Power, mere bloody game

 Morality

 Involvement of power

 Nature of autonomy

Idealist approach:
Idealist approach is the one which refutes the power cantered realist

According to idealist school of thought the power
politics is passing phase of history and presents the
picture of history and presents the picture of future
international society based on the norms which depots a
reformed international system free from power politics of
immorality and violence.
Assignment 1 International Relation

Evolution of nation state:
 Concept of sovereignty
 Evolution of nation state
 Alliances
 Quadruple alliance 1815
 Most significant developed country

Idealist believes that the foreign policy based
on the idealist principals is more effective because it
promotes the cooperation and unity among the
states rather than competition and violence.

This approach is concerned with the
perception images cautiousness pragmatism
superiority creativeness confidence and other
personal characteristics of decision makers.