You are on page 1of 11

09.11.

2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

theworldsleadingopenaccesswebsiteforstudentsandscholarsofinternationalpolitics
Search...

Go

SubmitContent
Advertise
Textbook
About

Home
Articles
BOOKS
Interviews
Blogs
Reviews
StudentEssays

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealism
andNeorealism
ArashHeydarianPashakhanlou,Jul232009
Thiscontentwaswrittenbyastudentandassessedaspartofauniversitydegree.EIRpublishes
studentessays&dissertationstoallowourreaderstobroadentheirunderstandingofwhatispossible
whenansweringsimilarquestionsintheirownstudies.
ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism:AReexaminationofHans
MorgenthausandKennethWaltzsTheoriesofInternationalRelations
Introduction
RealistsoftentracetheirintellectualrootstoThucydidesclassicaccountofthePeloponnesianWarin
thefifthcenturyB.C.Itwouldhowevertakenearly2,500yearsbeforethestudyofinternational
politicsbecameaninstitutionalizedacademicdisciplineandforthefirstclassicalrealistsinthenewly
establishedfieldtoemerge.AmongstthemtheGermanJewishmigrtotheUnitedStates,Hans
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

1/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

Morgenthau,cametohavethelargestimpactonthefield.Inhismagnumopusfrom1948,Politics
AmongNations,Morgenthauformulatedanaccountofpoliticalrealismthatdominatedthestudiesof
internationalpoliticsforovertwogenerations.Eventually,theintellectualhegemonyofMorgenthaus
classicalrealismwassucceededbythefoundingfatherofneorealism,KennethWaltz.Waltzsattempt
todevelopasystemicandscientificrealisminhis1979bookTheoryofInternationalPoliticsdivided
thisschoolofthoughtintotwoblocks:classicalrealismandneorealism.Thepurposeofthisessayis
tocompareandcontrastthesetworealisttraditionsbyengagingwiththeworksofHansMorgenthau
andKennethWaltz.TheaimistochallengetheconventionalwisdomwithinthefieldofIRand
presentamoresophisticatedandnuancedunderstandingofthesetwotheorists.
Thisapproachispremieredforseveralreasons.Thelimitedscopeofthisessaymakesavastsurveyof
differentclassicalrealistandneorealistpositionsimpracticalandwouldonlyamounttoahighly
descriptiveessay.Thealternativeapproach,totreatrealismandneorealismasmonolithicblocksis
alsodismissedsincetherearesignificantdifferencesamongstscholarswithinthesamerealistblockas
well.Assuch,itwouldthusbearbitrarytolumpthemtogetherundertwopredefinedlabels.Hans
MorgenthauandKennethWaltzarechosenasrepresentativesofclassicalrealismandneorealismon
basisoftheirreputationasthemostinfluentialthinkersintheirrespectivebranchofrealism,apoint
thatwasproveninarecentsurveyamongstIRfaculty(Maliniaket.al.,2007:17,19).
Thisessayproceedsinfivesections.Thefirstsectionoutlinesthemainstreamconceptionofclassical
realismandneorealism.ThesecondsectioncomparesandcontrastsMorgenthausandWaltzs
definitionofpower.Thethirdsectionexaminesthesetwotheoristspositiononthelevelsofanalysis.
ThefourthsectionexploresthenormativeandcriticalelementsofMorgenthausandWaltzs
thinking.Thefifthandlastsectionofthisessaysummarizestheprecedingargumentsandarguesthat
labelingideasratherthanindividualsismorefruitfulwhenassessingscholarlywork.
TheOrthodoxViewofClassicalRealismandNeorealism
BeforeananalysisofMorgenthausandWaltzsworkcantakeplace,itisnecessarytohighlighthow
classicalrealismandneorealismisusuallydepictedinthemainstreamliterature.
Accordingtotheorthodoxview,Realismisconcernedwiththeworldasitactuallyisratherthanhow
itisoughttobe.Inotherwords,itisanempiricalratherthananormativeparadigm(Morgenthau,
1956:4).Realismisalsopessimisticandemphasisestherecurrentpatternsofpowerpoliticsas
manifestedbyreoccurringconflicts,rivalriesandwars(JacksonandSorensen,2007:60).Inthis
gloomyworld,conceptssuchasthebalanceofpowerandthesecuritydilemmabecomethemain
realistanalyticaltools(Buzan,1997:53).Realistsofallstrandsalsoconsiderthestateastheprincipal
actorininternationalaffairs.Specialattentionisaffordedtogreatpowersastheyhavethemost
leverageontheinternationalstage(Mearsheimer,2001:1718).Furthermore,itisthenationalinterest
thatanimatesstatebehaviourastheyareessentiallyrationalegoists,guidedbythedictatesofraison
dtat(Brown,2005:30).Finally,Realistsmaintainthatthedistributionofpowerorcapabilities
largelydeterminesinternationaloutcomes(Frankel,1996:xivxv).
Therearehoweverfourkeydifferencesbetweenclassicalrealismandneorealism.First,classical
realistlocatetherootsofinternationalconflictandwarinanimperfecthumannaturewhileneo
realistsmaintainthatitsdeepcausesarefoundintheanarchicinternationalsystem.Second,thestate
isontologicallysuperiortothesysteminclassicalrealism,incontrasttoneorealism,allowingmore
spaceforagencyintheformerapproach(Hobson,2000:17).Third,classicalrealistsdifferentiate
betweenstatusquopowersandrevisionistpowerswhileneorealismregardsstatesasunitaryactors
(Schweller,1996:155).Fourth,neorealistsattempttoconstructamorerigorousandscientific
approachtothestudyofinternationalpolitics,heavilyinfluencedbythebehaviouristrevolutionofthe
1960swhileclassicalrealismconfineitsanalysestosubjectivevaluationsofinternationalrelations
(GeorgandSorensen,2007:75).
Therestofthisessaywillfocusonthemeritsofthisorthodoxunderstandingofrealismandcontest
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

2/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

someofthemythsthisprocesshasgeneratedaboutrealistthinkers.Thefirstthemethatwillbe
analysedinthisspiritisMorgenthausandWaltzsunderstandingsofpower.
DefiningPower
MorgenthauandWaltzbothseetheinternationalarenaasacompetitiveandhostilestagewhere
poweristhemaincurrency.Thatiswhytheconceptofpowerisattheheartoftheiranalysisof
internationalpolitics.
JohnMearsheimer(1995:91)summarizestheorthodoxviewonhowpowerisdefinedwithinthe
realistparadigminthefollowingstatement:Realistsbelievethatstatebehaviourislargelyshapedby
thematerialstructureoftheinternationalsystem.Thisquotationhoweverdeeplymisrepresents
Morgenthausdefinitionofpower.ThisisevidentwhenMorgenthaustatesthat:Powermay
compriseanythingthatestablishesandmaintainsthepowerofmanoverman.fromphysical
violencetothemostsubtlepsychologicaltiesbywhichonemindcontrolsanother(Morgenthau,
1965:9).ForMorgenthau,themostimportantmaterialaspectofpowerisarmedforces,buteven
moresignificantisanationscharacter,moraleandqualityofgovernance(Morgenthau,1956:186).
ThevalidityofthisreadingofMorgenthauisfurtherenhancedwhenhecontends:power.tendsto
beequatedwithmaterialstrength,especiallyofamilitarynature,Ihavestressedmorethanbeforeits
immaterialaspects(Morgenthau1965:9).MichaelWilliams(2005:109)isthusrightwhenheclaims
thattheclosestaffinitiestoMorgenthausextremelybroadunderstandingofpoweraretobefoundin
theworksofMichaelFoucaultandPierreBourdieuandnotinthenarrowandmaterialisticconception
ofpowerrealismoftenisaccusedof.
WaltzoffersaconsiderablythinnerdefinitionofpowerorcapabilitiesthanMorgenthau.His
estimationofpowerincludesthefollowingcomponents:sizeofpopulationandterritory,resource
endowment,economiccapability,militarystrength,politicalstabilityandcompetence(Waltz,1979:
131).EventhoughWaltzevidentlyprivilegesmaterialfactors,nonmaterialdimensionsofpowerare
alsopresentinhistheoryasmanifestedbyhisemphasisonpoliticalstabilityandcompetence.The
reasonforWaltzspredominantemphasisonmaterialismisduetohiscommitmenttoscientific
realism.Consequently,Waltzlimitshisdefinitionofpowertomainlytangiblevariablesastheyare
mucheasiertoquantify.
TherearethusvastdifferencesbetweenMorgenthauandWaltzintheirdefinitionofpower.The
formersunderstandingofpowerposesafundamentalanomalytotheorthodoxviewsincesoft
powertrumpshardpowerinMorgenthausaccount.Inthisrespect,Waltzspositionisfareasierto
reconcilewiththetraditionalview.Indeed,Waltzsrathernarrowconceptionofpoweris
predominantly,butnotentirely,materialistic.
WhydoStatesStruggleforPower?
Thereisawideconsensuswithintheliteraturethatclassicalrealistsandneorealistsanswerthis
fundamentalquestioninopposingways.Classicalrealismsupposedlyemphasizeshumannaturewhile
neorealismlocatescausationintheanarchicinternationalsystem(Brown,2005:92).Thissection
seekstoexaminethemeritsofthiscategorizationbycomparingandcontrastingthewritingsof
MorgenthauandWaltz.
Morgenthausexplanationismainly,butnosolely,confinedtothefirstimagewhichhebasesupona
fixedanduniversalisticaccountofhumannature.Thefirstprincipleofpoliticalrealismmakesthis
pointclear:politics,likesocietyingeneral,isgovernedbyobjectivelawsthathavetheirrootsin
humannature(Morgenthau,1956:4).AccordingtoMorgenthau,thestruggleforpoweratthe
internationallevelislargelytheresultofanimusdominandi,thepoliticalmansurgetodominate
others,aconceptinfluencedbyNietzschesmetaphysicsonthewilltopower(Peterson,1999:100
101).However,Morgenthaugoesbeyondhumannatureandmovesuptothesecondlevelofanalysis.
Heregardsthestateasacollectivereflectionofpoliticalmanslustforpowerandtheunitwhich
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

3/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

carriesoutitsimpulsesattheinternationalstage.ThestateisthusthereferentobjectofMorgenthaus
theoryandtheagentpursuingpowerininternationalaffairs,highlightingMorgenthausdependence
ontheunitlevel.ThethirdimageisalsopresentinMorgenthausaccountofthestruggleforpower.
Anarchyisnotthedeepcauseofpowercompetitionbutavitalpermissiveforce.Theabsenceof
worldgovernancemeansthattherearenoconstraintsonmansbasicdesires,reflectedinstate
behaviour,todominateothers(Shimko,1992:290293).Inahierarchicorderhowever,thepursuitof
powerwouldbeabolishedastheanimusdominandiwouldbeconstrainedbyagloballeviathan
(Morgenthau,1956:477).Hence,humannaturesinnatedesiretodominateotherswhichisthedriving
forceofstatebehaviorcanonlytakeplaceaslongastheinternationalsystemremainsanarchic.
Throughthisnarrative,Morgenthaualsoeloquentlylinksallthreelevelsofanalysistogether.
KennethWaltz,nevertheless,regardsMorgenthauasafirstimagetheoristandcriticizeshisapproach
onthreeaccounts.First,Morgenthausaccountofhumannatureisentirelyhypotheticalsincewe
cannotempiricallyverifywhatthetruehumannatureis.Thisinturnmakesitimpossibletoassessthe
validityofhisthesis(Waltz,1959:166).Second,Morgenthausessentialistconceptionofhuman
natureisproblematicsinceaconstantcannotexplainvariation.ToparaphraseWaltz:ifhumannature
wasthecauseofwarin1914,itwasbythesametokenthecauseofpeacein1910(Waltz,1959:28).
Third,WaltzaccusesMorgenthauofreductionismsincethelattertriestoexplainthewholebythe
sumofitsparts.Reductionismfailstoaccountwhythepatternsofinternationalpoliticsconstantly
reoccureventhoughtheactorsandtheircharacterareinaconstantchange(Waltz,1979:65,74).
ToovercomewhatWaltzregardsasdeficienciesinMorgenthausworkheattemptstolocate
causationatthesystemiclevelinstead.Indeed,Waltzcontendsthattheanarchicalinternational
systeminevitablyleadstothelogicofselfhelpandpowerpolitics.AccordingtoWaltz(1979:87)
stateswhostruggleforpoweraresimplyfollowingthedictatesoftheinternationalsysteminorderto
surviveinaninternationalorderwherethereisnogloballeviathantoofferthemprotection.By
providingthisexplanation,Waltztriestorestricthimselftothesystemiclevelandavoid
reductionism.Waltzhoweverfailswiththisattemptashistheoryisdependentontheunitlevelin
ordertofunction.AsRichardAshleyandAlexanderWendthavepointedout,Waltzianstructuralism
presupposesstatepreferences.Internationalanarchycannotpossiblyimpelstatestostruggleforpower
iftheydonotshareanyambitions(Guzzini,1998:129).Waltzisseeminglywellawareofthispoint
andmakesinterferenceatthesecondlevelofanalysisbyassumingthatstatespursuestrategiesfor
survival,inordertooperationalizehistheory(Waltz,1979:91).Thismotivationaldesirealonecannot
howevergeneratepowercompetition.RandallSchwellerconvincinglyarguesthatinananarchic
systemwhereallstatesprimarygoalissurvival,theunitswouldhavenoincentivetopursuepowerat
allsincethatwouldriskunderminingtheirprincipalgoal:survival.InSchwellerswords:Waltz
constructsaworldofallcopsandnorobbersandmustthereforemakefurtherinterventionsatthe
unitlevelandbringrevisionistgoalsintohisanalysisinordertotriggerpowercompetition
(Schweller,1996:9192).Reductionismthusseemstobeunavoidable,evenforWaltz.
Asthissectionhasshown,Morgenthauassignsthedeepcausesofpowerstrugglestothefirstimage
whileWaltzattributesittothethirdimage.However,bothscholarsmakeuseofotherlevelsof
analysisaswell.WithoutincorporatingbothsystemicandunitlevelexplanationsneitherMorgenthau
norWaltzwouldbeabletoexplainwhystatespursuepower.Thedifferencebetweenthetwoliesin
thefactthatMorgenthausbottomupapproachtakeshumannatureasthestartingpointandmoves
upthelevelsofanalysis,whileWaltztopdownapproachbeginsatthethirdimageandslowlymove
downtotheunitlevel,withouteverreachingtheindividuallevel.Contrarytotheconventional
wisdomthenMorgenthausclassicalrealismcannotbeseenasastrictfirstimagetheoryandWaltzian
neorealismisnotapurelysystemictheory.
TheCriticalandNormativeDimensionofPowerPolitics
Therearedifferentopinionsontherolenormativeandcriticalanalysisplaysinclassicaland
neorealism.Someclaimthatbothstrandsofrealismoverlookthisdimensionofpolitics(Burchill,
2001:99),othersarguethatthisaspectoftheorizinginonlyapparentinclassicalrealism(Lebow,
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

4/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

2007:53)whileathirdstrandmaintainsthatrealistsofallkindsaredrivenbyanormativeandcritical
agenda(SorensenandJackson,2007:77).Thissectionaimstobringsomeclaritytothisimportant
issue.
CriticalandnormativeanalysisshinesthroughintheworkofMorgenthau.FollowingHannahArendt,
Morgenthaumakesadistinctionbetweenthevitacontemplativaandthevitaactiva,thefirstconcept
correspondstotruthandthesecondtopower.InMorgenthausworldthetworealmsareatoddswith
oneanotherastheyareorientedtowardsdifferentgoals.Whiletruthtriestounmaskpowerforwhatit
actuallyis,inordertoopenupspacefornormativeandcriticalchallengestothestatusquo,power
triestocloakitselfandpretendtobethebeareroftruthandjusticeinhopeofmaintainingtheexisting
order.Morgenthauarguesthatthetaskofthescholaristospeaktruthtopowerandexposeitforwhat
itactually(Morgenthau,1970:1415).ThisisthetaskMorgenthauundertakeswhenherelentlessly
attackrationalliberalismforuncriticallyacceptingrelationsofdominationbycloakingitunderthe
bannerofrationalityandharmonyofinterest(Williams,2005:96).Rationalliberalismthenonly
reinforcesthestatusquowhichMorgenthauclaimstobecontrarytothepurposeofpoliticalscience
asadisciplinedesignedtounsettlepowerandbringaboutchange(Cozette,2008:8).
MorgenthausapproachinTruthandPowerisalsofullyconsistentwithhiskeyprinciple:interest
definedaspower.ThisisbecauseMorgenthauhasanextremelybroadunderstandingofpowerashas
alreadybeendemonstratedbutalsoanalmostboundlessdefinitionofthenationalinterest.Thisis
evidentinthefollowingpassageofPoliticsAmongNations:Thegoalsthatmightbepursuedby
nationsintheirforeignpolicycanrunthewholegamutofobjectivesanynationshaseverpursuedor
mightpossiblepursue(Morgenthau,1965:89).EchoingWeber,Morgenthauthusarguesthat
prudentandethicalbehaviourcanbeapartofthestateobjective.Indeed,goodforeignpolicy
compliesbothwiththemoralpreceptofprudenceandthepoliticalrequirementofsuccess
(Morgenthau,1965:7).Yet,Morgenthauclearlyrecognizesthatstatesmaychoosenottoactinsuch
mannersincemoralprinciplesdonotserveaseffectivepoliticalrestraints(Williams,2005:187).
EventhoughWaltzhasspokentruthtoAmericanpowersinceatleastthe1970s,histheoreticalwork
isdryofcriticalandnormativeengagement(Hallidayet.al.,1998:373).Waltzslackofinterestin
normativeandcriticalanalysisdoesnothoweverstemfromabeliefthattheoriesshouldsolelyexplain
asonewouldexpect(Waltz1979:6).OtherexplanationsmustthereforeaccountforWaltzsantipathy
towardscriticalandnormativetheorizing,herearetwoplausiblerenditions.First,Waltzstheory
maintainsthatstructuredeterminesthebehaviouroftheunitswithinit.Consequently,onlystructural
changesareabletoaffectinternationaloutcomesinworldpolitics(Waltz,1979:108).Hence,thereis
verylittleroomforagencyinWaltzsworldanditwouldbesuperfluoustoengageinprescriptions
whenitissystemicfactorsthatultimatelydecidestatebehavior.Waltzisopentotheprospectof
changeinthestructureoftheinternationalsystembutregarditasaformidablechallenge,unlikelyto
happenanytimesoon(Waltz,1986:329).Second,WaltzwrotehisbookduringtheheightoftheCold
Warwhichwascharacterizedbybipolaritybetweenthetwogreatpowersofthetime,theUnited
StatesandtheSovietUnion.SinceWaltz(1964:881909)contendsthatthebipolardistributionof
poweristhemoststableandpeacefulformofinternationalorderhewascontemptwiththestatusquo
andhadthereforenoreasontochallengeit.ThesetwoexplanationsmightaccountforWaltz
disinterestincriticalandnormativeanalysis.
ThisfinalthemehasdemonstratedasharpdivisionbetweenMorgenthausandWaltswritings.
Whiletheformeropenlyengagewithcriticalandnormativeanalysisthelatterdonotaddressthese
concernsatall.IfweonlyconsiderthewritingsofMorgenthauandWaltz,RichardNedLebows
proclamationseemstobecorrect:onlyclassicalrealismispreoccupiedwiththenormativeandcritical
dimensionofpolitics.
Conclusion
ThisessayhascomparedandcontrastedtheclassicalrealismofHansMorgenthauwithKenneth
Waltzsneorealism.Ithasalsoexaminedandchallengedtheconventionalwisdomonwhatrealismas
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

5/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

aschoolofthoughtissupposedtoencompassandquestionedsomeofthesimilaritiesanddifferences
thatsupposedlyexistsbetweenclassicalandneorealism.Thisessayshouldthereforebeseenasa
contributiontotheincreasinglysophisticatedengagementwithrealisminIR(Williams,2007:5).
Thefirstsectionofthisworkpresentedtheorthodoxviewwhichmaintainedthatrealismis:state
centric,materialist,pessimisticandempirical.Theconventionalliteraturealsomaintainsthatclassical
realistslocatescausationinthehumannature,makedistinctionsbetweenstatusquopowersand
revisioniststates,emphasizetheimportanceofstatecraftandbelieveinasubjectivesocialscienceand
differsfromneorealismintheseaspects.ThesecondsectionexaminedWaltzsandMorgenthaus
definitionofpower,whiletheformerconceiveditinlargelymaterialtermsthelatterregarded
immaterialfactorsasmoreimportant.Morgenthausunderstandingofpoweristhusananomalytothe
orthodoxview.ThethirdsectioncomparedthelevelsofanalysisinMorgenthausandWaltzswork.
Theformermainlyrootedthepursuitforpowerinhumannaturewhilethelatteremphasized
internationalanarchy.However,aswasdemonstratedbothscholarsutilizestructuralandunitlevel
explanationsintheirtheories.Thebinaryoppositionbetweenclassicalrealismandneorealismin
termsoflevelofanalysisaspresentedinthemainstreamliteratureisthereforefalse.Thefourthand
finalsectioncontrastedthenormativeandcriticalaspectsofMorgenthausandWaltzswritings.Even
thoughbothscholarsaremainlyconcernedwithconstructinganexplanatorytheorytheformerdid
incorporatecriticalandnormativeelementsintohistheory.Morgenthausconceptofspeakingtruth
topowerclearlydemonstratedthispoint.Waltzwashoweverreluctanttoundertakenormativeand
criticalanalysis.Twoexplanationsweregivenforthis.First,histheoryleaveslittleroomforagency
makingpolicyprescriptionssuperfluous.Second,hewascontemptwiththestableandpeaceful
bipolarworldduringtheColdWarandhadthereforenoreasontochallengeit.Commentators
claimingthatcriticalandnormativeconsiderationsisabsentfromrealismmaythusberightwith
regardstoWaltzbutnotMorgenthau.
ThisessayhasshowntheproblemsoftryingtofitWaltzsandespeciallyMorgenthausideasinto
predefinedlabelssuchasrealismorclassicalrealismandneorealism.Theargumentisnotthat
thereisnosharedcorewithinrealismbutratherthatthecategorizationofitsadvocatesintovarious
labelsultimatelytellsusverylittleabouttheirtheoriesandmightinsomecasesevencompletely
misconstruetheirpositionsasthisessayhasdemonstrated.Indeed,restrictingpeopletoalabel
considerablyreducesthecomplexity,breadthandrichnessofscholarsthinkingandleavesuswithan
arbitrary,sterileandsimplisticunderstandingoftheirwork.Thisapproachishoweverunfortunately
widespreadinIRandacademicswhofundamentallydisagreeontheessenceofinternationalpolitics
arearbitrarylumpedtogetherintoaschoolofthoughttheymightnoteventhemselvesascribeto.At
betterwayofassessingthecontributionstothefieldofIRhasrecentlybeensuggestedbyKenBooth
(2008:510526).Headvocatesamovefromlabelingpeopletolabelingideas.Amovetowards
labelingideaswouldnotonlydojusticetothemajorcontributionsmadetoourfieldbutmayalsolead
toamoresoberandholisticunderstandingofinternationalpoliticsinextension.
Bibliography
Booth,K.(2008)NavigatingtheAbsoluteNovum:JohnH.HerzsPoliticalRealismandPolitical
Idealism.InternationalRelations,22,pp.510526.
Brown,C.withAinley,K.(2005)UnderstandingInternationalRelations.London:Palgrave.
Burchill,S.et.al.,(2001)TheoriesofInternationalRelations.NewYork:Palgrave.
Buzan,B.(1997)TheTimelessWisdomofRealism?.InInternationalTheory:Positivismand
Beyond,editedbySteveSmith,KenBoothandMarysiaZalewski,pp.4765.London:Cambridge
UniversityPress.
Cozette,M.(2008)ReclaimingtheCriticalDimensionofRealism:HansJ.MorgenthauontheEthics
ofScholarship.ReviewofInternationalStudies,34,pp.527.
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

6/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

Frankel,B.(1996)Realism:RestatementsandRenewal.UnitedStates:Routledge.
Guzzini,S.(1998)RealisminInternationalRelationsandInternationalPoliticalEconomy:The
ContinuingStoryofaDeathForetold.London:Taylor&Francis.
Halliday,F.et.al.,(1998)InterviewwithKenWaltz.ReviewofInternationalStudies,24,pp.371
386.
Hobson,J.(2000)TheStateandInternationalRelations.London:CambridgeUniversityPress.
Jackson,R.andSorensen,G.(2007)IntroductiontoInternationalRelations:Theoriesand
Approaches.NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress.
Lebow,R.(2001)ClassicalRealism.InInternationalRelationsTheories:DisciplineandDiversity,
editedbyTimDunne,MiljaKurkiandSteveSmith,pp.5270.NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress.
Maliniaket.al.,(2007)TheViewfromtheIvoryTower:TRIPSurveyofInternationalRelations
FacultyintheUnitedStatesandCanada.Virginia:TheCollegeofWilliamandMaryWilliamsburg.
Mearsheimer,J.(1995)ARealistReply.InternationalSecurity,20,pp.8293.
Mearsheimer,J.(2001)TheTragedyofGreatPowerPolitics.NewYork:Norton.
Morgenthau,H.(1956a)PoliticsAmongNations.NewYork:AlfredA.Knopf.
Morgenthau,H.(1965b)PoliticsAmongNations.NewYork:AlfredA.Knopf.
Morgenthau,H.(1970)TruthandPower:EssaysofaDecade,19601970.NewYork:Praeger.
Peterson,U.(1999)BreathingNietzschesAir:NewReflectionsonMorgenthausConceptofPower
andHumanNature.Alternatives,24,pp.83113.
Schweller,R.(1996)NeorealismsStatusQuoBias:WhatSecurityDilemma?.SecurityStudies,5,
pp.90121.
Shimko,K.(1992)Realism,Neorealism,andAmericanLiberalism.TheReviewofPolitics,54,pp.
281301.
Waltz,K.(1959)Man,theState,andWar:ATheoreticalAnalysis.NewYork:ColumbiaUniversity
Press.
Waltz,K.(1979)TheoryofInternationalPolitics.UnitedStates:McGrawHill.
Williams,M.(2005)TheRealistTraditionandtheLimitsofInternationalRelations.United
Kingdom:CambridgeUniversityPress.
Williams,M.(2007)RealismReconsidered:TheLegacyofHansMorgenthauinInternational
Relations.NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress.

Writtenby:ArashHeydarianPashakhanlou
Writtenat:AberystwythUniversity
Writtenfor:SimonaRentea
Datewritten:2009(revisedSeptember2010)
17Comments
EInternationalRelations
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

Login

7/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

17Comments

EInternationalRelations

Recommend 4

Share

Login

SortbyNewest

Jointhediscussion
KairahHildah 6monthsago

howempiricalisrealismasusaidinorthodoxthat'swhereamconfusedotherwisethe
essayisgoodanditishelpfulcozitissimplifiedthanksalot

Reply Share

Pawan 9monthsago

Superbessay,Iwasinhorrorcondition.Theessaylikeremedyforme...Thankyouvery
much.

Reply Share

Rob 4yearsago

Hey,thisisaverywellwrittenessay.Iwasgettingverylostandconfusedthroughoutthe
bodyoftheessaybecausethetopicofNeoVs.Classicalrealismis
sounnecessarilycomplicatedandoverexaggerated.Butthewayyoucriticizedthatinyour
conclusionmadetheessayverypowerful.

Reply Share

veten 4yearsago

Thishelpedmealotontheopenbookexam.greetingsfromAzerbaijan.

Reply Share

jackal` 4yearsago

thisisreallyreallyhelpfully

Reply Share

Dikela 4yearsago

Greatpiece.Where'sthescienceinWaltz,though.Isn'tanarchyfoundationaltoboth
MorgenthauandWaltzrealistviewsandwhysuchanemphasisonstructureinthelatter,
what'sdistinctivehere?

Reply Share

ellen 5yearsago

Verywellwrittenpiece.

Reply Share

AlasdairMcKay 5yearsago

Isee,butwhataboutmetatheory?

Reply Share

ArashHeydarianPashakhanlou 5yearsago
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

8/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

ArashHeydarianPashakhanlou 5yearsago

ThankyouAlasdair.Ijustthoughtthatthereweremoreimportantaspectstotheirworkthan
theirconceptionsofcausality:).

Reply Share

AlasdairMcKay 5yearsago

Arash,thisisanexcellentessay,butwhyhaveyounottalkedaboutcausality?)

Reply Share

ArashHeydarianPashakhanlou 5yearsago

IamwellawareofthefactthatpowerisameanstoanendinWaltzianneorealism
Barbara.Ifyoureadthesectioncalled"Whydostatesstruggleforpower?"Imake
thispointclear:"AccordingtoWaltz(1979:87)stateswhostruggleforpoweraresimply
followingthedictatesoftheinternationalsysteminordertosurviveinaninternationalorder
wherethereisnogloballeviathantoofferthemprotection....Waltzisseeminglywellaware
ofthispointandmakesinterferenceatthesecondlevelofanalysisbyassumingthatstates
pursuestrategiesforsurvival,inordertooperationalizehistheory(Waltz,1979:91).This
motivationaldesirealonecannothowevergeneratepowercompetition.RandallSchweller
convincinglyarguesthatinananarchicsystemwhereallstatesprimarygoalissurvival,the
unitswouldhavenoincentivetopursuepoweratallsincethatwouldriskunderminingtheir
principalgoal:survival."
Moreover,statesbalanceaccordingtoMorgenthau'sclassicalrealismaswell.Thisisnot
somethingthatisuniqueforneorealism.SeeMorgenthau'sPoliticsAmongNationsonthis.

Reply Share

BarbaraBuraczynska 5yearsago

PowerisnotoftheutmostimportancetoWaltz.Powerisanendforclassicalrealistsbutfor
Waltzitisbutameantoanendsecurity.Statesgreedilyaccumulatepoweraccordingto
realists,whileforneorealiststheymustalwaysbalance.Toostrongastatemightcausethe
securitydilemmaintheregionandultimatelyleadtoanallianceagainstthatstate.
1

Reply Share

StephenMcGlinchey 6yearsago

ThisisreferencedinHarvard,yes.

Reply Share

DG 6yearsago

ItlookslikeitbutcanIgetaconfirmationthatthisisusedwiththeHarvardReferencing
system?
Cheersandwasagreatpiece
D

Reply Share

GOSIIWAMCDONALDMPOTOKWANE 6yearsago

Itisquiteaninterestingdocumentwhichcanhelpthescholarsofi.rtounderstandworld
politics
http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

9/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

politics

Reply Share

charles 6yearsago

veryinformativeessaywhichwillgreatlyenhancemystudyonthetopicandthereferences
willactasaguideforfurtherreading.

Reply Share

ntombi 6yearsago

thisessayhasbeenhighlyhelpfulintryingtofurtherenlightmeonthetheoryofrealism
whichiswhatmyresearchwasultimatelybasedon,sothankyoufortheeffective
knowlegdethisisaybecauseofthemanyreliablesourcesusedthroughouttheessayand
thequotationoftheveryprotagonistsrealismandofcourseneorealism.

Reply Share

WHAT'STHIS?

ALSOONEINTERNATIONALRELATIONS

JusticeinaWorldofClimateChangeand
theDistributionofResponsibilities

ProblemorSolution?RussiasRolein
theNagornoKarabakhConflict

16comments2monthsago

24comments21daysago

AvatarJohnDoeWhatkindofbrainwashingare
theydoingtoourpoorstudents.THEREIS
NOCLIMATECRISIS!ITISALLMADEUP!
All

AvatargunelHaig,BeforeArabinvasionsduring
the8thcenturytheTurksoftheregion
werepredominantlyChristians.Armenians
didn't

KenyasParadoxicalResourceCurse

InterviewH.A.Hellyer

11comments2monthsago

2commentsamonthago

AvatarObashSowhatisyourargument?He
gaveahypothesis,whichisscientific,and

AvatarChimppuiSicularbelovedIslamkills
moreinnocentkafirsbeingsinONEday,in

Referencing&ReuseInformation
StudentEssayAward
CallforPapers
Donate
JoinourTeam
BookProposals
GetourRSSFeed
Copyright2015EInternationalRelations.AllRightsReserved.
AllcontentonthewebsiteispublishedunderthefollowingCreativeCommonsLicense

FurtherreadingonEInternationalRelations

http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

10/11

09.11.2015

ComparingandContrastingClassicalRealismandNeorealism

AComparisonbetweenthe
IndianNavyandthe
JapaneseNavy

PerpetuatingAncient
FemaleNormsinSouth
Asia

www.eir.info

www.eir.info

PoliticalActivism,Legal
DiscoursesandSexual
ViolenceinIndia

WhydidReaganEmbark
onaSecondColdWarand
WhatdidheWantt...

www.eir.info

www.eir.info

AddThis

http://www.eir.info/2009/07/23/comparingandcontrastingclassicalrealismandneorealism/

11/11