Realism is thus more than a static, amoral theory, and cannot beaccommodated solely within a positivist interpretation of internationalrelations. It is a practical and evolving theory that depends on the actualhistorical and political conditions, and is ultimately judged by itsethical standards and by its relevance in making prudent politicaldecisions (Morgenthau 1962). Realism also performs a useful cautionaryrole. It warns us against progressivism, moralism, legalism, and otherorientations that lose touch with the reality of self-interest andpower. Considered from this perspective, the neorealist revival of the 1970s can also be interpreted as a necessary corrective to an overoptimistic liberal belief ininternational cooperation and change resulting frominterdependence.
- John Pitcher
- Alzada Tipton
- Kathryn Schwarz
- Emily Lu Pearson
- John Erskine
Dissertation: - Lindsay A.
Berdan - Anna Torti - Victor I.
Machiavellianism is a radical type of political realismthat is applied to both domestic and international affairs. It is adoctrine which denies the relevance of morality in politics, and claimsthat all means (moral and immoral) are justified to achieve certainpolitical ends. Although Machiavelli never uses the phrase ragionedi stato or its French equivalent, raisond’état, what ultimately counts for him is preciselythat: whatever is good for the state, rather than ethical scruples ornorms
SokolovDissertation: - Clyde W.
Morgenthau systematizes realism in international relations on thebasis of six principles that he includes in the second edition ofPolitics among Nations. As a traditionalist, he opposesthe so-called scientists (the scholars who, especially in the1950s, tried to reduce the discipline of international relations to abranch of behavioral science). Nevertheless, in the first principle he states thatrealism is based on objective laws that have their roots in unchanginghuman nature (4). He wants to develop realism into both a theory ofinternational politics and a political art, a useful tool of foreignpolicy.
Blosser - James Simpson - Candace Lines - William L.
The keystone of Morgenthau’s realist theory is the conceptof power or “of interest defined in terms of power,”which informs his second principle: the assumption that politicalleaders “think and act in terms of interest defined aspower” (5). This concept defines the autonomy of politics, andallows for the analysis of foreign policy regardless of the differentmotives, preferences, and intellectual and moral qualities ofindividual politicians. Furthermore, it is the foundation of a rationalpicture of politics.
Stull - Norton Resource Library - Robert H.
Hans J. Morgenthau (1904–1980) developed realism into acomprehensive international relations theory. Influenced by theProtestant theologian and political writer Reinhold Niebuhr, as well asby Hobbes, he places selfishness and power-lust at the center of hispicture of human existence. The insatiable human lust for power,timeless and universal, which he identifies with animusdominandi, the desire to dominate, is for him the main cause ofconflict. As he asserts in his main work, Politics among Nations:The Struggle for Power and Peace, first published in 1948,“international politics, like all politics, is a struggle forpower” (25).
Fletcher - José María Pérez Fernández - A.
The Twenty Years’ Crisis touches on a number ofuniversal ideas, but it also reflects the spirit of its time. While wecan fault the interwar idealists for their inability to constructinternational institutions strong enough to prevent the outbreak of theSecond World War, this book indicates that interwar realists werelikewise unprepared to meet the challenge. Carr frequently refers toGermany under Nazi rule as if it were a country like any other. He saysthat should Germany cease to be an unsatisfied power and “becomesupreme in Europe,” it would adopt a language of internationalsolidarity similar to that of other Western powers (79). The inabilityof Carr and other realists to recognize the perilous nature of Nazism,and their belief that Germany could be satisfied by territorialconcessions, helped to foster a political environment in which thelatter was to grow in power, annex Czechoslovakia at will, and bemilitarily opposed in September 1939 by Poland alone.