Realism Vs Neorealism

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This paper is going to critically access how even though neorealism may be more scientific than classical realism it does not mean that one is far less useful than the other. It is important to understand that theories are a way of explaining a situation or to prove a course of action that occurs. If the theory is able to explain why certain situation reoccur or demonstrate why certain conditions happen the way they do, then the theory is doing what it is meant to do, therefore making the theory useful. To get a better understanding of what classical realism and neorealism is, there needs to be awareness of what their similarities and differences are. To point out that no one theory is more useful than the other, the paper will show how both …show more content…
Both theories take on the idea that international politics is made up of sovereign states. Which means that each state has absolute authority over its territory, citizens and that there is no higher power above the state. Secondly, both theories believe that there is no higher power above the state meaning that there is no world government, which leads to the concept that there is no international order. Since no world government exists and there is no international order both theories say that this makes the international political system live in a state of anarchy, which leads to conflicts and wars among states. Like Kenneth Waltz’s stated “international anarchy is the permissive cause of war.” (Weber 14, 2005) Both realism and neorealism see that a states primary goal is survival, which is a states main interest and the only way to secure survival is by power. So far both classical realism and neorealism seem to go hand in hand which, means that at this point it is seems possible to use both theories to try to explain how the world …show more content…
(Mingst 112, 2014) They both agree as stated above that human nature or state motivation does not change. For Morgenthau human nature is the same and predictable. For Waltz state interests depends on anarchy imposing a consistency in state behavior. The reason why realism (Neo/Classical) persists is because it gives insights into reoccurring sources and patterns of conflict that stems from anarchy, competition and insecurity. “The usefulness of a particular theory or approach is largely a matter of what a person chooses to study or hopes to find.” (Donnelly 197, 2000) Classical realism as well as Neo realism is an aid to used for understanding the world. Both theories are tools that work to explain certain situations but that might not work to explain others. This can be seen when looking at the expansion of NATO after the Cold War when looking at the two theories within their study there is a whirlwind of different opinions and

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