Classical Realism Research Paper

Improved Essays
The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been going on for the almost a century. It initially started when the Zionist Jews immigrated to Palestine in hope of finding a land to create a Jewish state. As more and more Jews came to the area, fighting between the Jews and the native Palestinians broke out. The future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said, “As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest.” (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ ). Driven by God the Israeli forces launched a two year offensive way which they ended up with even more territory than the United Nations had previously given them in 1947. With United States backing Israel has dominated this conflict …show more content…
Thucydides was one of the first predominant writers of classical realism and his ideas were later expanded on by Machiavelli, Hans Morgenthau, and other important classical realists. The main idea that sets classical realism apart from the other types of realism is the idea that states look to maximize their power due to human nature. As Hans Morgenthau said, "politics is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature." (Politics among nations, page unknown). Human nature is flawed therefore when survival is the main goal of a state, conflict is inevitable because a state has no way of predicting the true intentions of another state. This is why it is necessary for a state to expand their power, in order to have enough power to defend themselves in the anarchic international system. Many of these ideas came from Thucydides’ writing about realism in the international system. In many of his texts he writes about how a state’s survival depends largely on their material capability and alliances. More specifically if a state is internally solid with a strong communal identity, this will then lead to domestic stability and more importantly a strong foundation in the international system. However, being a strong state is not enough to succeed in the international world, alliances are important too. Though, Thucydides warns us that alliances can be a …show more content…
Morgenthau agreed with many other classical realists that states in the international system are driven by human nature. Building off of the fact that states want to maximize their power in order to feel secure, Morgenthau says, “The main sign-post that helps political realism to find its way through the landscape of international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of power. This concept provides the link between reason trying to understand international politics and the facts to be understood.” (Politics among nations). This is the basis of Morgenthau’s approach to classical realism, that nations want to secure their goals and these interests are always defined in terms of power. Countries cannot achieve their national interest without power and states make their decisions based on this need for power. Furthermore this need for power allows one to analyze a choice a state has made or will make in the future. Morgenthau’s post World War II take on classical realism shaped the realist approach for international relations for future

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Thucydides Realism

    • 876 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In an anarchic political world, realists argue that survival is the number one priority. They believe that in order to survive in the world, people must have power, especially military power. Furthermore, realists do not trust other political powers because everyone wants to survive, and each person is regarded as selfish. Realism stresses the competitive side of international politics, and this paradigm believes that states are concerned with their own security and act in pursuit of national interests (Korab-Karpowicz). The states are the main actors on the political stage wanting to survive, while other actors are involved with the states' needs and other efforts.…

    • 876 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Neorealist believe that the chances of international cooperation occurring are low because of their main concern, which is power distribution. Neorealist believe that the states are too greedy to cooperate with one another. Neorealist are focused on anarchy, making sure no one can enforce rules, and setting unitary rational actors, the distribution of power, and their main goal is security and survival. Neoliberals agree with neorealist but believe that international cooperation is possible due to their optimistic view. Neoliberals know that the institutions have it flaws, and if they all work together there will be less flaws.…

    • 1658 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    In this paper, I will expand the Neorealist argument that international cooperation is unlikely due to the constraints of anarchy, and that cooperation will only occur when two states face a common threat. I will also present the Neoliberal argument that holds international cooperation as difficult, yet likely, so long as institutions are in place to lower transaction costs. From a Neorealist perspective international cooperation is highly unlikely. Neorealists assert that there is no overarching authority in the international system. The only major actors in international politics are sovereign states.…

    • 1443 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In a rather stark contrast, one of the States’ prominent goals, in the realist theory, is to balance power. Realists believe that balancing power leads to greater international security because one state cannot overthrow all other states and force them into submission because of one state’s hegemony. Balancing power can be done by building up security in states since security is a function of power, and if all states have great power, none of them can be greatest. The ideology behind Realism stems from several philosophers. First, Thucydides, an Athenian historian, wrote about the balance of power in states through his work on the Peloponnesian War He said that power, if unchecked, will lead to desire for more and more power (Korab-Karpowicz).…

    • 753 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    John Locke is arguably the most influential philosopher in regards to common law as a whole and specifically the development of the American Republic. His opinions on the nature of man and the duties of government lay the groundwork for representative democracy and fight heavily against the concept of divine right of kings. His belief is that people are born with freedom and that any subjection or restrictions should be created as a means to maintain the freedoms of all men instead of enforcing the will of any particular individual. Monarchy justified by divinity is a perversion of natural law because it takes away the right of man to govern his person and property and gives this right to another for no reason other than arbitrary chance…

    • 711 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This theory has many interlocking factors: power, the importance of state actors, national interest, and amorality and different viewpoints defensive, offensive and structural. Power counts the most to realists and the use of economic, political, psychological, and military tools keeps that power in place. The state actor is important to realism, as they don’t see decisions made by a person who is in charge but the country that they made the decision for. National interest is doing what is good for the country as a whole instead of focusing on ideology as a basis for policy. Human rights aren’t as important to realists as it distracts from the interests of the nation, amorality is needed for the best outcome of the nation.…

    • 1138 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “Respect for the rights of other people is what constitutes peace.” –Benito Juarez. The states in the world lived anarchic world, the birth of nations in the international order always need to start by the period of diplomatic recognition, next phase of strengthening and growth, lastly, the struggle to be placed in a position in the world. In fact, the international order is the result of international cooperation and born of values that reflect the feeling of the states for international stability and development. Because, the states need to create and maintain an international order to maintain certainty and reduce the risk, fear, and uncertainty in an anarchic world; International institutions promote stability among nations; Nations must cooperate and have the responsibility to maintain…

    • 1046 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It is the international system that offers a collaboration within the political actors and states. Not only are they important, but social and religious movements, organizations and businesses play their part as well. The similarity between the theories of realism and liberalism is that they both know that the world is a dangerous place that has no central government. Several bigger states can take advantage of the weaker states by overruling them, having this in mind military power as an acceptable and understandable (even though liberals are against it) option. States need their military to defend themselves and the states need alliances to protect themselves from any larger…

    • 937 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Liberalism Vs Realism

    • 1413 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Realism does not believe in this form of cooperation and progress; it only wants to survive. Strictly speaking, it wants to maintain the status quo of the contemporary international state of affairs. Instead, Realists believe that the use of military power is not just a normal affair, but an inevitable one. Thus, the reason for Realism’s dominance in the international relations theory. (Haynes, Hough, Malik, & Pettiford, 2011).…

    • 1413 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to this theory, states should try to build order under anarchy. Anarchy is essentially a state that is without authority and in realism, due to anarchy they cannot rely on their allies to survive, and instead use an international system of checks and balances among states. The stronger the state, the more power they have to impose order on weaker states; essentially pushing their beliefs onto weaker states. (Shiraev and Zubok.41). Real politik is a policy that is based on realist assumptions that the foundation of a nation’s security is power and the threat of its use- a policy that staes no international order is perfect or lasts forever, when one falls, another rises.…

    • 1429 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays