Realism And The Security Dilemma

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From a realist point of view, power is the currency of international politics. This theory states that main actors in the realist’s account are the great powers, who pay careful attention to how much economic and military power they have relative to each other. It stresses that it is important not only to have a substantial amount of power, but also to make sure that no other state sharply shifts the balance of power in its favor. However, realists are hardly the only scholars to apply the concept of the security dilemma. The security dilemma is the essential part of defensive realism because it is the security dilemma that makes possible the cooperation between states. For offensive realists, the security dilemma makes war inevitable and rational. The realist scholars have different “views” understanding the concept of security dilemma.
Early realist scholars believed states had to be aggressive to survive. Thomas Hobbes, being a particularly pessimistic early realist thinker, believed that the strong will
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In this case, the security dilemma only exists when states are not aware of the other states’ motives or intentions. While this defensive realist perspective appears to negate the realist concept of states seeking power, it still acknowledges the security dilemma as a self-imposed reality. Glaser acknowledges the theory’s use within IR for scholars attempting to understand many of the world changing historical events. To deny the security dilemma is to deny a realist’s interpretation of human nature. To encompass the both divergent realist ideas on a state’s hostile or protective nature, Jervis presents the offensive-defensive theory. The theory focuses on the games played between powerful states, in which offensive states always try to obtain more power and defensive states only seek enough power to remain

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