Realism, Liberalism And Constructivism

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Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism are all three important theories in the world of International Relations and while there are many differences between the three perspectives, there is still one main similarity. Realism and Liberalism are well-known theories, while Constructivism happens to fall into the category of alternative views. Anarchy is a condition of International Relations that requires states to rely on their own power(Shiraev and Zubok.41). Each theory provides strong arguments as to how much cooperation is possible under anarchy, but in my honest opinion, I believe that Liberalism is the theory that provides the strongest argument as to how cooperation is possible under anarchy.
Realism is an approach to International Relations
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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. The distribution of power is known as a hegemony and categorizes states in either dominating powers, middle powers, or small powers. The main strength of realism is the fact that law and ethics are separated, therefore a state does not rely on its morals in order to make an executive decision. The possibility of a situation getting out of control and resulting in war is a major weakness in realism, because when states perceive attacked they will become defensive and try to strike first- which leads to …show more content…
Depending on the state, power, anarchy, and security all have different meanings for different countries (Shiraev and Zubok.114). States have the ability to exaggerate foreign threats, underestimate the dangers and/or completely overlook them. What is a threat to one state, may not be a threat to another state- it all depends on how the information is given to the states and how it is interpreted by the leaders. Constructivists also use lessons from history and remember that the past will always repeat itself. An example of the constructivist approach is the Iranian nuclear program and how Israel may see this as a threat, while Russia has come to see the program as an acceptable reality. The main strength of constructivism is that laws will vary from state to state which allows for the states to make decisions that benefit them and do not put other states in harm; it’s the idea that if what one state is doing does not bother you, do not worry about it. A weakness is that what happens when states clash? If one state clashes with the interest of another, will there be violence or will they just ignore each other? All in all, constructivism is an approach that is based upon how information is interpreted by the

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