The Three Concepts Of The Realist International Relations Theory

1561 Words 7 Pages
Introduction
The aim of this essay is to identify and critique two principles of the realist international relations theory. Having this purpose in mind, this essay will focus on two of the most fundamental concepts of the realist school of thought: power and state centrism. The first part of this essay will discuss the concept of power, its place within the realist theory and its limitations. From the beginning, this essay establish an appropriate language for addressing this concept. Consequently, I will make reference to “hard power” when talking about realists’ conception of power, this being the most appropriate term for summarise their ideas. This part will identify power as one of the core principles and assumptions of realism that has been discussed and debated since the begging of realism through
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However, realists’ choice to focus almost exclusively on the hard dimension of power poses serious limitations to their attempt to have a comprehensive understanding of power within the international relations field of study. The second part of this essay will focus on state centrism, the main approach and unit of analysis for realists. States are viewed the main actors on the international scene, rule-makers in anarchy and the only actors whose actions and decisions is worth analysing. However, by having this exclusivist approach, realists fail to understand the increasing importance of non-state actors, being them international institutions made for cooperation or terrorist organisation posing threats for nation-states as well as the current process of global integration that undermines, to a certain extent the sovereignty of nation-states. Having analysed and criticised the two concepts, this essay will conclude that, while realism remains one of the most influential theories of international relations serving the purposes for which it was created, this theory falls short on several aspects in trying to explain modern-day developments in

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