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International Affairs Have Been The Nemesis Of Liberalism. The Essence Of Liberalism Is Self Restraint, Moderation, Compromise And Peace Whereas The Essence Of International Politics Is Exactly The Opposite: Troubled

1491 words - 6 pages

International affairs have been the nemesis of Liberalism. The essence of Liberalism is self-restraint, moderation, compromise and peace whereas the essence of international politics is exactly the opposite: troubled peace, at best, or the state of war. Discuss.

To be answer this question effectively it is paramount to know the clear differences between Liberalism and Realism. And also each theory can theoretically work in the international political system, and how each one effects or not effect us.

Realism and liberalism are the two central paradigms in International Relations. They have differing ideas when it comes to explaining how states associate themselves and with each other ...view middle of the document...

The theory puts forward the idea that there is a continuous power struggle between nations and that this antagonism is unrelenting. Though there is interdependence between states, there is an essential struggle for survival that is the fundamental factor of these conflicts. Since there is no world government institution, each nation requires a strong military to defend its interests from other states. The realist theory says that a strong military is a states governments strongest weapon, more so than strong diplomatic relations as also under realist theory, which is linked with the Conservative theory of human nature mankind and hence governments are not benevolent beings, however we are infact selfish and antagonistic. Hans Morgenthau, in his definitive book Politics among Nations’ he says "Whatever the ultimate aims of international politics, power is always the immediate aim. The struggle for power is universal in time and space and is an undeniable fact of experience." (Hans Morgenthau – Politics among Nation: The Struggle for Power and Peace – 1948)

Furthermore, Realists also believe that nations are naturally antagonistic and that wars and expansion of land are only curtailed by external forces. How this brings across a catch-22 scenario as one state expands its security, its rivals will also increase its security in line. This notable seen with the Cold War.

Realism as with other political theories have different sub groups which have some important differences.

Maximal realism believes that the world stability focuses on the hegemon, the most influential entity in the world, for example, the UN or arguably the USA and that smaller states and entities will support this hegemon out of political self interest. Under maximal realism, if and when the situation arises that there are two similar powerful entities in existence, again as seen during the cold war, the situation to maintain the tradition of stability where eventually one of these nations becomes more powerful, through political, military and economic means.

In contrast to this, minimal realism states that non-hegemonic states will support each other against the prevalent institution as a way of maintaining their own interests on the worlds sphere rather than them being subdued by the hegemons prevailing interests. In addition, as we see especially in times of conflict or political change, these smaller entities will ally itself with one hegemon against an equally powerful one, usually choosing the larger entity that is most similar in political or cultural ways.

However in stark contrast Liberalism states that national preferences, rather than state abilities, are the primary elemental factor of state behaviour. Liberalism also allows for plurality in state actions. Thus, preferences will vary from state to state, depending on factors such as culture, economic system or government type. Unlike realism, which sees transnationalism as anarchic, Liberalism...

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