There are three theoretical perspectives in which world leaders identify themselves with one theory or all, based in the decision they must make. To better understand the international politics comparison of the three theoretical approaches are conducted. Realism has been viewed as the dominant perspective in International Relation theory for many years. Realist view survival as the means to “create and enforce laws to protect citizens” (6). The assumption in Realism can be made that “the rules of the international system are dictated by anarchy; in this sense, anarchy is perceived as a “lack of central government to enforce rules” and protect states” (6). Realism can also be assumed as the theory that used by nation leaders to rule and govern with an “iron Fist”.
Realists’ belief that, “war is unavoidable and natural part of world affairs.” According to Bova, there are over 200 sovereign states, and they all interest to gain power to defend themselves. As a result, state’s feeling of insecurity causes it to take any means to feel secure whether it is through the formation of ally with another powerful state or accumulation of military and economic power. Such action threatens other states provoke them take similar actions. This cycle applies to all states, and the feeling of threat and desire to survive is innate in humans In understanding International Relations, McNamara’s lesson is useful in the regards that actions that state takes to protect itself causes the complexity and conflicts of foreign policies that human beings are incapable of
Realism by its own definition refers to a theory that analyzes the relations among states, highlighting human nature as a major factor in politics. Motivations for global outreach, relationships, and conflicts are described as consequences from human aspects, such as fear, the desire to seek wealth, et cetera. Pessimism permeates the core of realism. Realists argue that power must be sought out in order for states to exist as thriving groups, even if it means to participate in conflicts (Baylis et al., 2017, 102). States are seen as the primary actors to focus upon when analyzing international relations (Houghton, 2007, 25). This broad approach brings heavy focus upon the issues which regard global peace and war and how major powers interact and maintain relations, assigning less focus at the individual level of analysis.
Nye elaborates the three distinct sources of soft power: culture, political values and foreign policies; and also hypothesizes the limitation of soft power. Moreover, he interprets the altering role of military power and an interaction between hard and soft power. The confronting situation he mentioned that a balance between military and soft power is playing an important role is terrorism reinforced by global information age. Finally, he classifies today’s power in an international information era into three aspects: military power, economic power and soft power; and again he maintains the growing existence of soft power. He presumes that America will be no longer the great nation, and Asia will take place. Also, non-government institutions and groups will possess their own borderless soft power; therefore, political game in near future will depend on multiple routes of communication that define problems and diffused cultures and ideas which relate to global prevailing
Realism has dominated international relations theory since emerging in the 1930’s. The era of state conflict lasting from the 1930’s to the end of the cold war in 1947, proved the perfect hostile environment to fit the largely pessimistic view of world politics. While many aspects of realism are still alive in International Relations today; including the dominant presence of states, intrinsic of war and the decentralised government. However, realism only reaches so far in explaining and creating a structure for international relations. Whilst the strengths of the theory lie in its pragmatic approach to power politics and conflict. However, the realist view is weakened by changes in the way that conflict is fought, the ineffectiveness of the balance of power model and the increasing global and interconnected world. Thus, using realism as a structure to explain international relations today is to some extent, a theory of the past.
In the early 1990s, Joseph Nye’s book Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature Of American Power ignited a huge discussion among society of the need to transition from America’s traditional use of hard power to something more benign which he termed soft power. Before looking at the two branches of power, we first define power as the ability to do something or act in a certain way. As Nye had pointed out, nations can wield power in two forms, soft and hard power. Soft power, as coined by Nye (1990) is defined as “the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than through coercion.” In contrast, hard power is seen as the use of military might or economic sanctions to coerce others into
Hard power and soft power are important factors when it comes to our nation and its role throughout the world. The differences between hard and soft power offer people a better insight when it comes to political power in our nation. Hard power deals with the aspect of changing the actions of others through things such as coercion; whereas, soft power deals with attraction and shaping what others want from a different perspective (Smith-Windsor, 52). These versions of power are crucial when it comes to the theory of international relations. A hypothesis that alliances are founded on calculations of national interest and do not withstand a conflict of those interests is christened “theory” in the current language of political science (Aron,
The Selective use of soft power – Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than by , using force as a means of persuasion. With the use of Soft power the media can shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is that it is noncoercive; the currency of soft power is culture, political values, and foreign policies. It can be used in changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organizations. In 2012, Nye explained that with soft power, "the best propaganda is not propaganda", Although some support the use of media tools for propaganda
In regards to international relations, power is influence and control one state has over another. Often times, state power is an indication of economic and military strength. According to Joseph Nye, the concept of using economic and military forces to coerce other political bodies is known as hard power. In contrast,
In a realist world, states have “supreme power” over its territory and population, there is an absence of a higher authority. The fact that there is no higher authority has its consequences. States become self-interested, they compete for power and security. It can lead states to continuously struggle for power “where the strong dominate the weak (Kegley, 28).” This ultimately creates a system in which each state is responsible for its own survival, making them cautious towards their neighboring states. In addition, a realist world is a self-help system; “political leaders seek to enhance national security” by building armies and forming alliances (Kegley, 28). Economic and military power are key components to a state sovereignty and to national security.
As already mentioned, the United States readily took part in the propaganda parley of World War II. The threat of subversive Nazi propaganda on U.S. soil caused private citizens to use their contacts to pressure the government into counteracting the “attack on democracy” (Laurie 30-32). This spurred the creation of government organizations such as the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI) and the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The role of these organizations was to oversee the propaganda released on behalf of the government (Laurie 45). The military naturally became involved in the creation and implementation of propaganda films to promote anti-Nazi feelings across a nation immersed in a global war. Also, the hope was that these films would act as a morale booster necessary in a nation that had just experienced the horrors of Pearl Harbor (Fyne 12).
Joseph Nye offers an alternative theory for the construct of State power. He created a system in which State power is broken into two parts; “hard power” and “soft power.” “Hard power” consists of the traditional, tangible aspects of power namely, military and economic power. “Soft power” is the key distinguishing dynamic of Nye’s work from other theories. “Soft power” consists of all other facets of power, such as ideology, foreign policy, culture, stability, prosperity, and membership in international organizations (Bound to Lead 130 and Paradox xi, 8). The modern world is becoming more interconnected and interdependent with one another, hence depending less on “sticks and carrots” and more on “soft power.” The missing link within perceived State power is the role morality plays in actual power. This study will show that “soft power” is implicitly, and at rare times explicitly, founded in moral values.
For realists the international system is anarchical, war is an ever present threat and the survival of a state is never guaranteed. This is why security is the main focus of most realists. States are forever seeking greater amounts of security, in a never ending search.
Realism is one of the main theories within International Relations. It provides the view that all actors within the international system act on their own self-interests to gain power. This essay intends to discuss its usefulness as a theory and the reasons for and against it being used to analyse world affairs. Firstly, it shall discuss how the theory is advantageous as it explains how shifts in the balance of power can lead to conflict however it is unable to explain why the distribution of power changes. Second, it will portray how it is useful because states do not need to be labelled as good or bad to fit the theory although it disregards the idea of Natural law and gives a cynical view of human morality. Finally, it will suggest that as the theory is very parsimonious, it can be applied to multiple situations within the world system. On the other hand, it will be said that it fails to look at individuals within a state and their influence on the actions of the state. These costs and benefits will be conveyed through the current tensions between the USA and North Korea to link the theory in with current world politics.
Realism focuses on the balance of power and how it impacts of actions of state actors within the international political system. Morgenthau said that, “The aspirations for power on the part of several nations, each trying to either maintain or overthrow the status quo, leads of necessity to a configuration that is called the balance of power and to policies that aim at preserving it” (Morgenthau 1967,131). He goes on by explain that not only is the balance of power and the policies that protect it inevitable but also that they are essential for