Nigeria Biafra Civil War

2383 WordsApr 12, 201310 Pages
| Realism, Power and the Nigerian Civil War | | 211540478 | Ntsika Nduli | 3/15/2013 | | International Relations is a field of politics that takes a look at the interactions that occur in between states in the international arena. Its aim is to explain why certain events have unfolded in certain ways, as a result of how states use their power relatively to each other. Mostly the interactions that International Relations tries to examine or explain, is the conflicts that arise as a result of differing interests that states have. To provide a base for analysis, this essay is going to use the central theory of realism to explain the civil war that occurred in Nigeria in between 1967 to 1970. This essay will seek to explain the…show more content…
Hans Morgenthau later described Realism As being based on objective laws that are based in unchanging human nature, which has four basic assumptions: I) The state is the most important actor in International Relations II) The state is a unitary and rational actor III) The international system is anarchic because of a lack of a central authority IV) Security and strategic issues (and economics) dominate international politics. Therefore interactions may be defined in terms of power, and this allows for the analytical study of foreign policy, regardless of the circumstances. Realism as Realpolitik involves the use of power. Power is the ability to influence others into doing what they otherwise would not. In Realism, the important aspects of power looked at are power resources and power capabilities. Power resources are drawn over a long-term period and can be seen as potential power. These may include: population, geography and territory. Power capabilities are used for more immediate purposes, and they may include: military force, economic strength and diplomatic skill. The concept of the ‘Balance of Power’ is used to understand the process of Realpolitik. It is the relation of power between states. With the background of the Nigeria/Biafra civil war and the tool of analysis in place, this essay will now attend to explaining why Realism can be used as an analytical tool in discussing the conflict between Nigeria and Biafra, how the central concept of
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