Realism And Political Realism

1037 Words5 Pages
Niki Ardebili
October 20, 2017
Professor Manson
IR 120 Midterm Essay

Realism has been the dominant political theory in International Relations for many years. The theory of Realism can date back to almost fifth-century B.C. But Political Realism, and the way we use the theory today was conceived in the 1940’s by Hans Morgenthau who was influenced by the works of Niccolo Machiavelli. In Morgenthau’s works such as Magnum Opus and Politics Among Nations, Morgenthau structured an account of Political Realism that has dominated international studies often referred to today as Classical Realism. Realism is an extremely pessimistic theory that believes that we should see the world for how it is and not how we wish it would be. For this reason Realists must make many assumptions about human nature and make objective laws centered around these assumptions. They must also focus on the notion that states are the primary actors in international affairs and there main goal is maintaining power and security. It also stresses the rational, objective and unemotional realities that come with state decision making. Because of its prominence, several subtheories within Realism have emerged. Classical Realists like Thomas Hobbes, Hans Morgenthau and Nicolo Machiavelli believe in the same basic principles as neorealist realists like Kenneth Waltz, but they still differ in several ways. Classical Realism has a humanistic approach to realism rather than a scientific one. Classical Realists
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