State Centricity Is Vital On The Understanding Of Neo Realist Thought Essay
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State centricity is vital in the understanding of neo-realist thought. Neo-realism is based on three key features, Survival, Self-help and Statism where the outcomes of policies must benefit the state first and foremost. In this way, the decision-making processes are made by the state rather than international actors. Consequently, the state-centric approach deals predominately with the state being of utmost importance in relation to other global matters. However this approach fails to appropriately deal with the global problem that is climate change. Thus climate challenges this notion of state-centricity within the realist discourse.
Combatting climate change requires international commitment and participation. However in the modern day, nature has become a commodity. Natural resources are something that you can use, buy and sell within the global economy rather than their scarcity being a focus of concern. The competition between individual states for these resources (such as water and minerals) further enforces the survivalist nature of neo-realism and the state-centric system. In this sense, the current approach to climate change conforms to the realist notion of state-centricity but if anything is to be done about it, climate change must challenge the status quo as it is a global problem. This is mainly a consequence of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) which saw states regarded as the major actors within the international system. Moreover, this saw the emergence of