The Influence Of Neorealism On The World War II

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Neorealism came to fruition as a result of classical realism. While classical realism was based on the inclinations of human nature, neorealism proposed the structural constraints determined the behavior of states in the international realm. After World War II, the call for a politically and economically integrated Europe was of utmost importance among European leaders because of the brutal human and economic cost of the war. The idea of integration came in order to maintain the balance of power in the region, specifically regarding the rise of another expansive Germany type state and to guard against the rise of the nuclear armed Soviet Union. The idea of integration started with the European Coal and Steel Community and the European…show more content…
This rationality means they will pursue interests “in terms of power according to offensive neorealism, or in terms of security according to defensive neorealism” (Collard-Wexler, 2006). These two strands have been heavily debated within neorealist theory, particularly by Mearsheimer in favor of offensive neorealism and Waltz in favor of defensive neorealism. John Mearsheimer believes that the goal of states is to maximize power while Waltz believes the goal of states is to “maintain their positions in the system” (Snyder, 2001). There is no punishment for irrational or aggressive behavior because of the anarchic nature of the system so states must rely on themselves for survival, through the use of power. Due to anarchy, states will balance “against their peers by imitation, by boosting their national assets (internal balancing), forming alliances with other states (external balancing) or by adopting the successful power-generating practices of the prospective hegemon (emulation)” (Wohlforth, 2007) and these 3 processes will prevent hegemony. Neorealism relates to European integration most specifically in terms of the aforementioned balance of power. Nations tend to balance among dominant powers rather than ally with them because they “fear that the powerful ally of today could become the menacing rival of tomorrow” (Collard-Wexler, 2006). This balance, however, should not be confused with cooperation because
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