Idealism: International Relations

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An approach, in simple terms, may be defined as a way of looking at and then explaining a particular phenomenon. The perspective may be broad enough to cover a vast area like world as a whole in the study of politics, or it may be very small embracing just an aspect of local, regional, national or international politics. In brief, an approach ‘consists of criteria of selection-criteria employed in selecting the problems or question to consider and in selecting the data to bring to bear; it consists of standards governing the inclusion and exclusion of question and data.



Realist approach is an important approach related to the study of international Politics. It based on really and tries to explain International Politics in context to reality. This approach revolves around two important elements viz, security and power. The supporters of Realist Approach believe that struggle for power is reality and we can not understand International Politics by ignoring this fact. Realist Approach is an old theory and it was there even in 18th and 19th century. But in International Politics this theory or view point became popular after Second world war and scholars like Max Weber, E.H. Car, Frederick Schuman, Nicholas Spykman, Reinhold Nicbuhr, Arnold Wolfers, Kenneth Thompson, George F. Kennan, Hans J. Morgenthau, Henry Kissinger. Hans. J. Morgenthau is considered the chief exponent of Realist Approach. He has responsible for building a realist model of international relations which seeks to explain all aspects of the struggle for power among nations.

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Human being is sinful and wicked and is always motivated by self interests Lust for power and to establish dominance over others has been a major, all important and all pervasive fact of human nature. Human instinct for power is unquenchable International Politics is struggle for power and it is a war of all against all. In such circumstances every nation makes use of power to achieve its national interests. Self –preservation is the law that governs the behaviour of all the states at all the times. The basic characteristics of international Politics demands that no nation should trust other nations for its self preservation and self preservation in no way should be entrusted to international Organisations There is need of self promotion of national interests, therefore, to face possible enemies defence preparendness should always be given priority. Peace can be preserved only by management of power through such devices as balance of power, Collective security, World Government, Diplomacy, Alliance etc. With the establishment of relations with friendly nations, the capacity of self defence should be increased whereas one should never depend them for self defence.

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1. Based on Realism 2. Rivalry, strifes and Struggle for Power are natural. 3. Importance of Diplomacy 4. No importance to ideology 5. Close relationship between Reality and Morality 6. Reason based Approach 7. Significance of National Interests



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Morgenthau wrote about Six principles of political Realism in his famous book ‘Politics among Nations’. 1. FIRST PRINCIPLE Objective Laws of Human nature Facts of Human Relations 2. SECOND PRINCIPLE National Interests defined in terms of power National interests can be secured only through the use of national power Less importance to motive Less importance to ideology National interests and National power are the determinants of Foreign Policy Full support of Rational Policy

3. THIRD PRINCIPLE  1. Dynamicness of interests  2. Continuous evaluation of national interests and National power 4. FOURTH PRINCIPLE 1. Abstract Moral Principle can not be applied to Politics 2. Prudence alone can be the Guide 5. FIFTH PRINCIPLE 1. Difference between the moral aspirations of a nation and the Universal moral Principles. 2. Nations always try to secure National interests and not...
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