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Key Differences Between Realism and Neo Realism

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Key Differences Between Realism and Neo Realism

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  • March 2011
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aberdWhat are the key differences between Realism and Neo-Realism?

Theories provide something better than just guessing, they offer a systematic and coherent way of conceptualizing about the world we live in. Theories act as ‘lenses’ through which we look at and understand the social phenomena and the dimensions that characterize Politics and International Relations. Every theory is based on an assumption and backed by facts. Theory is a testable concept or idea. In science, a theory is not merely a guess. A theory is a fact-based framework for describing certain occurrence. Scholars have tried to systematize ideas in a more consistent and more logical way than just intuition, and this results in theories in general. The advantage of studying theories of International Relations is that it allows to conduct a more sophisticated analysis of thought about International Relations. Certain theories highlight several things and can also act as ‘blinkers’ that do not allow scholars to look beyond a specific range, theories ask certain questions and leave some untouched. Theories of International relations are divided into two groups, problem solving and critical ones. Problem solving theories look at the world as it is and address issues according to existing system, critical theory on the other hand asks the questions of origin of the existing system and may challenge them. Both of the theories that this essay will concentrate on belong to the problem solving group of concepts. Realism is the oldest and probably most commonly adopted theory of international relations, highly valued among scholars and students. The author of this essay will analytically discuss the key differences between realism and neo-realism, by comparing and contrasting the two. Classical Realism

“Realism is a term that is used in a variety of ways in many different disciplines. In philosophy, it is an ontological theory opposed to idealism and nominalism. ‘Scientific realism’ is a philosophy...

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