Topics: International relations, Superpower, Thucydides Pages: 3 (975 words) Published: February 3, 2013
International Relations (IR) is the field of study which concerns people and cultures throughout the world which the ultimately relationships among the world’s governments. These relationships cannot be understood plainly as they are closely connected with other actors. Many theories have been used to explain the wide range of international interactions but one theory that has historically held a central position in the study of IR is realism. Realism (or realist theory) is a school of thought that explains International Relations in terms of power as it focuses on the concepts of power and the balance of power. Like what it is said by Morgenthau: “International politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power. Whatever the ultimate aim of international politics, power is always the immediate aim.” (Viotti, Kauppi, 1999) It is the image of international relations that is based on four assumptions: 1. The first assumption of realism is that states are the principal or most important actors in International Relations. (Viotti, Kauppi, 1999) As states represents the most important units of analysis, especially the Great Powers (United States, China, Russia, etc…) in IR. Non – State actors are often of lesser importance than state actors who are the dominant actors. 2. The second assumption of realism is that the state is that its primary concern is its national survival. States act to acquire more power to defend and to advance their own national or state objectives. 3. The third and final assumption of realism is that realist assumes that within the anarchical internal system, there is no world government to ensure the survival of individual states and hence individual states eventually must rely on themselves – self help. All these are not new in human history. Intellectual Precursors have written about the cause of war and peace. Like Thucydides, who wrote about the “The Peloponnesian war” between the Athens and the Sparta...
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