Realism vs. Liberalism

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International Politics Gerard Chretien Professor: Jennifer Dwyer May 2, 2001

The realist perspective on international political economy can be seen in the United States international trade policy with China. The United States being an established world power seeks to further enhance its international role by engaging in trade with another nation, that being China, this reflects the realist main idea that the state occupies center stage in global political affairs.

The United States willingness to engage in the world market signals the idea of self national interest that remind many of the policy followed by European states during the Monarch era. The idea is to maximize your own agenda, at the same token minimize your states possible loss through risky policy engagement. The realist view reflects many of today's policy regarding international trade with China.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the liberals who soundly believe that the state should have a very limited impact in the international political economic arena. They feel that the states interest and their goals change along with the context of the I.P.E. situation. The liberal perspective also offers the idea of cooperation among negotiating states that oppose the realist view that cooperation has an underlining meaning behind it.

The realists' concepts and views ultimately render a more significant portrayal of U.S.-China international trade in comparison to the liberals' perspective. It shows that the policy implemented reflects the United States sole interest in relative gains, in comparison with the liberals' idea of absolute gain. In other words, the United States seeks to benefit from its interaction with China only for the sole purpose of increasing its wealth and power. As for the liberals they believe that the United States involvement with China is for absolute gain, a pattern of policies that can improve society as a whole, is...
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