Realism, as many scholars put it, is the most well-established theoretical perspective in international relations. It focuses on nation states as the main actor and power and self-help as drivers in international relations. It remained successful in satisfying the answers to the questions about the causes and effects of war. Realists figured war as an inevitable event in world politics. It was, however, challenged prior to the end of Cold war with the emergence of other theoretical perspectives that contradicts its views and assumptions. Also, globalization, as we all know, projected many changes not only to technology, transportation and communication but more importantly with international relations. Therefore, it is important to assess the relevance of the concept of realism in today’s globalized world given the fact that there are many factors and new paradigms that challenges it.
This paper, thus, seeks to answer the question whether or not realism is an outdated paradigm in today’s globalized world. Moreover, it also presents the origin and development of realism and its premature demise as a theoretical perspective in international relations. Lastly, this paper also discusses how realism was after the Cold War and the emergence of globalization.
Realism has dominated the study of international relations over the past fifty years. It defines power in terms of military capabilities of states. It also adheres state, self help and survival as its key assumptions. Moreover, it believes that anarchy, where there is no legitimate authority other than the state, is the only way forward in international politics. In addition to that, according to Mearsheimer, 2006, realists believe that power is the currency of international politics. Great powers, the main actors in the realists’ account, pay careful attention to how much economic and military power they have relative to each other. It is important