Topics: International relations, Superpower, Political philosophy Pages: 2 (657 words) Published: April 26, 2013
Realism is one of the key theories in international relations. Realism can be simply understood as a political point of view, which emphasizes on competition among countries in terms of power, with the aim of reinforcing their national security. For some scholars, realism is already obsolete as it only makes sense in the time of war. However, with regard to many issues arising, its premises and tenets still stand the test of the time, proving their reasonability. When it comes to realism, classical realism, including assumptions of Hobbes and Thucydides, should never be passed. First, 4 assumptions of Thucydides. (1) States (national gorvernment) are principal actors when dealing with war or politic issues. They are the insiders - the most important players in international affairs. There is no kind of organizations or institutions that directly involve in. If they do, their contribution is subtle. (2) Realists see the states as unitary actors, which means states act as 1 unit, the whole state will agree on decisions the leaders make despite many different views in the authorizing system. There are no subnational actors trying to overturn the final decisions. (3) States always act rationally. Confronting with a problem, they weigh all pros and cons and pursuit only national interest. Broadly speaking, states are capable of "identifying goals and preferences and determining their relative importance". State-centricism dominates the whole decision making process, which, as a result, will help bring the best possible outcomes for the nation. (4) The biggest concern of a state is national security. In other words, security issues are in the top agenda. States always feel insecure about both foreign and domestic attacks, or worse, they fear all the rivalry force that can harm them anytime. Therefore, what they do is to reinforce their power all the time. Only by becoming powerful can they guarantee their security. (5) Second, state of nature of Hobbes added to the...
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