Realism in International Relations

Topics: United Nations, World government, Peace Pages: 2 (549 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Realism in International Relations
The video begins with a lecture from professor Richard Betts who is the director of the institute of War and Peace studies and director of the International Security Policy program in the School of International and Public affairs at Columbia University. In the lecture video he was discussing and explaining the many different theories of realism. Realism is a theory of how the world usually works. Realism is not a blueprint to how things should work in special cases because of the many flaws and different schools of thought that “Realism” contains. There are many forms to the thought of Realism, classical, neoclassical, defensive, offensive, neorealism and rise and fall realism. Theorists of classical realism associate themselves with the teachings Hobbes and Machiavelli, which emphasize that there will always be flaws to human nature. Thus the power seeking motives, personal interests for states and the focus on material things. In realism states look for security in all of its forms. Realism also explains the world as if it is in an archaic state. Because of the lack of sovereignty and a one world government it defines political order in the international system. According to Professor Betts in the video “That in the international system you are on your own, and have to act like it”. Which means everybody is fighting for their own personal gain. We look to the United Nations or NATO for help but yet they are not world governments, instead they are looked at as hands that will help only when it is in their best interest. Richard Betts points to another issue on how the realists are focused on the problem of peace and war. While the realist schools of thought see evil for the main cause of war, the liberalists see evil as the cause of war. When war is caused through the disagreement between states through the breaking of civil law it is viewed as a tragedy, where if there is a transgressor that has caused the war somehow it...
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