realism liberalism

Topics: United Nations, International relations, World War II, Human rights, Soviet Union, United States / Pages: 6 (1849 words) / Published: May 3rd, 2015
To what extent, and in which aspects, are Realism and Liberalism similar and different from each other?

Realism and Liberalism are the two most prevalent ideologies in practicing and analyzing International Relations in the last two centuries. They are playing important roles in the states. They will directly affect the decision making of the governments and bring effects to the peace relations among countries. Realist mainly put a focus on state, power and national security. It was especially quite dominant in the first phase of the Cold War. On the other hand, Liberalism pays attention to people’s freedom and rights. It rose up after the World War II also the end of Cold War. From my point of view, to a large extent Realism and Liberalism are different from each other. They are quite opposite in theory. The differences between Realism and Liberalism outweigh the similarities. In this essay, I would elaborate these two ideologies in different aspects to talk about.

Similarities between Realism and Liberalism
Anarchy nature
Firstly, for the similarities, both Realists and Liberals believe in anarchy nature of international system that it is leaderless in the world system. ‘The major theories of international relations embrace the view that the international system is anarchic’ (Adem 2002: 19). Both admit that there is no sovereignty, rules or systems in the international system. However, these two ideologies got very different perceptions towards what they believe the states should do under this anarchic situation. The differences will be articulated below.

Differences between Realism and Liberalism
The views towards human nature
For the differences, the first is that the Realists and the Liberals hold different beliefs towards human nature. Realists mainly are pessimistic and conservative. ‘It is essential not to have faith in human nature. Such faith is a recent heresy and a very disastrous one’ (Butterfield 149: 47). Realists believe in evil

Bibliography: Adem, S. (2002) Anarchy, Order and Power in World Politics, Ashgate, Hampshire Art, R Baylis, J. and S. Smith and P. Owens (2013) (eds.) The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (Sixth edition) (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Donnelly, J. (2000) Realism and International Relations, London: The Press Syndicate of the University Of Cambridge Dounan, M Jehangir, H. (2012) Realism, Liberalism and the Possibilities of Peace [Online], Available: [19 Feb 2012] Jumarang, B.K. (2011) Realism and Liberalism in International Relations [Online], Available: [02 Jul 2011] Keohane, R.O. (1998) ‘International Institutions: Can Interdependence Work?’, Foreign Policy, issue. 110, Spring, pp.82-94. Morgenthau, H.J. (1978) Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, Fifth Edition, Revised, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf), [Online], Available: Owen, J.M. (1994) ‘How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace’, International Security, vol. 19, Fall, pp. 87-125. Rourke, J.T

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