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  • Realism
    • 4 Propositions
      • The international system is anarchic
        • There is no actor above states capable of regulating their interactions
      • States are the most important actors.
        • It is unitary and autonomous because it speaks and acts with one voice
        • The power of the state is understood in terms of its military capabilities.
      • All states within the system are unitary, rational actors.
        • States tend to pursue self-interest.
        • Groups strive to attain as many resources as possible
      • The primary concern of all states is survival.
        • States build up military to survive, which may lead to 'Security Dilemma'.
    • 2 main people behind the idea of Realism
      • Thomas Hobbes
        • Views human nature as egocentric (not necessarily selfish) and conflictual unless there exist conditions under which humans may coexist
          • This view contrasts with the approach of liberalism to international relations.
            • In regards to self-interest, these individuals are self-reliant and are motivated in seeking more power.
        • In regards to self-interest, these individuals are self-reliant and are motivated in seeking more power.
      • Niccolo Machiavelli
    • The state emphasizes an interest in accumulating power to ensure security in an anarchic world
      • Power is a concept primarily thought of in terms of material resources necessary to induce harm or coerce other states (to fight and win wars).
    • A key concept under realism is the international distribution of power referred to as system polarity.
      • Polarity refers to the number of blocs of states that exert power in an international system
        • A multipolar system is composed of three or more blocs
        • A bipolar system is composed of two blocs.
        • A unipolar system is dominated by a single power or hegemon.
      • Under unipolarity realism predicts that states will band together to oppose the hegemon and restore a balance of power.
    • States are inherently aggressive (offensive realism) and/or obsessed with security (defensive realism)
      • Territorial expansion is only constrained by opposing power(s)
    • Realists believe that there are no universal principles with which all states may guide their actions.




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