Realism and Idealism in International Politics essay

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Realism and idealism are the spectrum ends of attitudes that deal with tactics to the chase of strategies in the world politics.  Realists are categorically termed as followers of realism, national security, balance of power and politics.  Also, they are viewed as conservatives, state centric scholars, pessimists, hard headed policy makers, and serious theorists. Comparatively, idealists are referred to as liberals, globalists, optimists, pacifists, world governments, internationalists and moralists.

With respect to realists, international politics refers to a competition and struggle for retaining, enhancing power and gaining because humans own an inherent desire to control and dominate. In the international politics, independent states have their judges, prosecutors and juries who "often opt to force to uphold their security welfares." According to Hans Morgenthau, a 20th Century realist scholar asserts it, “a complexity of evil human actions" unavoidably converts revolutions into dictatorships, love of the country into imperialism and churches into political organizations." It is widely known that, the crusades of history and the basic current movements, read from results of the Russian, French, Iranian revolutions, and effects of country’s love contained by the Nazis, among the rest.  Yet realists still hold the view that, states endure the principal actors in the international politics and anarchic systems of the world that induces us to seek, expand, maintain, and demonstrate the ability in the enhancement and maintenance of the national interest.

Idealists hold contrasting views on human rationality and human nature.  In the view of human beings idealists are friendly and cooperative and capable of achieving relations for the profit of all. They consider human beings to be decent and seek the wellbeing of all.  They uphold that, by comprehensive cooperating human beings can uplift their lifestyle and live a peaceful life in the entire universe.  With regards to the idealists, the most prudent approach to establish peaceful relations in the world and to attain mutual interest and avoid the chaos of the international political systems is through concerning international organizations such as the United Nations, European Union and League of Nations etc. Several idealists go beyond to the extent of supporting the foundation of the world government in order to ensure security and peace.

Kautilya, who is a widely known 3rd Century B. C. scholar gave advice to his Prince in his conspicuous volume, Arthasastra, in that power regulates politics and the position of the Prince.  Similar underlining of the importance of power ware reverberated in the MENSCH by the 16th Century Niccolo Machiavelli who was an Italian theorist. Karl von Clausewitz who was the classical realist highlighted "The war is the prolongation of negotiation by other ways."  Thomas Hobbes of 17th Century England noted that, human life as "Poor, solitary, nasty, short and brutish" in his well-known study, the Leviathan.  From Hans Morgenthau to more current realists such as Henry Kissinger, it has proposed that, foreign policy must be guided freely from principles of morality. This is because the nation's security protection and national interest promotion are the aims of foreign policy.

Idealists, discard morality in the notion of national benefit, which is mere lunacy.  They argue that foreign policy must be formulated on the focus of moral values to substitute a better and collaborative world that human beings can peacefully live without conflicts, with freedom and prosper. President Wilson Woodrow sought to hound American foreign policy focused on idealism matters. The catastrophe of the First World War brought a revival of idealism into the world politics.   Wilson sought to transform the world into a safe for democracy while he preached the NEW FREEDOMS for the universe.  The Washington Naval Treaties of 1922 established arms control by preventing the naval arms of the leading world powers. The 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact renounced violence as an instrument of foreign policy.  Stimson Doctrine failed to recognize the bad gotten results of violence by Japan in China.

The idealists’ recreation of foreign policy concerning ethical standards is based on the national interest. Carter's sustenance of human rights in the universe is a case in point.  Likewise, President Clinton's conveyance of American troops initial to Bosnia and then to Kosovo to halt ethnic purgative in such places also is based on moral teachings and national interest. Perhaps, the primary idealism practitioners in foreign policy can be attributed as Jawaharlal Nehru and India's Mahatma Gandhi.  Mahatma Gandhi is a widely known pacifist, projected to the British to permit the Japanese to occupy and enter India during the Second World War.  Quoting the Nehru's famous saying "Contemporary idealism makes tomorrow's realism" habituated his way of thinking and the India's foreign policy regarding China till the India-China 1962 war.

The Realpolitik practitioner par excellence was the Germany Chancellor Bismarck who not only escalated in power but was shrewd to preserve peace in Europe throughout his long period as Chancellor.  Realists declare that, self-sacrificing strategies such as those proposed by Gandhi and hunted by Nehru were foolish and dangerous.  While the competition for power could clue war, realists contend that, peace can be upheld by employing instruments of foreign policy such as diplomacy, international law, balance of power, a strong military and verifiable arms control.  According to Winston Churchill, a realist physician of British foreign policy curtails the possession of nuclear weapons by countries that offer a balance of fear, in addition to the balance of power.  The Realists emphasize that, policy makers must not misuse resources on worthless reasons and must not let a less powerful ally regulate policy priorities.

Realists indicate that, visions of idealism were traumatized by Italy, Japan and Germany throughout the war time between the 1920s and 1930s through dishonoring treaties, by obligating aggression, by ignoring international organizations and international law such as the League of the nation and by building arms.  Realists argue that, it is naive to assume that, human beings are inherently rational and good.  In realist opinion, human beings are at most strategic position both bad and good and at the affected have an inborn desire to govern.  Therefore, the propensity of war is rather high and desires to dominate have to be patterned by the power in the effort to safeguard own security.  The state administration cannot ignore its accountability to safeguard the national security.  This should be done by retaining, enhancing power, by pursuing policies of military alliances, acquiring containment, and balance of power.

Idealists are focused on the spiraling and never terminating nature of weapon race.  The nuclear arms and the possibility of initiating a nuclear conflict is a vital problem with respect to idealists.  They caution against the danger in chasing narrowly focused policies stemming from xenophobia and national pride.  Arms deployment and production will ultimately lead to increased conflict, ultimate world destruction and tension according to the idealist view.   While weapon producers are brokers of arms race and death ultimately result to war, disarmament and arms control lead to peace and reduce tension with respect to the idealist view.  Idealists believe in the increasing collaboration among the European countries and the achievement of the European Union in peace promotion, prosperity and security among the EU members.  The EU success has prompted fifteen more states joining the organization.

In conclusion, realism and idealism are not contradictory though they are each at the end of the spectrum.  As well, they can come together in addressing issues such as global aids, nuclear proliferation and pollution.

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