Four systemic perspectives
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Four Systemic Perspectives. Realism Statist Liberalism Non-Statist Liberalism Idealism. Realism. The historical context Morgenthau and the end of World War II The experience of Wilsonian idealism. Realism as an Analytic Theory.

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Four Systemic Perspectives

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Four systemic perspectives

Four Systemic Perspectives

  • Realism

  • Statist Liberalism

  • Non-Statist Liberalism

  • Idealism



  • The historical context

    • Morgenthau and the end of World War II

    • The experience of Wilsonian idealism

Realism as an analytic theory

Realism as an Analytic Theory

  • Politics is about conflict, and conflict is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature.

  • The international system is anarchic.

  • States seek to enhance their security by accumulating power

Four systemic perspectives


Realism as an analytic theory1

Realism as an Analytic Theory

  • States can be thought of as unitary actors.

  • States, as unitary actors, calculate their interests in a rational manner.

The key analytic insight

The key analytic insight:

  • State behavior is driven first and foremost by the external environment in which the state exists.

Realism as a normative theory

Realism as a Normative Theory

  • Realpolitick

    • Prudent assessments, preservation and use of power in the service of national interest

    • Ignore ideology

    • Ignore absolutist ethics

  • But what is the national interest?

Kissinger and the national interest

Kissinger and the National Interest

  • Deal with governments not societies

  • Deal with power not intentions

  • Deal with real behavior not rhetoric

  • Deal with real threats -- which means making peace with your enemies not with your friends.

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