Theorists believed that Realism started from the Peloponnesian war. It is an idea from a pessimist perception wherein the states are the key actors in international politics and where all of them desire power. There were types of Realism that was tackled during the discussion: (1) Classical Realism, (2) Neo-Realism, and, (3) Neo-classical Realism.
Thucydides was the first theorist to unravel the idea called “Realism”. He carefully studied the Ancient Greek war that has happened even before he was born. It was a war between the two powerful states, Greece and Sparta. I can say that what causes war here is the fear of the Sparta to the Greece that maybe the balance of their power some time fades. But the bottom line here is that the Sparta chose to move by their emotions, resulting to the “realism” part, which man behaves according to his nature. Both states chose to fight like they’re the only persons in the room, little do they know, something bigger is going to happen. This is what Classical Realism is. Where human behaviour matters such in seeking and claiming power, selfishness and greed. That is why war is inevitable, it is because of the surge of emotions that run through a Leviathan’s mind.
Classical Realism then perished when it is ordered that the Church and Government shall be separated. This seemed like a protocol until the modern days, why? Because the Church shows mercy while the Government under a Realism ideology is considered merciless and cruel. The book of Machiavelli, “The Prince” shows why these two is like water and oil. The book itself was banned by the church due to its gruesome content; gruesome means against the rule of the church. To my perception, Machiavelli’s book has opened minds of the people who read the book, those who were against it feared to see what is actually happening around themselves.
The Thirty Years War, a part of the Classical Realism Regime was a fight amongst religion which teams were formed to overthrow a government. At the end, Treaty of Westphalia was born, this has changed the game and had put end to the Classical Realism ideology where balance of power is shown, and all is based on the realist understanding of politics which would really help to finally cut the urges of a selfish man to fight for his wants.
After Classical Realism, Neo-realism was introduced. If the Classical realism focuses on the Individual (human behavior) itself, then Neo-realism focuses on the International state. It is that the state cannot be certain of the intention of other states. Neo-realism is a wider perspective, concerning the whole state itself, state may handle the goods coming and made upon their state but once there is a threat outside, the state cannot do something about it. But, to handle this kind of situation, what a state need is a System. Which is the Government that handles situations carefully, makes decisions critically. Unlike Classical Realism, Leaders feed in power. Neo-realism feed itself in security of a state.
In Neo-realism, the more powerful the state is, the more important role they play within the system. Take the US as an example, as the richest and ‘most’ powerful state among all current nation state, one wrong move may lead to a disastrous wreckage in the international system. I agree with some part of this idea because the most powerful/ rich nation usually funds and helps countries that needs help financially and economically, but when talking about unified nations, even a single state matters, meaning it also has a vital role.
If there is a system, there must also be a structure. Structure in Neo-realism is the security that the state has. It serves as the outside wall, a protection. This refers to the relation among countries. These are the Ambassadors of one state that are distributed across the world. This is why persons who pursued International Studies/ Relation has a vital role in these kinds of situations.
Neo-realism has introduced us 2 kinds of realism under it, Defensive and Offensive Realism. Defensive realism relies to the Security of the state which is their main goal and Offensive realism relies to the power they’ll be getting. In my opinion, if one is a leader of the state, he/she cannot pick one of these options, these two realisms must be circulating in a state because one cannot gain security if one hasn’t got power and one cannot have power without security. It is a give and take scenario.
The third type of realism that was introduced by Gideon Rose was the Neoclassical Realism, a combination of the aforementioned types. Neoclassical realism focuses on the state itself, the condition of the state. Freed Zakaria argued that ‘Perception of one’s place in the system is an important variable’ as an insight for Neoclassical realism, I support his assertion, let’s take a look of Rene Descartes’ “I think therefore I am” it is exactly that point, Perceptions matter to every person, for them if it is
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