An author of the essay "Realism, Liberalism, and the English School" claims that the school of Realism can be dated primarily to the Italian philosopher Machiavelli, who counseled for a ruthless use of power to secure the goals and aims of a sovereign or politician. …
The Realist school makes it clear that States are to act to secure their fundamental national interest in foreign policy, and in this way are countered by the school of Liberalism in foreign policy. The Liberal school of foreign policy believes that the ideals, ideologies, and cultural principles of the nation are what the government and its ministers should also advocate through international relations. In this manner, the Liberal school critiques the moral nature of the Realist school, inferring that what is called “reality” in this interpretation is merely a projection of the self-serving interests of power and generally minority or oligarchic interests. In this manner, the ideals that are derived from moral principles can also be implemented as a goal in foreign policy through Liberalism. An example of this would be the internationalization of human rights and democratic principles through treaty accords. There is a third school of international relations that can be viewed as a synthesis of the schools of Liberalism and Realism. The English School, developed through the experience of British Empire building, advocates the pursuit of liberal principles and ideas internationally through foreign policy but doing so in a realistic manner that is not in conflict with essential national interests. The assumptions of each of the schools are found in prior judgments that are part of the system of thought or belief system that the philosophies operate through in foreign policy....
sumptions of each of the schools are found in a priori judgments that are part of the system of thought or belief system that the philosophies operate through in foreign policy. For example, the Realist school can be seen as an empirical and materialist philosophy, in that it focuses on specific gains that can be measured, planned for, and rationally studied to determine the extent of accomplishment. The Realist school projects the self-interest of the individual in a macro-framework as the State, and in this manner favors the centralization of power in one individual, as in a monarchy, dictatorship, prime minister, or president. The Realist school bases its definition of the State on the centralization of power, as this authority in military, finance, and legal statutes are assumed to be able to be mobilized upon a common policy of government in international relationships that attain concrete goals. As the Realist school is based on a type of calculation in power relations with objectives established in advanced and accomplished through strategic planning, it enables the development of International Relations as a formal discipline, similar to economics and law. The Liberal school generally accepts the a priori judgment of the Realists, but seeks to reform it on the principles of Humanism. In theory, where the Realists trace their lineage back to Machiavelli, Hobbes, Adam Smith, and Hume, the Liberal school looks to Rousseau as the exemplar and archetype of progressive philosophy applied in a humanistic manner for the purpose of freedom and human liberation. In this regard, while the Realist school may have no moral objection to enslave, coerce, or dominate a local population if it furthered the aims of the State as defined by those in power, the Liberal school would ...
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