Theories of Power Transfer

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Neorealism is also called structural realism or structuro-realism. It is one of the theories in international relations outlined by Kenneth Waltz in his 1979 book entitled Theory of International Politics. It is based on the theory that states are selfish, and will always act in their own best interest, and that long-term cooperation or alliances are not favored.


Survival is the driving force, thus, states must develop their offensive capabilities to increase their power. As a reflection of this selfishness, and to ensure their own survival, states seek to develop their offensive capabilities, or their military power, so that they can take over the territories of other states to increase their relative power. This means that their power is relative, that is, in relation to the other states (Fozouni, 2008).
In the international system, the principal actors are the sovereign states, where the independent influence of international organizations, sub-states or trans-state actors is dismissed. Nationalism is important, while the importance of sub-national groupings or transnational ideological of cultural groupings are diminished.
This theory has several key assumptions. Neorealism is based primarily on the assumption that mankind is selfish and competitive. It is not benevolent, rather it is self-centered. Its fundamental assumption is that the international system is chaotic and anarchic. Since the state is the primary actor, there is no higher governing authority to which they bow to. States must muddle through in their relations with each other, with no higher authority that can impose or dictate on any one of them. ...
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