This essay argues that realism has helped in setting the big things right within the international arena.
Realism is a school of thought that derives the concept of things as they are, regardless on the way people may want them to be, with a tendency to be practical and more pragmatic. This idea juxtaposes with the idea of idealism which refers to the conception of things as they should be and the way people would want them to be. In the international relations theory, there has evolved a big controversy on which concept best describes how nations relate and how conflict among international states can be resolved. The concept of classical political realism evolved in the early 431 BC during war between Sparta and Athens (Monten, 2006). When Thucydides witnessed this war, he made a historical analysis of the war defying the popular belief of Gods during this period. He argued that war can be analysed by considering the facts of the war, hence defying the idealistic approach that the people used at this time. In this period, people had an idealistic mentality and they believed in gods and that everything happened as it should be. Thucydides pointed out that history should be analysed from an objective perspective bearing in mind that nations are monarchs that are always seeking for economic and political power. He stated that it was only practical that the strong nations should always rule the weaker nations.
Political realism has three important tenets that apply within the international relations theory. First, realism describes the concept of ‘statism’ and describes states as the major role players in international politics. Unlike the liberalism theories that consider the role of non-states sectors within the international politics, realism theory is state-centric. Another important concept of realism is that international politics is a tag of war as anarchic states
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