Realism And Idealism In International Relations

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Idealism and Realism are two strongly opposed views of foreign policy. At the core of this opposition is the issue of power and security in politics.

Realism establishes a separation between politics and ethics in order to understand and comprehend international events. Realists don’t oppose morality to politics, nor power to law, but rather oppose the utopian peaceful society to the nature of society. Realists are attuned to the idea that the international system is anarchic and that serious threats emerge all the time, requiring states to secure resources for survival. This involves periodic use of force; security represents the unique and main goal of foreign policy.

Idealism, on the other side values morality as the basis of all relations among nations. It rejects the separation between the mind and the soul in politics. Idealists see the role of power as an undesirable factor to be eliminated.

Idealists see realism as a set of assumptions about how and why states behave like they do, rather than a theory of foreign relations. They strongly criticise the realist thesis that the struggle for power and security is natural. They reject such a fatalistic orientation claiming that power is not natural, and simply a temporary phase of human history.

They believe that by adhering completely and consciously to moral values moral values in behaviour, power struggle and war can be eliminated. The Idealists hold that the realists fail to accept the role of morality in
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