Classical Realism In Second World War

993 Words4 Pages
After the First World War, writers, known as idealists’ theorists, were trying to understand the cause of war and its existence in international politics. According to realists, the ideologies of idealists were flawed because they ignored the role that power has in international politics, they overestimated the rationality of Human beings, had an assumption that nation states shared a common interest, and they thought that humankind could put an end to war (Dunne and Schmidt, 2008: 92). The outbreak of the Second World War emphasized the above flaws of idealists, which resulted in idealism being replaced with realism. Realist writers then emphasized the power dynamics of states and the competitive nature which they hold in the international…show more content…
Human beings always want power and have the will to dominate (Dunne and Schmidt, 2008: 95). Classical realism argues that the state is a reflection of how people behave as it is as self-seeking as people. Morgenthou notes that human nature shapes the essential features of how states govern internationally (Dunne and Schmidt, 2008: 95), making power-seeking a vital feature in classical realism. Classical realists make the assumption that “international politics is a struggle for power” (Dunne and Schmidt, 2008: 98). They argue that security competition and inter-state conflict also occurs because of the anarchic system and the distribution of power in the international system. Anarchy means that international politics take place in an arena that has no central government or authority above all sovereign states (Dunne and Schmidt, 2008: 95). Meaning no other state has the authority over any other sovereign state because they each consider themselves to be their own highest authority. Under anarchy, a state’s survival is not guaranteed and thus state leaders have the duty of ensuring the state’s survival (Dunne and Schmidt, 2008: 95). However states with generally more power stand a better chance of survival than states with less power. Therefore power is crucial for states’ to achieve their core national interest, which is to survive in the international arena (Dunne and Schmidt, 2008: 93). In addition, anarchy results into the notion of self-help whereby states rely on themselves to maximize their security because they do not believe in entrusting their safety and survival on another actor, for example the United Nations (Dunne and Schmidt, 2008: 93). In addition, realists argue that this is also because states are selfish and they consider themselves to the key actors in international
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