The Twenty Years Crisis Analysis

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The Realist Prescriptions of Carr & Waltz The international system of world politics is constantly filled with political conflict, war, and instances in which cooperation between states seems to be a viable option. This constant cycle between war and peace is representative of the ever-changing environment of international structure. Political philosophers and theorists attempt to understand this cycle by producing theories like that of liberalism, constructionism, and realism in order to better understand and compartmentalize the ever changing environment in order to better understand and deal with the issues that arise between states in the international structure. These theories are influenced by the realities in which these theorists…show more content…
Carr’s The Twenty Years’ Crisis, Carr writes after the aftermath of World War I and the United States failure to join the League of Nations. These historical events greatly imapacted Carr’s theories of international relations. Carr argues that the best way to ameliorate the anarchic system of the international system is to use both elemets of utopianism and realism in order to approach issues of war and peace. Carr writes,“Politics are made up of two elements – utopia and reality – belonging to two different planes which can never meet. There is no greater barrier to clear political thinking than failure to distinguish between ideals, which are utopia, and institutions, which are reality,” (Carr, 93). Utopia and realism are two distinct ways to approach the world yet not one view is superior to the other. Utopianism calls for hope and liberalism, something to aspire to yet it fails to meet the reality of the world. Utopianism’s failure leads into realist theory, which presents a more realistic yet negative view of international relations. By using theories to approach the international structure, a more successful approach to international relations can be…show more content…
According to Waltz, the first image allows for the understanding of the causes of war through the understanding of the nature and behavior of man (Waltz, 16). Waltz argues that wars result from the selfishness and aggressive impulsivity of human nature. In addition, Waltz argues that people only know what the “right” policies in the international sphere only if they know what the “right” policies are. This however, presents a paradox in which people follow their instincts yet instincts may not be the best indicators for the best decisions. Waltz addresses this scenario by suggesting that education can be a remedy for war (Waltz, 21). Although Waltz suggests that this image is an explanation of war he states that not just one image alone can explain the cause of war and peace. Waltz argues, “too much concern with the “primary” cause of conflict leads on away from a realistic analysis of world politics,” (Waltz, 33). Human nature alone cannot explain why wars occur and therefore it is unrealistic to resume that woe can understand the cause of war by understanding human
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