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Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

8. Realism  

Tim Dunne and Brian C. Schmidt

This chapter examines the claim that realism offers the most powerful explanation for the state of war that is the regular condition of life in the international system. It first provides an overview of the theory of realism before discussing whether there is one realism or a variety of realisms. It argues that despite some important differences, all realist theories share a set of core assumptions and ideas. It goes on to consider these common elements, namely self-help, statism, and survival. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the extent to which realism is relevant for understanding the globalization of world politics. To illustrate the main ideas tackled in this chapter, two case studies are presented: one relating to the Melian dialogue and the other to strategic partnerships with ‘friendly’ dictators. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether U.S. hegemony is durable or fleeting.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

9. Realism  

Or Rosenboim

This chapter examines the claim that realism offers the most powerful explanation for the state of war that is the regular condition of life in the international system. It first provides an overview of the theory of realism before discussing whether there is one realism or a variety of realisms. It argues that despite some important differences, all realist theories share a set of core assumptions and ideas. It goes on to consider these common elements, namely self-help, statism, and survival. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the extent to which realism is relevant for understanding the globalization of world politics. To illustrate the main ideas tackled in this chapter, two case studies are presented. The first looking at Kautilya%#x0027;s realistic thought. Kautilya was a key adviser to Indian king Chandragupta Maurya (c.317–293). The second case study considers the impact of Russia's annexation of the Crimea.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

11. The primacy of national security  

Brian C. Schmidt

This chapter focuses on national security, a central concept in foreign policy analysis. A core objective of foreign policy is to achieve national security. However, there is a great deal of ambiguity about the meaning of the concept. Although the traditional meaning of national security is often associated with protecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of the nation state, this does not exhaust all of the possible meanings. The chapter examines some of the competing conceptions of national security, beginning with the three main assumptions of realism that together help to account for the primacy of national security: statism, survival, and self-help. It then considers the field of security studies before concluding with an assessment of the theoretical controversy about the meaning of national security and how it relates to three American grand strategies: neo-isolationism, liberal internationalism, and primacy.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

5. Compliance and enforcement in international law  

This chapter assesses why international legal obligations are (or are not) complied with, and how they are (or are not) enforced. It begins by drawing a distinction between laws and norms. The chapter then examines the main explanations for international law compliance put forward by both international law and international relations scholars. These may be broadly grouped into two categories: instrumentalist explanations and normative explanations. The chapter also discusses the concept of state responsibility—that is, the body of rules governing when and how states may be held liable for violations of international law. International law-enforcement is indelibly shaped by the condition of international anarchy. According to the concept of self-help, an injured state may, under certain circumstances, unilaterally take countermeasures against the guilty party. Such measures may include sanctions, though these may also be ordered by the UN Security Council as a collective security measure. The international legal system also increasingly makes use of judicial procedures that approximate those found within states. In this connection, the chapter considers the role of courts and tribunals in adjudicating disputes and promoting compliance with international law.