Evaluate the following argument in terms of its strengths and weaknesses :The Cold War: Classical Realism
Classical realism has been at the heart of the study of world politics around the world since it was introduced in 1948 by Hans Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations, a realist international theory (Doyle, p119). It was considered natural response to the failure of liberalism to maintain world peace when the WWII began. WWII can be considered to have been caused by the struggle for power by some individual leaders.
In the field of international relations, Classical Realism became the dominant analytical paradigm mostly after the start of the Second World War, when it displaced idealist doctrines, promising “to provide more accurate information, more powerful, and more relevant answers” to the roots or causes of peace and war (Brecher & Harvey, p54).
Classical realism looks at the state as a rational and autonomous actor. Realists expand the state autonomy to not only include autonomy from international organizations but also sufficient autonomy from their national societies to recognize and pursue the interests of the nation as a whole. This domestic coherent attitude allows them to “exercise control over different national organizations to direct and control government actions in such a way as to implement the decision makers’ strategies” (Doyle, p.166).
All states are unique and have a set of defining political, cultural, economic, social, or religious characteristics that influence its foreign policy. Therefore, the more strength that a state has, the more power they gain against other states. Which is the theory behind Classical Realism, that all states seek power.
Classical Realism offers a balanced theory about The Cold War, it gives us an understanding of the nature of man, the state and the international system, and why war occurs and how it could be avoided in the future. Political realism maintains the autonomy of the political sphere by defining interest as power.