International Relations Neo-Realism in IR: Most Important Concepts and Sample MCQs

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Western Political Thought Neo-Realism in IR: International Relations (Political Science)

What is Neo –Realism?

  • Neo-Realism came to develop around 1980s under the influence of the ideas and writings of Kenneth Waltz.

  • It , like realism, advocates the importance of power in IP .

  • But at the same time it accepts the need to explain these in terms of structure of IR.

  • It advocated that states while remaining continuously in struggle for power are influenced not only by the elements of national power and national interests but also by the international structure.

  • Neo –realists seek to explain the nature of international politics by an analysis of different structure of international system defined in terms of ordering principles ,the functional differentiation of the units and distribution of capabilities in the international system.

  • It gives primacy to power in IR but at the same time accepts the role of other factors particularly the structure of international system, international cooperation and even the economic factors of relations among nations.

  • it is also sometimes called as structural realism or contemporary realism stands associated with name of several contemporary scholars, particularly Kenneth Waltz , whose work , “Theory of International Relations”(1979) became known for its neo realist approach.

  • However he uses the term structural realism, and strongly advocated the view that the structure of international system decisively shapes the behavior of nations in the international struggle for power.

  • Classical realists tried to trace the cause of war to the objectives of human nature, the Neo-Realists prefer to explain international conflict within the framework of the anarchic structure of international system.

  • They do not accord primacy to innate human nature as cause of conflict but holds the view that it is anarchical international system which act as source of fear, rivalry , jealousy , suspicion and insecurity in the international system.

  • By anarchical system , neo-realists means a system characterized by the absence of higher power over the sovereign nation-states.

  • It is this situation which leads to the presence of a state of war- a struggle for power in which each nation acts by virtue of its lust for power.

  • By the state of war , the neo-realists do not ,mean an actual state of war .

  • It is a condition in which the fear or threat of war is continuously present in the international system.

  • Neo – realists go to the extent of declaring that the structure of international relations drive the states to war , even when the leaders of state may desire peace.

  • Neo –realists therefore , try to give importance not only to power of each nation individually but also to the relative power of the nations and the structure.

  • Neorealist like Kenneth Waltz argue that Balance of Power emerges inevitably with or even without the intentions and conscious attempts of states

  • Most of the realists have now accepted the utility of neo realists.

  • Structure play an important role in international relations, though Waltz accepts the centrality of power and power relationship , it is structure that has primarily been instrumental in describing Waltz neo realism as Structural Realism.

Key Words #

#Neo-Realism

#Kenneth Waltz

#Structural Realism

#International Structure

#Power

#Balance of Power

#State

#International System

Mcqs

  1. Neo – Realism developed in the year?

  2. 1980s

  3. 1990s

  4. 1970s

  5. 1989

Ans. Neo-Realism came to develop around 1980s

2. Name associated with Neo- realism___________?

  1. Morgenthau

  2. Kenneth Thompson

  3. Kenneth Waltz

  4. E.H.Carr

Ans. Kenneth Waltz

  • Neo-Realism came to develop around 1980s under the influence of the ideas and writings of Kenneth Waltz.

3. Neo realists give importance to _____?

  1. Only power

  2. Only structure

  3. Power and structure both

  4. Nations

Ans. Both power and structure

4.Who wrote – “Theory of International Relations”(1979)?

  1. Schuman

  2. Aron

  3. Myers

  4. Waltz

Ans. Kenneth Waltz.

5. What according to neo-realists causes war?

  1. Objective laws of human nature

  2. Anarchical international system

  3. Sovereign states

  4. None.

Ans. Anarchical international system

  • They do not accord primacy to innate human nature as cause of conflict but holds the view that it is anarchical international system which act as source of fear, rivalry , jealousy , suspicion and insecurity in the international system.

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