Discussion: The Realistic Approach to Anarchy and Its Role in International Relations
1. According to the realistic approach on anarchy and its role in international relations, the primary players in politics are individual states and their internal compositions. The realistic theory presupposes that the anarchic behavior focuses mainly on personal self-defense and protection, following exclusively its interests and preferences. Furthermore, it implies that national performance orients solely to the self-help doctrine. Therefore, it means that all countries are fully responsible for their inward safety and security. As a result, anarchy strongly influences the state functioning by shifting it to the concept of survival. The main task of the commonwealth without law and order is to sustain itself on the global arena by amplifying its power and protection. At the same time, such a state is aware of the fact that other republics may acquire greater influence and supremacy. Correspondingly, the preliminary idea of the anarchic behavior is to improve internal strength, reduce the authority of competitors and enhance self-defensive mechanisms for the sake of independence and national security.
The realistic approach to anarchy proclaims that willingness to assume power is the essence of humanity, which naturally finds its reflection in the performance of government and self-regulations. It comes not quite as a surprise that the state behavior considers this issue and resembles logical desires and principles of citizens. From this point of view, anarchy defines the national operation in terms of human psychology and natural aspirations to power and self-protection. However, in politics and international relations, the acquisition and maintenance of power always encounters great competition and external threats. As a result, governmental actions should focus on the elimination of dominance of other countries and the increase of individual defensive capacities and opportunities. The realists also suppose that such an explanation of the anarchic state behavior is universal, due to its broad implications in psychology and politics.
Largely, the aforementioned views on the national performance identify anarchic attitudes to international conflicts and cooperation. Since the main task of the lawless republic is the preservation of internal security, the realistic approach dwells on the importance of military capacities and strengths. The availability of army resources helps to establish power on the global arena and avoid external occupations and invasions. Moreover, the military basis allows avoiding worldwide hostilities and amplifying defensive tools of the domain. Therefore, international politics of the anarchic states is viewed through the paradigm of military progress and advancements.
Such an approach ruins typical opinions on the international cooperation. The realists admit that the intensification of military power destroys global liaisons and ruins the potential of diplomatic and peaceful collaboration between countries. Analogically, these strategies contribute to the amplification of worldwide conflicts, which may result in obvious clashes and collisions on the political level. From this prospective, it is possible to notice that the realistic approach to anarchy does not believe in the existence of universal alliance between the individual states, as each of them focuses exclusively on its personal growth and development. Similarly, this idea rejects the probability of trustful relationships between the nations as well as the possibility to avoid global warfare.
Overall, the latter approach to anarchy excludes the probability of negotiations and universal collaboration, declaring that the behavior of each country emphasizes its own security and independence. Frequently, such a strategy leads to international conflicts, connected with the redistribution of armed forces and confirmation of states’ strength and military security. The realist authors suppose that anarchy reflects on the basic desires and concepts of human conduct and transfers them to the power mechanisms.
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2. To start with, both realism and liberalism agree on the fundamental concepts and principles of anarchic states, pointing to the ideas of military intensification, prominence of self-defensive mechanisms, amplification of external conflicts and exclusion of the global cooperation. However, the realistic approach sounds more drastic in these relations, as it rejects the idea of collaboration between the anarchic republics, due to the differences in their state behaviors and self-orientation. At the same time, the liberalism theory suggests some solutions for the improvement of international policies in case of turmoil and mayhem.
In contrast to realism, liberalism presupposes that there are some tools and practices, which may help to establish international cooperation between the anarchic states. Those means and techniques include liberal democratization, economic independence and creation of the broad infrastructure of liberal institutions and governmental bodies. The liberalism theory claims that the improvement of global trading and economic relations reduces the probability of worldwide conflicts and misunderstanding. The matter is that the countries will refuse to provoke military clashes with the partners, whose prosperity and success directly influence their economic background and financial performance. Moreover, the enhancement of economic situation will positively affect the state behavior and political power, as well. Thus, it is appropriate to apply to the economic liberal tools in order to set the relevant international collaboration of the anarchic nations.
As a result, there is a need in intensification of trading associations and economic independence with the help of liberal economic tools and programs. The focus on commercial stability and self-determination as the strategies for improvement of international relations is the basic difference between realism and liberalism in the interpretation of anarchy.
Secondly, in the opposition to realism, liberalism accepts the probability of peaceful relations between the anarchic countries, despite the policies of self-defense and intensification of military power. It can happen in case of formation of international alliances, aiming at the collective improvement of the global power and its distribution. In these terms, the liberal theory presupposes that the unruly nations may form coalitions or unions, concentrating on the common protection and partner relationships. It contradicts to the realistic views, which imply that the supremacy can be obtained only in the process of war or armed protection of security and independence. Nevertheless, the liberal theory concerns the alternative possibility, which involves the peaceful regulation of international policies and power.
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Finally, realism grants the state the major part and obligations on the political arena, underestimating the role and influences of the individual institutions and people. On the contrary, liberalism admits the importance of liberal bodies and associations, which can contribute to the establishment of international relations and collaboration, even under the conditions of anarchy. According to liberalism, the domains without law and order should strive to search for the common ideas and interests with others, rather than focus on the development of military conflicts and improvement of the defensive tools. Such a strategy will help to stabilize international policies and create the common space for the united progress of the anarchic republics and their internal policies.
In conclusion, realism and liberalism present some common explanations of anarchy and its influence on the state behavior and global cooperation. However, it is also possible to trace some significant differences, connected with the treatment of the nature of anarchy and ways of stabilizing international relations. In these terms, liberalism provides more progressive picture of the universal development, emphasizing the role of liberal democratization and institutions in preservation of peaceful associations of anarchic states.