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In his book chapter, The anarchic structure of the world politics, Waltz argues that the domestic power structure is defined by the principles that govern it as well as the specialisation of its various functions (Waltz, 2010). He posits that while certain rulers may make laws, governments have the final word.
In his opinion, the international political structure is highly de-centralised and anarchical since various powers have individual autonomy, making the world fundamentally chaotic because it has no organised political power structure.
This would, therefore, imply that the world is an un-orderly place by virtue of being anarchical, but apparently this in not the case. Waltz attributes this to the fact that the world exits in independent units that tend to unite with each other to eliminate some of the anarchies and secure themselves, which account for the many global organisations, such as the UN, the EU, the AU and others.
However, from a globalised context, he contends that there is no de facto government and, as such, the world essentially has no rulers. This paper focuses on discussing important aspects about international politics as highlighted by Wendt and Waltz.
From a non-critical viewpoint, Wendt’s work appears to be a stark contrast to Waltz’s ideas. His key argument is that international political issues are not actually granted, but they are products of a variety of social interactions of agents, who are the people and the overall structure in a mutually constructive manner.
He contends that the mutually interactive process takes place at both a macro and micro levels, with the latter being engendered in individual states. This lends credence to the supposition of contrast with the neorealism interests and preferences proposed by Waltz.
A second instance of contrast between the two thinkers’ ideas is the fact that Wendt applies a chronological approach to studying issues, which is the assumption in which a theory is deemed valid based on a temporal model (Wendt, 2010). While Waltz’s model is structured to make predictions and foresee possible outcomes, Wendt’s analysis is based on contingencies as well as outcomes.
I think Waltz belongs to structural realism school of IR, which he is credited for having created in understanding international affairs he has explained. Some of the recurring patterns in IR that he has tackled are the resemblance between the USSR and US relations, and retrospective Athens and Sparta one.
Wendt on the other hand can be considered to belong to the neoclassicism school of IR. He states that power is socially constructed and not given or controlled by nature. Therefore, humans can actively transform their societies. For Waltz, it emerges as the product of rational assumptions he applies to the IR theory.
On the other hand, Wendt assumes that given the natural attributes of humans who make up human societies and states, they personify the presuppositions of psychoanalytic social theorists (Wendt, 2010).
From the texts, I have learned some key lessons that would go a long way in impacting my understanding of international relations and politics. First, I have known that international affairs could be applied to impact economic growth trends of nations, which could be long-term or short-tem.
Second, I have learned that the field of IR is highly dynamic, and there exists numerous ways through which its underpinning factors can be understood. Finally, I have learned that the two authors are renowned scholars in the field of IR.
Waltz, K. (2010). The anarchic structure of the world politics. In K. Waltz (Eds.), international politics (pp. 35-56). Illinois, IL: Waveland Press.
Wendt, A. (2010). Anarchy is what states make of it. In K. Waltz (Eds.), international politics (pp. 65-72). Illinois, IL: Waveland Press.