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Realism vs. Liberalism: Differences in Examples Essay

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Updated: Aug 13th, 2022

Realism and liberalism are two main and contradictory theories explaining the interaction of participants in the political process. First of all, realists are focused on “geopolitical relations between states” (Bell, 2017, p. 1). The proponents of this theory argue that the war between all is a natural human behavior, which is reflected in the interaction of states on the global scale. Thus, the theory of realism assumes possible aggression and constant ideological struggle, emphasizing the competition between states (Antunes & Camisão, 2018). An example of such a worldview can be the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, when the two superpowers maintained exclusively competitive relations in all areas, especially weapons.

While realism considers the world pessimistically and implies the inevitability of conflicts between states, liberalism proposes methods of communication other than war. Liberal theory in International Relations focuses on establishing connections that could mitigate aggression. In particular, it underlines the “consideration of citizens and international organizations” (Meiser, 2018, para. 1). While realism puts the values ​​of the state at the forefront, for liberalism, the most important is human rights and freedoms. Thus, the main purpose of this system is to limit the political power of states to protect the liberty of citizens. An example of the application of liberal theory can be the United Nations, which contributes to the resolution of international conflicts, as well as the consolidation of resources for common purposes.

References

Antunes, S., & Camisão, I. (2018). . E-International Relation.

Bell, D. (2017). . Philosophy Compass, 12(2), 1-16.

Meiser, J. W. (2018). . E-International Relation.

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