Realist views on state egoism, anarchy & self help, and balance of power

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  • Realist Views on:
    • STATE EGOISM
      • Realists believe that because states pursue national interest, they will inevitably come into conflict with one another.
      • Therefore, this rivalry between and amongst political communities, illustrates the inherent tendency of self seeking competition and aggression.
    • ANARCHY & SELF HELP
      • Realists also believe that, to achieve survival and security, states are forced to rely on self help (through military terms).
        • This happens in an international system of anarchy, through military power.
      • Therefore, states will build up their military force as a deterrent, looking out for themselves.
        • E.g. The Cold War between the USA and USSR (nearly a hot war).
    • BALANCE OF POWER
      • Realists believe that the balance of power prevents the descent of war.
        • This is because states will avoid war if they calculate that their chances of victory are slim.
      • This will lead states to create general equilibrium and curb hegemonic ambitions.
        • This is because states will avoid war if they calculate that their chances of victory are slim.
        • E.g. Two comprehending superpowers balance each other out.
          • This is BIPOLARITY
            • Where the majority of global economic, cultural and military influence is held between 2 states.
              • E.g. The Cold War established the USA and USSR to dominate the 2nd half of the 20th Century.
            • The opposite to this is MULTIPOLAR/UNIPOLAR SYSTEM
              • Where states are completely dependent on the distribution of power and influence of states (regionally or globally).

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