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Classical realism is a theory of international relations
that was developed after world war 2 period that seeks to define international
politics as a result of human nature, there are
many methods to realism however, this post will be focusing on classical
realism. Thinkers such as Thucydides, Hans Morgenthau, Machiavelli and Hobbes
are classical realists who share the view of power politics. For them international
politics is an arena of rivalry, conflict and war between states. Theorist Hans
Morgenthau discussed that politics is a “never-ending struggle for power”
(Cozette 2008, p. 668) and considered that war was “rooted in human nature”
(Donnelly 2013, p. 33). The cold war which was caused by the rise of
Soviet power and the fear this caused in the west is an example of classical realism.
The cold war which was between two
nations the United States and
the Soviet Union who fought together at
the start as allies against the Axis powers (cold war history, 2018), however,
the relationship between the two nations was a tense one when they both started
feeling the need to protect their own national interests and security as they feared
that one of the two countries would try to establish dominance over the other
with nuclear force. Even
though the US and USSR never actually went to war, realists believe that
conflict was unavoidable. Thus, both nations knew that their interests were to
grow their armaments and be strong in the face of real or potential conflict,
to essentially avoid it (Steans et al. 2013, p. 54). As classical Realism views
human nature as self-seeking, conflictual and competitive and consider that
states are inherently violent, thus realists view the Cold War as a show of
power politics, where each nation was disturbed about their security and
imposing threats, organisation of society in the realm of anarchy and a
competition of tactical influences and nuclear dominance (Bisley 2007, p. 282).


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