2007 higher english critical essay questions

Thus, it argues that states are more interested in achieving their national interests with one voice and in whatever they do, they are guided by these interests. For example, when formulating foreign policies, nations are guided by their interests, guided by those things that they want to achieve as a nation Nayef, , p. Realists also assumes that states are rational actors moving toward their national interests, that they are always consistent, they have their priorities arranged in a specific way and in that they can calculate the costs and the benefits in order to maximize their benefit Nayef, , p.

Lastly, they argue that the international system is anarchic in that there is no central government to guide the behavior of states in the world system Jervis, , p. Classical realism puts more emphasis on the role of human nature in International Politics Korab-Karpowicz, , p. It argues that power lies in human nature, as the laws that govern politics are made by men and also emphasizes that International Politics is a struggle for power which emanates from human nature Morgenthau ; The theory states that people are greedy, insecure and aggressive and they also competes for scarce resources, so this makes them to attack one another for gain.

The lust to possess power and selfishness of individuals are considered to be the causes or bases of conflicts that emanates amongst the individuals Brown, , p. In addition to that, Hobbes identified three principal causes of conflicts which are fundamental to human nature; competition, diffidence and glory Hobbes, , pp. Part I, chs. People want to achieve their own interests and in so doing, they are prone to irrational behaviour as they become simple minded and likely to be controlled and used Shimko, , p.

Classical realism is a state level theory that argues that all states seek power, which is driven by desire to achieve national interests.

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Power is the key concept for realists and they argue that to survive, states must increase their power by internal development such as in the economic system, technological, diplomatic and military means Nayef, , p. The theory argues that states seek to increase their power and decrease the power of their enemies and everything they do is in the name of power accumulation Jervis, , p. States in this theory see others with power as enemies, because power when is not in your hands is threatening.

Sparta had to attack the Athenians first because they had become more powerful and therefore there was a shift in the balance of power, exposing Sparta to danger.

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This came as a threat to Sparta and they resorted to attacking the Athenians first, as a way of defending themselves. Increase of power of one state can therefore pose a threat to another state and result to war, as the increase in power of the Athens threatened the Lacedaemonians and compelled them to go to war Forde, , p. There can be peace, but for it to last long it should be based upon balance of power lubricated by fluid alliance systems Williams, , p.

The theory states that in order for the system to be stable, there should nations with equal powers at the top and others at the bottom of the system. Realists argue that the international system is anarchic in that there is no central government to guide the behavior of states in the world system Jervis, , p. It states that conflict is inevitable as states are eager to maximize their interests and also strengthen their security system.

For example, E. Carr says that "the most serious wars are fought in order to make one's own country militarily stronger or, more often, to prevent another from becoming militarily stronger'' Carr, , p. Such also was the case with Sparta and the Athenians. Sparta had to attack Athens because it had grown stronger Forde, , p.

An example of an arms race is that of Germany when it challenged Britain in twentieth century. German wanted to become the super power and this led to high competition on accumulation of military instruments between the two. Classical realists also argued that the basic structure of International politics is one of anarchy because each of the independent sovereign states consider themselves to be their own highest authority and do not recognize a higher power above them Forde, , p. Nations are trying to maximize their own interests and therefore they do careless about others as there are no overarching rules and procedures binding them to do so.

As nations gains power, they strive for more power which end up causing war Korab-Karpowicz, , p. An example which shows that when nations gains power they seek more, is that of German when it occupied the land Czechoslovakia which then became part of the German empire Webb, , p. German was not be satisfied, it went on and attacked Britain, France and Russia simultaneously and got defeated Churchill, , p.

This simply shows that if power is not controlled by a system of justice, it brings about the uncontrolled desire for more power, as it was the case with the Athens; they were already powerful and all they wanted was glory and gain. They had power, but they wanted to gain more than they had so they ended up going to war and conquering the Melians Korab- Karpowicz, , p.

Another example is that, the powerful Athens had to attack the weak island of Melos, not because of security reasons, but to advance their interests. The Athenian representatives gave the Melians a choice, destruction or surrender, and asked them not to appeal to justice, but to think only about their survival. Since such an authority above states does not exist, the Athenians argued that in a lawless condition of international anarchy, the only right is the right of the stronger to dominate the weaker.

They clearly equate right with power, and exclude considerations of justice from foreign affairs Barkun, , p.

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Foreign policies therefore, are formulated based on what nations can gain, thus on how far they can achieve their interest Leiter, , p. The levels of analysis are divided into three categories, being the individual, state and international level.

These levels are very crucial in the international system as they help one to understand how force in political power affects another. They are used to help understand complex problems in world politics and power is considered to be the concept that collects all the analysis together Gilpin, , p. Chapter 1. In this paper, we will be discussing the levels of analysis in Waltzian fashion. In his book of Man, the State and War, Waltz , p. This level of analysis argues that the international system is made of individuals and the way nations interact with one another is derived from individual behaviour.

It also states that human beings are by nature violent beings and therefore states can be violent because they are made by the individual. Human perceptions influence their political behaviour which impacts on the state behaviour. That is, the behaviour of state is guided by behaviour of the leader leading that particular country Ray, , p. It views the individual leaders as the cause of events taking place within a particular country.

The level also looks at the cognitive theories that explain foreign policy by focusing on how leaders view the world. It is believed that the way individual leaders view the world shapes their political choices either at both the domestic and the international level Waltz, , p. Realists also argues that beings seek to possess power because they are insecure and also they are competing for scarce resources and in trying to achieve their self-interests conflicts are likely to arise, because in most cases they break rules.

Ego and fear can also leads to conflicts as ego can lead to desire to dominate others and to be realised as an individual of worth whilst fear may make the individuals to be aggressive and as a strategy for self-defence and all these may cause conflicts or even attacks among individuals Nayef, , p.

States are principal unit of analysis for realists. States are greedy, insecure and very aggressive because they possess the traits of collective people making it up Hobbes, , pp.

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They argue that states cannot be separated from human beings because the man in a state is the one who makes decisions that determines how the state should be Korab-. Karpowicz, , p. Submit Search.

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