the role of International Relations in ..
Essentials of International Relations, 5e: ..
In the discipline of international relations there are contendinggeneral theories or theoretical perspectives. Realism, also known aspolitical realism, is a view of international politics that stressesits competitive and conflictual side. It is usually contrasted withidealism or liberalism, which tends to emphasize cooperation. Realistsconsider the principal actors in the international arena to be states,which are concerned with their own security, act in pursuit of theirown national interests, and struggle for power. The negative side ofthe realists’ emphasis on power and self-interest is often theirskepticism regarding the relevance of ethical norms to relations amongstates. National politics is the realm of authority and law, whereasinternational politics, they sometimes claim, is a sphere withoutjustice, characterized by active or potential conflict amongstates.
State and International Relations - Oxford Handbooks
International relations realists emphasize the constraints imposedon politics by the nature of human beings, whom they consider egoistic,and by the absence of international government. Together these factorscontribute to a conflict-based paradigm of international relations, inwhich the key actors are states, in which power and security become themain issues, and in which there is little place for morality. The setof premises concerning state actors, egoism, anarchy, power, security,and morality that define the realist tradition are all present inThucydides.