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Realism During the First Peloponnesian War

  • Date Submitted: 03/07/2011 01:41 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 37.3 
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1. Introduction
This paper is going to identify a particular theory that is embedded in Thucydides’s description of the Peloponnesian war. It is safe to say that the theory of realism goes hand in hand with Thucydides’s account of the Peloponnesian war. The reason why this paper is going to argue that motion is because if one takes a closer look at the characteristics of the theory of realism – which argues that states are the sole actors in the world of politics – and goes on to compare them to Thucydides’s account of the Peloponnesian war, one is bound to note very close similarities. Apart from elaborating the theory of realism as per Thucydides’s account, this essay is on a mission to also expose the antagonism that exists between the theory of realism and other international relations theories such as classical liberalism, functionalism, pluralism, Marxism, idealism and federalism.
2. Concepts
2.1. Realism
Realism is grounded in an emphasis on power politics and the quest of national interests. Its fundamental conjecture is that the state is the key actor on the world stage, and being autonomous, is able to act as a self-ruling body. The theory highlight that, in contrast, as there is no higher authority than the sovereign state, international politics is conducted in a ‘state of nature’, and is thus categorized by anarchy, not harmony (Heywood, 2007:130).
2.2. Classical Liberalism  
Liberalism is a political ideology whose core principle is individualism, it also advocates for a state to be governed by a constitutional and representative government. It denounces all forms of government interference. It reflects conviction in the absolute importance of the human individual as opposed to any social group or collective body. Human beings are seen primarily as individuals. The liberal aspiration is thus to create a society within which individuals can thrive and develop to the greatest of their abilities (Heywood, 2007:45-46).

2.3. Functionalism...


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