Similarities and Differences between Realism and Neorealism

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However, it took almost two thousand five hundred years for the classical realists to emerge and the concept to be studied in international politics (Maliniak et. al., 2007). In 1948, Hans Morgenthau made the greatest impact on the field with his magnum opus, which was used to study international politics. In 1979, Kenneth Waltz came up with a book called Theory of International Politics, which formulated a scientific and systemic realism derived from Morgenthau’s concept. That is how the two doctrines, classical realism and neorealism came to being (Brown, 2009:267). Realism has been utilized as an authentic tool for recording and prognosticating international relations for many years. As new developments such as economic warfare and globalization, emerge, the traditional realism has proved to be inadequate, therefore, prompting modern realists to develop neorealism concepts. International developments have adapted neorealism thus making them important in this era. In theory, realism usually takes a pessimistic stand on the ridding of wars and conflicts as it demonstrates international affairs as power struggles between self-centered states. Traditionally, realism favors stability, inertia, and experience, to change, innovation and experimentation respectfully. In this essay, the term classical realism will be used to show traditional realism (Jackson and Sørensen, 2007:60). There are several concepts concerning classical realism that does not concur with neorealism. However, since neorealism derives from classical realism, some core concepts like those concerning the balance of power and anarchy are similar. Firstly, classical and neorealists agree that there is a state of lawlessness that exists in the international system, where the self-governing countries act independently and without interference or dependency on a global ruling organization. In this state of lawlessness, each sovereign nation can only depend on itself and its chief interest is to serve its security demands (Behr and Heath, 2009:327).