Introduction to classical and neo realist, Idealist and Constructivists views on Anarchy
D.G. Niruka Sanjeewani
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In International Relations, anarchy is a central concept which fosters war and competition among states. It can be defined as a shaping force for state behaviour, preferences and their actions. It has remained in International Relations field satisfying the answers to question about causes of war. Kenneth Waltz who is a pioneer in neo-realistic school refers anarchy as the absence of a world government and overreaching global authority that provides security and stability in International Relations. In his book “Man, State and War” Waltz defines anarchy as a conditions of possibility for or “permissive” cause of war, arguing that “wars occurs because there is nothing to prevent them”. Such lack of order is often associated with the existence of a war. On the other hand Classical Realists argued that in an anarchical system war occurs due to the destructive tendency of human nature not because of the absence of world government. As an example classical realist Thomas Hobbes describes international relations as an arena of struggle in each state is pitted against every other. Above realistic ideologies reflects that the international system has marked by persistent war and states’ behaviour. Despite these realistic views idealists have promoted the innate goodness of individual and success of political institutions in promoting social progress. According to them they too believed that states are engage in power struggles. But according to them their solution for the war is to form an alliances and institutions which promotes world peace. But their view on world peace that idealism can curtail war was shattered with the failures of League of Nations in failing to stop the outbreak of World War II. Alexander Wendt who is trailblazer in constructivism says in a socially constructed world the existence of war depends on peoples believes and if people believe in war then that is what they will act on. For them it is possible to adjust ideas of people about war and socially acceptable reactions to different situations. Along with this ideological understanding he asserted that “anarchy is what states make of it”. Therefore both aspects of realism and its counterpart theories have addressed anarchy which is interrelated with war but in different ways.
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