- Compare And Contrast The Approaches Of Realism And Neolibe...
Compare And Contrast The Approaches Of Realism And Neoliberalism To Global Politics
Illustrate your essay with specific
Following the First World War, a wave of liberal thought swept
over the Western world. Led by the crusading US president Woodrow
Wilson, the political will existed and was harnessed to attempt to
produce a world where the carnage of the Great War would never be
repeated. They would stop the secret diplomacy between elites of
government; they would stop the balance of power politics that had
sucked every nation of Europe into the conflict; they would promote
a free world order where states could always trade freely and
without tariff barriers used to 'beggar thy neighbour', and they
would allow national ethnic groups to live under their own
governments (Wilson, 1918).
Yet it was left to the realists like E.H. Carr to point out the
realities. Instead of focusing in an idealist and naïve way on what
should be done, he instead insisted that we actually reflect on
what men actually do (Carr, 1939). This emphasis on real actions,
instead of ideals, is at the heart of Realism, and has helped mould
it into the powerful theoretical narrative that has survived for so
long. For realists, practice creates theory.
Grieco summarises the debate between neoliberalism and realism
as being one about the probability for cooperation and the emphasis
placed on conflict. He argues "…that even if the realists are
correct in believing that anarchy constrains the willingness of
states to cooperate, states nevertheless can work together and can
do so especially with the assistance of international institutions
(152:1995)". However, Jervis (1999) has suggested that this is in
fact the wrong view of the debate; it is not about the amount of
conflict or cooperation that happens, but about how unnecessary
conflict is given the goals of states.
In popular thinking, realism still holds sway as the de facto
thought process for quickly analysing global politics. But Keohane
and Nye have shown the importance of alternative methods of
exerting power, and how valid these are. In a globalised world
where mutually assured destruction is also possible, the neoliberal
paradigm has far more to offer the modern policy maker. Yet the
neoliberal model is not perfect, with particular reference to the
economic variant, which has overseen massive increases in global
wealth inequality (Economist D, 11-12:2007).