By Russell Bova
How the realm Works builds on scholars’ instincts approximately present global occasions and develops them right into a extra systematic and enduring knowing. This short textual content introduces all the field’s significant theories and demonstrates how varied conceptual instruments are used to interpret styles in diplomacy. How the realm Works not just grounds scholars within the necessities of diplomacy but in addition is helping scholars use them to work out previous the headlines.
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Additional info for How the World Works A Brief Survey of International Relations
Traditional scholars resisted, suggesting that the study of human behavior is fundamentally different from the study of the natural world. They argued that it is difficult, if not impossible, to study the human world with the cool, intellectual positivism An approach to knowledge based on the scientific method and the observation and analysis of empirical data. 6 CHAPTER 1 rational choice theory An approach to social science, borrowed from economics, that assumes individuals are rational actors who make decisions intended to maximize their interests on the basis of cost–benefit calculations.
But that is a caricature of the realist position. ”11 Indeed, most realists subscribe to some version of a personal moral code that would allow them to condemn certain actions as immoral. To take an obvious example, most realists would have little hesitation in condemning the Nazi Holocaust as evil. At the same time, realists perceive a line between personal morality and state policy. As Morgenthau argued, states must be guided in their behavior by what he called the principle of prudence: they must temper their application of abstract moral principles by considering the consequences of political action (or inaction).
The classic example is nineteenth-century Great Britain. With its significant military power, including the world’s greatest navy, Britain could maintain the balance in continental Europe. If the balance began to tip in favor of one country or one coalition of countries, Britain could restore it by siding with their opponents. Britain would do this because if one country or alliance dominated continental Europe, that country or alliance could then threaten Britain. It was clearly in British interests to maintain the balance of power on continental Europe.