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Realism

A theory of international relations. States that world politics is driven by competitive self-interest. Realism is based on 5 basic assumptions developed by John Mearsheimer:

1. Great powers are the main actors in world politics and the international system is anarchical.

2. All states possess some offensive military capability

3. States can never be certain of the intentions of other states.

4. States have survival as their primary goal.

5. States are rational actors, capable of comping up with sound strategies that maximize their prospects for survival.

Realists believe that humans are self-centered and competitive by nature. Similar to the Hobbesian belief that humans do not cooperate the conditions certain conditions exist, Realists believe that states will not interact peacefully with one another, and are extremely weary of any treaty or alliance. Alliances are rarely in the self-interest of both parties.

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