National-state: Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism Theory

National-state: Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism Theory

This paper seeks to analyse and discuss whether national-security paradigm` is a thing of the past, or is the basis of current international politics. This will also attempt to explain whether there is basis for realists, liberals and constructivists have to rethink the place of the state as the primary units of analysis and whether there is basis recognize the fact that non-state actors have played an increasingly important role in international politics. This will also explain whether these non-state actors do diminish the importance of the nation-states as the primary units of analysis.

Analysis and Discussion

This paper believes the ‘national-security paradigm` is not yet a thing of the past, as it is the still the basis of current international politics. Every nation will always be there valuing its state security despite the continuing and further evolving globalization.

Waltz (2000) concluded that realism does not die every time peace breaks out. He just saw the change as international politics has having the appearance of being transformed. He did argue that the world,  however, has not been transformed as the author view the structure of international politics to have simply been remade by the disappearance of the Soviet Union, and for a time nations live under the concept of unipolarity.

Waltz (2000) also viewed the revolution in Soviet affairs and the end of the Cold War to have nor been brought by democracy, interdependence, or international institutions was just still realism and which called structural realism.

The fact there was just transformation therefore did not make national-security paradigm irrelevant. The paradigm will still be there as long as there as states that exist for it may be argued that state must have security in its territory in the real sense for it to claim itself a state under political law principles, for then without security could imply lack of sovereignty.

It may now be asked: Do realists, liberals; constructivists have to rethink the place of the state as the primary units of analysis? Is there basis to recognize the fact that non-state actors have played an increasingly important role in international politics? Do these non-state factors diminish the importance of the nation-states as the primary units of analysis?

This paper believes that realists, liberals and constructivists have to rethink the place of the state as the primary units of analysis as non-state actors have actors have played an increasingly important role in international politics.

Current developments provide evidence for non-state actors playing these types of roles.   Badie (2001)  concluded that  the “current globalization process reinforces the transnational paradigm that focuses on individuals as international actors, with a new configuration emerging in which politics loses the hierarchical position implied by realism.” He identified and described the three kinds of actors to include the state, transnational actors, and identity entrepreneurs to be promoting a special type of commitments. Badie (2001) therefore see a civic commitment to the state, a utilitarian and pragmatic commitment to transnational networks, and a primary commitment to identity entrepreneurs.

At the other extreme, a counter argument may be posed about apparent non-application of the theories of realism, liberalism and constructivism (Checkel, 1998).     Mearsheimer, John (1995) discovered the fact that many policymakers and academics believe that institutions hold great promise for promoting international peace. In finding this belief as optimistic, Mearsheimer, (1995), he argued the assessment of institutions is not warranted, but attributed mainly to the three institutionalist theories underpinning the same that are flawed.

He asserted the presence of serious problems with the causal logic of each theory, and little empirical evidence for any of them.   As he found little independent effect do institutions have on state behavior, he recognized a very important paradox that  “although the world does not work the way institutionalist theories say it does or should, those theories remain highly influential in both the academic and policy worlds.” (Mearsheimer, 1995)

He could only surmise that with the limited impact of institutions on state behavior, observers would expect considerable skepticism, even cynicism, when institutions are described as a major force for peace, while the same institutions are still normally described in capable terms by scholars and governing elites.    Mearsheimer, (1995) explained his basis on the fact in the academic world, the pervasive impact of realism found itself amply demonstrated in the institutionalist literature.

To reinforce the paradox found, and despite the theories’ influence, the author cited the seriously-thinking Americans about foreign policy issues but still disliking realism intensely, due to conflicts their basic values. By citing Shimko (1992), he was able to show how the theory is opposed on Americans way of thinking about themselves and the wider world. (Mearsheimer, 1995)

In the absence therefore of convincing declaration that the theories are inapplicable there is still basis to uphold the use of the same in practice. Perhaps a

new approach for assessing the worldviews may into the situation. In such context,      Mowle (2003) claimed that to have developed a new approach for assessing such worldviews that motivate the decisions of state leaders.  He argued that problem representations found in official statements give us the information we need to be able to infer worldviews in a wide number of cases. In arguing that method can yield useful information across a larger number of states and decision-makers than would be provided by constructing a full cognitive map of all relevant persons and assessing how they interact as a group-although the infrequent situations where we have such full models, he recommended that use of the same to supplement studies conducted with this approach.

He further argued the possibility of extending this approach to other issue areas and other worldviews but he warned to be careful in two areas. One is that “it must be possible to define criteria that would be observable in problem representations in the issue area while the other is that must be reasonable to assume that the ideal worldviews setting a baseline for inference bear some resemblance to elements of the actual worldview.

Put simply, the argument and evidence of Mowle, (2003) are still poised to still support some view of realism and liberalism, albeit with some problems.

With the given dynamism in international relations, other authors even saw a dilemma in some of the state theories. Sorensen (1996) in discussing the core of Hobbes’s dilemma found that the state needs to be both strong and weak. He argued that the state needs to be strong in order to be able to create domestic order and security and the same state also needs to be weak in the sense of being responsive to society. With his support for realism and liberalism, he argued for necessity of the disciplining instruments as contained in the realist and or the liberal approaches, for without, he believes that state elites will most likely turn predatory.

By seeing that predatory state elites are part of the development problem, Sorensen (1996) argued that in no way are they part of the solution. Similarly be still believed that a state which provides for security and order is needed for the promotion of development. In appreciating also Hobbes’s dilemma has provided helps for observers focus sharply on the problem of predatory state rulers, he was more convinced that the solutions provided by the realist and the liberal approach will required further development in order to work in the context of weak states in the post-cold war world as he is prepared to see the working of possible ways out of the current problems in a manner described earlier.

Conclusion

It may be concluded that national security is still a basis of current international politics. While it is true that  realists, liberals; constructivists have to rethink the place of the state as the primary units of analysis as non-state actors have played an increasingly important role in international politics, there is no enough evidence to warrant removal of the concept of nation-states as part of the units of analysis. It must be admitted however that there have been changes that have happened which must taken into consideration which has the effect of diminishing the importance of nation-states as primary units of analysis. It may be further declared that it is hard to detach the concept of national-security concept or paradigm so long as the concept a state exists in the books.

References:

Badie, Bertrand (2001), Realism under Praise, or a Requiem? The Paradigmatic Debate in International Relations , International Political Science Review ,Vol22, No. 3,253-260

Checkel (1998) The Constructivist Turn in International Relations Theory     World Politics Vol.50, No.2 (January 1998)

Mearsheimer, John J.  (1995) The False Promise of International Institutions, International Security, Vol. 19, No. 3. pp. 5-49.

Mowle, T. (2003),Worldviews in Foreign Policy: Realism, Liberalism, and External Conflict, Political Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 3., pp. 561-592.

 Shimko, Keith L. (1992) “Realism, Neorealism, and American Liberalism,” Review of Politics, Vol. 54, No. 2, pp. 281-301

Sorensen, George (1996)  Development as a Hobbesian dilemma, Third World Quarterly, Vol 17, No 5, pp 903-916

Waltz, Kenneth (2000) Structural Realism after the Cold War, International Security, Vol. 25, No. 1. pp. 5-41.