Realism between Theory and Reality in International Relations


  • Ayman Gad Elashkar Egyptian


International Relations; Classical Realism; Idealism; Iraq War; American neoconservatives


The relationship between the theory of realism and international relations has gained stability and cohesion since the emergence of international relations as an independent academic field. In the post-WWII period, that relationship was strengthened so that realism became the mostly prevalent Cognitive module or theory in Anglo-American studies. This study aims to shed light on classical realism as a salient and enlightening theory of understanding and interpreting international relations with all its conflicts and crises, what are its key intellectual and theoretical elements, and what are its main pillars to understand and explain everything that is happening in the field of international politics. Through this study, we will examine the case of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 with the eyes, thinking, understanding and interpretation of the realists. Was realism intellectually able to prevent that catastrophe? This study will enable us to understand and determine what is the vital and effective role that realism theory can play in future crises and international conflicts as was the case in the Iraq war. The Iraq war has set the worst example of the use of force, hegemony, unipolarity and disrespect for international legitimacy and norms. It was an alarm bell that the world needs a more secure and just world order, based on a balance of power to achieve peace and stability, as realism believes.


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