IR, chapter 3

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By ChivalrousAbundance



40 Questions

According to the chapter, realism in international relations is more accurately described as a:

Which aspect of realism is emphasized by classical realists?

In the context of realist thought, what do most contemporary realists tend to ignore?

What was the recent theoretical debate among realist IR scholars concerning?

According to Machiavelli, what takes precedence over Christian ethics for a realist state leader?

What did Hobbes believe led to the creation of a sovereign state?

What does Machiavellian realism acknowledge about power in international relations?

According to Hobbes, what is the driving force behind political collaboration?

What aspect of Machiavellian realism refers to the responsibilities of rulers to their country and citizens?

In the civil condition, what do people have an opportunity to do?

What did Hobbes view as insufficient to institute a sovereign state?

According to realist thought, what is the main point of foreign policy?

What is the normative core of realism?

In realist theory, what is the international state system characterized as?

What do realists believe is the primary struggle in international relations?

What do realists argue can limit war and bring order in the international sphere?

According to realist theory, why is realism considered valid at all times and places?

What is the main belief about human nature in realist thought?

What does realism consider as the final arbiter in foreign policy?

What does realist thought consider as the main point of foreign policy?

What is realism's view on progress in international politics?

What is the main characteristic of the international state system according to realist theory?

According to the text, which paradigm in International Relations (IR) focuses on core political values of national security and state survival?

Which approach is largely American in origin and has been the most prominent International Relations (IR) theory in the US?

Who is described as a key figure in classical realism and saw international relations as competition and conflict between ancient Greek city-states and non-Greek neighbors?

According to Thucydides, what has little bearing on the relations between states?

Which wars were a result of bitter competition between Athens and Sparta over trade and naval supremacy?

What did Thucydides emphasize as essential in international relations?

According to Thucydides, what is justice in international relations primarily about?

'The structure of the international system affects relations between states' is emphasized by which key figure in classical realism?

'States must adapt to unequal power structures' is a belief attributed to which key figure in classical realism?

According to Thucydides' perspective, what are the primary values in the international relations of ancient Greece?

What is the most famous example of Thucydides' perspective on ancient Greece as a system dominated by its great powers?

According to Thucydides, what does 'The standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel' highlight?

What was the result of the growth of Athenian power according to Thucydides?

What is another name for the theory explaining the Peloponnesian War as a result of the growth of Athenian power?

What does Machiavelli emphasize as the ruler's responsibility in realist theory?

According to Machiavelli, what is required of rulers in his realist theory?

What is realism primarily a theory of, according to the text?

'Machiavellian maxims' reflect which outlook of realist statecraft?


  • Thucydides is known for his understanding of international relations as an anarchy of separate states, where power politics and security are the primary values.
  • He is the first to perceive ancient Greece as a system dominated by its great powers, and the Athenians-Melians dialogue (Box 3.2) is the most famous example of this perspective.
  • Thucydides' famous quote, "The standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel," highlights the realist approach in international relations.
  • The Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta was a result of the growth of Athenian power, leading to fear and the desire for security in Sparta.
  • This theory is also called the theory of hegemonic war, and it has been used to explain other historical conflicts, such as the Thirty Years War, Napoleonic Wars, and World War I.
  • Machiavelli, another influential thinker in realist theory, emphasizes the importance of power (the Lion) and deception (the Fox) in foreign policy.
  • The primary value is national liberty (political independence) and the ruler's responsibility is to ensure the survival of their state.
  • Machiavelli's realist theory requires rulers to be both a lion and a fox – strong and cunning, with the ability to recognize and exploit opportunities while being aware of dangers.
  • Realism is primarily a theory of survival, and the conduct of foreign policy is an instrumental activity based on the intelligent calculation of power and interests.
  • Machiavellian maxims, such as "be aware of what is happening," "do not wait for things to happen," and "anticipate the motives and actions of others," reflect the shrewd and sober outlook of realist statecraft.


Test your knowledge of the different kinds of realism in international relations, including classical realism and social science realism. Delve into the core political values of national security and state survival.

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