3. Main Argument
Realism is not the twentieth century doctrine, It has
already existed. However, it has been used as a theory in
the discipline of IR only after the first world war. It had
played an important role to explain war and power
The foundation stone of political realism was led In the
431BC by a Greek Historian Thucydides, with the
writing of his famous Book ‘The History of
Peloponnesian War 'in which he gave the idea of power
politics, anarchy, security and survival that are the core
assumptions of realism.
4. In sixteenth century,Nicolo Machiavelli wrote his Famous Book
‘The Prince’ in which he revised the ideas of Thucydides.
In seventeenth century Thomas Hobbes worked on political
realism with the concept of security dilemma.
International relations became the academic discipline in 1919th
in Great Britain.
In twentieth century , E.H Carr, Reinhold Niebuhr and Hans
J.Morgenthau gave it the name of classical Realism.
5. Thucydides (460-406BC)
The History of the Peloponnesian War (431-404BC)
The Peloponnesian war was fought between the Peloponnesian
league (led by Sparta) and between the Delian League (Led by
Human condition is a natural condition of insecurity and conflict.
Thucydides saw the inevitable competition and conflict between
ancient Greek city-states, Athens and Sparta.
The political animals are highly unequal in their powers and
capabilities to dominate others and defend themselves.
Thucydides emphasize the anarchy of international system, that’s
why ancient Greek states fought war between them.
The relations of ancient Greek City states are the logic of power
Security and survival are primary objectives of states.
War is the final arbitrator between states conflict.
6. Nocolo Machiavelli(1469-1527)
The prince was published in 1532 after death of Machiavelli.
Machiavelli was the first political realist.
The supreme political value is the security and survival of state.
History is a sequence of cause and effect.
Theory does not create practice, but practice theory.
Politics are not a function of ethics, but ethics are politics.
Machiavelli recognized the importance of morality, but thought
that there could be no effective morality where there was no
Morality is the product of power.
The ruler has responsibility of rational interest of state.
Strong military is the main ingredient for power.
Politics is a struggle for power.
7. Hobbes (1588-1679)
The leviathan was published in 1651.
Men and women are living under the natural
condition of fear and anarchy. They are worry about
their survival and security.
Sovereign state is inevitable for their security and
There is a permanent state of war between
There is political will for power.
States are rational for their self-interest.
8. Basic Values of Three Classical Realists
Thucydides Machiavelli Hobbes
Political Fate Political Agility Political Will
Necessity and Security Opportunity and Security Security Dilemma
Political Survival Political Survival Political Survival
Safety Civic Virtue Peace and Felicity
9. E.H Carr (1892-1982)
The twenty years crisis was published in 1939.
States are the key players in international system.
The international system is anarchy.
The struggle for power is the key objective for states.
Military, economic and political powers are necessary
ingredients for power.
Security and survival are the key objectives for states.
States are rational for their self-interests.
The politics has a primacy over ethics.
Politics are not the function of ethics, but ethics of politics.
Morality is the product of power.
History is a sequence of cause and effect, whose course can
be analyzed and understood.
10. Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
The moral Man and Immoral Society was published
The struggle for power is the nature of human.
Individuals have morals, but societies have lack of
Military and economic are most important features
The will of power is the cause of international
The society is in a perpetual status in war.
Human ignorance and selfishness are the factors of
conflict between society.
11. Hans J. Morgenthau (1904-1980)
The first edition was published in 1948
The international system is anarchic.
States are the key player in international system.
States are rational for their self interest.
International system is the system of power politics.
Men and women are by nature political animals.
Politics is a struggle for power over men.
States are worry about their security and survival.
In Morgenthau's classical realism there are two types of
moralities. One is private morality and other is public
12. Six principles of Morgenthau Classical Realism
Politics is rooted in an permanent and unchanging human nature which is
basically self-centered, self- regarding and self-interested.
Politics is an autonomous sphere of action, and cannot therefore be reduced to
Self-interest is a basic fact of human condition.
The ethics of international relations is a political or situational ethics which is
very different from private morality. A political leader does not have the same
freedom to do the right thing that a private citizen has.
Realists are opposed to the idea that particular nations can impose their
ideologies on other nations and can employ their power in crusades to do that.
Realists oppose that because they see it as a dangerous activity that threatens
international peace and security.
Statecraft is a sober and uninspiring activity that involves a profound
awareness of human limitations and human imperfections. That pessimistic
knowledge of human beings as they are and not as we might them to be is a
difficult truth that lies at the heart of international politics.
Realism is not the twentieth century doctrine.
Classical realism has a relevant antecedents that
cannot be ignored.
Before twentieth century it was political realism.
In twentieth century it became a dominant theory of
Classical realism shares the ideas of ancient Greek
historians and other great politicians.