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Political realism


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  • Variants

    • Neo-realism (International relations)
    • Neoclassical realism (International relations)
    • Realism, Political
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  • Sources

    • found: Oxford companion to the politics of the word, 2001, via Oxford reference online, Oct. 17, 2011:Realism (Also known as Political Realism or Realpolitik, Realism remains one of the dominant schools of thought within the field of international relations. With a long intellectual pedigree, dating at least from Thucydides' (ca. 460-400 B.C.E.) history of The Peloponnesian War and the writings of Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) and Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), Realism is distinguished from contending approaches by three assumptions regarding the nature of international politics. 1. the international system is anarchic and based on the principle of self-help. 2. states are the dominant actors in world politics. Both private actors, such as multinational corporations, and intergovernmental organizations, such as the UN, exist and influence international politics. Realists assume these actors are subordinate to states. statesmen think and act in terms of interest defined as power, broadly conceived to include both material and psychological, military and economic capabilities. The "national interest," in this view, is to maximize power. Because power exists only relationally, it follows that world politics is inherently conflictual; all countries cannot increase their power or satisfy their national interests simultaneously. States act, first and foremost, to maximize security. Contemporary Realists, often called Neorealists or Structural Realists, have sought to inject greater theoretic rigor by defining concepts more clearly and deriving testable hypotheses)
    • found: Korab-Karpowicz, W. Julian. Political realism in international relations, 2010, in Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy WWW site, Oct. 17, 2011:( Realism, also known as political realism, is a view of international politics that stresses its competitive and conflictual side. It is usually contrasted with idealism or liberalism, which tends to emphasize cooperation. Realists consider the principal actors in the international arena to be states, which are concerned with their own security, act in pursuit of their own national interests, and struggle for power. The negative side of the realists' emphasis on power and self-interest is their skepticism regarding the relevance of ethical norms to relations among states. National politics is the realm of authority and law, whereas international politics, they sometimes claim, is a sphere without justice, characterized by active or potential conflict among states)
  • LC Classification

    • JZ1307
  • Change Notes

    • 2011-10-24: new
    • 2012-02-02: revised
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