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Herz’s Theory of Political Realism

1659 words (7 pages) Essay in Politics

12/10/17 Politics Reference this

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Focusing on one of the key tenets of political realism, Herz emphasizes that in modern international relations, power was, and remains the ultimate means of solving problems and settling contentious issues. Sometimes, however, occur deviations from this principle when elements such as, for example, the economic interests of a particular group or religious consideration, moral, or even a personal plan of government policy gone clean power, mechanical, linear relations. In this case, for example, a Catholic country can join the union, contrary to their own interests, the other Catholic country, or state decides to intervene in the affairs of another state not for reasons of Realpolitik, but only because in that other State infringed the interests and rights class or minorities that the first state is seeking to protect.

Nevertheless, despite the occasional deviations of this kind, in the international arena is dominant it Realpolitik. Just as economic competition within the state led to the emergence of ” economic man ” and the dominance of economic incentives, competition for power, force, power (power) led to the emergence of powers (powers) and to dominate the relations between states factors force power. Once power has appeared in international relations, all other considerations are superseded. Attempts to base its policy on any other principles would weaken and ultimately destruction of the state.

Speaking of the ” international system ” Herz indicates that in general terms they can be understood as the distribution or concentration of military power, economic wealth, the other elements of power, but treat them as objective factors that determine the views of the management of foreign policy decisions on is not realistic. Herz earlier believed that the policy of the balance of forces determines the requirements of contemporary (modern) state system, but now it has come to the conclusion that in fact the existence of a balance of power depends on the views of the leaders of member states of the system. Even in the XVIII and XIX centuries, which are considered the heyday era policy of balance of forces, the balance of power system, according to Herz, existed only in the minds of British statesmen who practiced “maintaining balance” in international politics. For most public figures other European powers foreign policy was soon arena of struggle for dominance, in which the balance was only a passing episode in the dynamic process of constant change. In 1914, Germany finds himself surrounded by superior forces of the three countries, while these countries felt that Reich breaks for hegemony. As demonstrated by the end of the war, namely, that the Allies had to seek assistance from the United States, the latter view was more correct, that is, more in line with “reality ” of international politics. Herz considers it necessary to emphasize that a different understanding of the international system and led to the outbreak of war.

Similar differences, in his opinion, there are today. Some researchers suggest the existence of a bipolar balance between the two nuclear units, while others say that there are three, or even five poles. Some see the emergence of Soviet hegemony, whereas immediately after the Second World War, the international system was evaluated as the American “empire.” Other scientists say that should not be seen as a system of international relations of traditional unions powers competing in a force field, they argue that this understanding of the world is out of date and highlight the importance of factors such as the economic power groups such as OPEC, the power and influence of transnational actors ( such as transnational and multinational corporations ). Such differences indicate Herz, and there on the concept of force, which is the fundamental, but also the most difficult to define the concept of realism. Most realists do not adhere to a narrow, limited understanding of force only in terms of military power. Power is seen as a number of factors and conditions – from the economic resources to the morale of the population. As a rule, however, stipulated Herz, realistic perception ignored the subjective factor : the elements of the image, status and prestige. Power depends on perception. What they think of one other State itself may increase or decrease the force. Herz believes that the power of France in the period between the two world wars overestimated, which gave her considerable leeway in the international arena. The strength of the Soviet Union, by contrast, was underestimated, which consequently reduced the freedom of action of the USSR in world politics.

Therefore, concludes Herz is necessary to study the role played by the images and their creation, the role of status, ranking diplomatic symbolism, recognition and non-recognition. Perception of form views, views of the flow of action. Herz believes that power politics in the modern world largely consists of image-making, the role of creating an image more increases with the importance of the people in the foreign policy. At the moment, says Herz, can hardly be called aspect of foreign policy, which would have been deprived of propaganda tones, designed to create the appropriate image for the allies, enemies and neutral states, and for the population of their own country. Huge bureaucracies busy representative functions.

Herz also believes that the traditional understanding of the power becomes more relative. Nuclear superpowers are increasingly helpless when faced with blackmail terrorist groups and governments, while the tiny pseudo- sovereign country in which, according to Herz, there is nothing but sand and oil, can cause trouble sizable mightiest states in the traditional sense.

Conceptual link between the notion of power and other basic concept of political realism, the national interest, is the concept of security. However, the safety indicates Herz, even more difficult to determine than the force as it is to an even greater extent is based on the feeling, perception.

Neo-isolationism, according to Herz, it is very convincing because in traditional approaches is difficult enough to justify the need for a global advocate of U.S. national interests. According to Herz, the Americans feel they can not ” take ” Israel, West Berlin, Norway or New Zealand. And not only because the bound ( stick to their means to maintain the image and break them means losing face ), but because it would otherwise be lost “soul” foreign policy goal.

In the nuclear age, said Herz, foreign policy objectives and interests of the state must be defined in such a way as to preserve the world recognize the important interests of all. This implies the need for deterrence, the need to delineate the dividing lines that separate spheres of influence. Division of the world into spheres of influence reduces the chances of the West to spread liberal democratic principles into the country under the control of the Soviet Union, but also reduces the chances of the spread of communism to liberal- democratic countries. The proposed combination of foreign policy objectives with the fundamental principle of the conservation of the world, according to Herz, is the direct opposite ideologies “crusade” in the spirit of both Woodrow Wilson and Lenin. Such ideology emphasizes Herz always condemned political realism.

Herz expresses its full agreement with the statement by Robert Jervis ( which traditionally referred to neoidealistam ) that explain human actions can not be out of touch with their worldview. In addition, this also applies to the future. According to Herz, our future is the way we understand it ( It is noteworthy that the key to social constructivism of Alexander Wendt’s article, written in 1992, called “Anarchy is how it is understood by the state “). Actions based on the perception of the past, present and future, determine what kind of future will materialize out of the chaos of possibilities. On the other hand, anyone claiming to be realistic prediction of the future must come from the givens of the current situation. The main thesis Herz now granted – indeed interdependent global world in which happens in one place affects the people and processes worldwide.

Ultimately, concludes Herz, globalist worldview is the closest to reality, and the development of global communication and information networks makes a similar outlook for its increasingly growing number of people. Information and images can still be manipulated. Nevertheless, it is hoped that global problems are so urgent that the traditional limited, parochial views give way to such views that recognize the interdependence of nations and peoples, as well as common problems.

One can hope Herz believes that governments and peoples are aware of, except for the threat of nuclear annihilation, the gravest threats to the triad : demographic problems caused by avalanche population growth, economic problems related to the depletion of scarce resources, environmental issues extinction liveable space. In other words, we must recognize that, for the first time in human history, the very existence of the human species is endangered. Herz, making characteristic of political idealism conclusion concludes that it is necessary to change the international order to ensure the cooperation of national and subnational actors with international and multinational organizations. States should transfer part of their sovereignty to supranational agencies and thereby give them more power. Radical changes – should move away from the traditional approach to disarmament and security issues, to radically change corporate social and economic structures, the dominant reality in most industrialized nations, transform prevailing in developing countries – militarist alliance plutocratic elites with multinational corporations, which leads to exploitation population of these countries, change the international order, which is still determined by the tendency of States to preserve its sovereignty at all costs.

Thus, despite the fact that he J. Herz still considers himself a realist, in fact his position combines the basic elements of constructivism in the form in which it expounded Alexander Wendt, and neoliberal institutionalism. Apparently, the only reason to attribute these views to the paradigm Herz classic American political realism can serve only its own statement that these views reflect objectively existing reality.

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