Overview of the theoretical points of view
Political Realism emphatically implies a combined impact of the theories concerning international relations, where the interests of the nation state, their role as well as display of military prowess in the context of world politics becomes evident. The domain of studies of international relations have been dominating international relations since the Second World War. Realism emphasises on persisting patterns of interactivity in the context of an international system that lacks an inherent political control. As opined by Niebuhr, this anarchic condition implies that there is a difference between policies of domestic politics and the logic implied in international politics. There is always an acute pessimism among the realists regarding the proximity of a dramatic systemic reform.
This theory emphasises that importance should be given to international governance and as well as the international organisations in order to justify international relations. Institutionalism relies on the roles played by mutual goals in international systems and capacity of the global organisations to get the nation states to co-operate with one another. This theory vehemently despises the proposition of the realists that there is always a power strife among the scopes of international politics. On the contrary, Hay states that this theory presents the picture of a world in which specific in contrast to the state as an entity, involves directly in world politics. This theory imagines that force is only an ineffective instrument in policy making.
Constructivism is a relatively new theory of international relations that is poised to justify certain aspects of realism, neoliberalism as well as Marxism. All the aforesaid theories including Constructivism recognises the fact that international system is inherently anarchical. However constructivists differ the other theorists over the belief that anarchy is the root cause behind competitions well as war. The theory supports that self-help or even power politics does not stem out of anarchy. The structure of anarchy have not given birth to the self-help world where we reside. To quote Alexander Wendt:
“Anarchy is what states make of it”
Different state behaviour and outcomes in an anarchical international system
The realists react to anarchic system of the world by professing a self-help assertive that defends the belief that self-help is the ultimate self-responsibility. The primary motive of the reactions of the nation state in the context of international anarchy is only survival. This is a relative conceptualisation that states that increased security for the state implies a decrease in security for the others. Hence, this theory leads the states to imagine that the other parties have to be more powerful than them and as such the struggle to achieve more power tends to continue. As Acharya states, this in turn leads to an increased competition and hence enhancement of military prowess is balanced. Hence international anarchy is realised through this theory as a force that fosters militant competitiveness and as an outcome impedes the willingness among he various nation stares to co-operate on any ground or even share the mutual interest.
The theory of liberalism supports the standpoint that the international relations are essentially anarchic. However, the theory additionally implies that with liberal institutionalism, this anarchy can be easily regulated. That is why the liberalist theory patronises the spread of free trade among the various nation states. As per Michael, Economic interdependence among the nation stares most seemingly would be beneficial for the reduction of the likelihood of engaging in power struggles. Hence, the liberals always induces that in a situation of extreme anarchy, there is always a scope for peace by setting up common grounds, forming state alliances and other institutions for mutual progress. As per Rana, this policy help to generate mutual respect for another state and as such alliances are fostered.
The perception of the constructivists are different from that of the realists or the liberalists. Their view about anarchy in international relations is completely different. They believe that anarchy is only a fundamental state of the international relations. The strictly believe that anarchy among the various nation states is a prosthetic creation that is not a natural state of relations. The traits of social practice is what leads to the emergence of anarchy among the particular nation states.
Most Convincing Theoretical Standpoints
It is difficult to choose the most appropriate viewpoint in this context. However, in this relation it can be stated that the standpoint of liberalism bridges the gap between the two extremes of constructivism and realism. Liberalism accepts the current state of relations among the nation states that is the state of constant anarchy. However, it also professes that there is a way of remedy to solve the state. Constructivism induces positivity in the aspects of international relations. However, Shaviro, professes that it is impossible to ignore the anarchic state of affairs that exist between the various nation states. Hence, it can be justified that liberalism provides the most justifiable standpoint so far the anarchic international relations are concerned.
Acharya, Amitav. Constructing a security community in Southeast Asia: ASEAN and the problem of regional order. Routledge, 2014.
Hay, Colin. "Good in a crisis: The ontological institutionalism of social constructivism." New Political Economy 21.6 (2016): 520-535.
Michael, Buckley. "The Structure of Justification in Political Constructivism." Theories of Justice. Routledge, 2017. 51-71.
Niebuhr, Reinhold. "Augustine’s political realism." Augustine and Modern Law. Routledge, 2017. 273-298.
Rana, Waheeda. "Theory of complex interdependence: a comparative analysis of realist and neoliberal thoughts." International Journal of Business and Social Science 6.2 (2015).
Shaviro, Steven. "The universe of things: On speculative realism." (2014).