Conflict and Security Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1413 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Government

Conflict and Security

International relations has always been an arena of conflicting theories and hypotheses; the existence of many political systems and various ideas regarding how nations should behave is a testament to the eternal nature of the questions concerning the best forms of governance. Since the ancient Greek philosophers right up through the twenty-first century, political scientists, philosophers, and laymen alike have theorized about the most effective and just form of international relations, the ways that states interact with one another.

The liberal and realist schools of thought have been seemingly opposing viewpoints for centuries; the liberal interest individual rights and an international focus on compromise and cooperation as opposed to the realist idea of self-preservation for the nation-state at any cost, even one that hampers some individual rights. This paper will not examine the prima facie value of individual rights or other moral issues discussed by the political philosophers. Instead, this paper will take a more theoretical viewpoint of two of the systems of international relations, liberalism and realism. In comparing the liberal and realist schools of thought, I will assert that liberalism's emphasis on soft power is in many instances the most effective option for self-preservation of a nation, and as such it becomes a realist idea.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
paper NOW!

Term Paper on Conflict and Security Assignment

A brief example of this can be seen in the recent negotiations with North Korea regarding its nuclear program. A realist perspective on handling the perceived threat posed by North Korea requires that the nation be disarmed immediately, and that inspections or other methods are used to ensure that no future threat may be posed by the rogue nation. Realist thinkers say that North Korea must be disarmed even if force is required in order to ensure the security of other nations such as China and the U.S. Conversely, liberal thinkers assert that the six-party talks among nations in the region and the U.S. are the most effective way to prevent a North Korean threat, and some scholars have even asserted that allowing North Korea to keep its weapons is the most secure option, if only by virtue of appeasing the country. This is only one of many situations in which liberal and realist thinkers disagree on methods to be utilized in an international dispute.

I will argue that these two schools of thought are much more closely linked than theorists believe; both liberals and realists do desire the perpetuation of the nation-state, and in doing so, both seek out the most viable action with regard to an international situation.

Both liberal and realist thinkers can source the theory of "soft power," the concept coined by political theorist Joseph Nye, who uses it in reference to the influence held by nations without resorting to military power -- for example, the international influence gained by cooperating with other nations as opposed to participating in an armed conflict.

This influence can be seen again in the current North Korean talks; North Korea's desire for international acceptance has persuaded them to cede a few certain points; undoubtedly, the knowledge that the majority of the international community is lobbying for a scaled-back or completely disabled nuclear program has been an influence on North Korea's decision (still tenuous at the moment, but progressing) to reduce their nuclear program. This achievement was due not to simple liberal compromises offered nor realistic threats of military intervention, but due to a combination of the two offered by soft power. The threats posed in today's world of terrorism and suicide attacks are especially new to the political theory realm, and cannot necessarily be addressed with previous generations' theories, such as the realistic approach of using hard power as an influence.

This paper will explore other situations in which soft power creates a bridge between liberalism and realism, as well as explore the overriding theories which link the two much more closely than first impressions demonstrate.


Amin, Samir, "The Political Economy of the Twentieth Century," Monthly Review, June 2000,

Amin provides a theory as to why the United States continues to build up its military power -- so that it may influence international relations via hard power. This assertion will support the argument that hard power is utilized too often in today's international relations.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

Two Ordering Options:

Which Option Should I Choose?
1.  Download full paper (5 pages)Download Microsoft Word File

Download the perfectly formatted MS Word file!

- or -

2.  Write a NEW paper for me!✍🏻

We'll follow your exact instructions!
Chat with the writer 24/7.

Conflict Security in the International System Term Paper

Conflict and Security Case Study

Conflict and Its Management Essay

Environmental Security Term Paper

Conflict Management Collective Security's Affect on State Essay

View 200+ other related papers  >>

How to Cite "Conflict and Security" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Conflict and Security.  (2005, November 3).  Retrieved June 14, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Conflict and Security."  3 November 2005.  Web.  14 June 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Conflict and Security."  November 3, 2005.  Accessed June 14, 2021.