Journal: Russian-u.S. Relations Surrounding Syria Today Summarize

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Russian-U.S. Relations Surrounding Syria Today

Summarize how the following case would be explained by a) an offensive realist, b) a defensive realist, and c) a classic realist: Russian-U.S. relations surrounding Syria today.

An offensive realist would claim that Americans prefer Assad dead so that the powers of Iran would be lessened. From this perspective, Syria appears to be the only existing nation enjoying close ties with the Arab world. As much as Iran is of strategic importance, Syria is important, as well. In previous years, the U.S. has imposed foreign policies demanding power balance between Iran and Iraq. Iraq has ceased to be a factor leaving Iran to emerge as the regional leader. Geopolitics of power balance is seeking power balance to deter Iran from expanding into deep Middle East in pursuit of influencing other states. From a classic realist perspective, relationships between the U.S., China and Russia cannot add up to a set of exchanges between powerful and influential states.

Their relations are marked by varying interpretations and collisions regarding the outside world. These relations are too complex and cannot be explained through classical approaches grounded on power balance. From the defensive realist perspective, international relations are not static as they are subject to fluctuation and changes. International relations between nations such as U.S. And Russia are constantly being reinvented through international discourses and as impacts of international development. Global politics are shaped by countries that change their perceptions to the outside world.

2. Why Gilpin calls realism a worldview, touching on the main ideas of Morgenthau and Thucydides

First, Gilpin calls realism a worldview because he believes that politics is similar to a society governed by rules and policies rooted in human nature. Morgenthau and Thucydides argue that human nature remains an essential factor since its first examination by classical philosophers (Keohane, 2001, p.34). They hold the belief that human nature remains self-interested and self-centered from time immemorial. On the contrary, Gilpin has dismissed the function of human nature by focusing on alternative approaches whereby the international system structure is crucial in forming international relations unlike Morgenthau and Thucydides emphasis on human nature. While Gilpin has focused on classifying classical concepts as reductionists based on distinct sections of the system, Morgenthau and Thucydides have admitted that the international system has structures that govern the human behavior.

Gilpin has acknowledged the non-government organizations and transactional forces impose strong impacts on the international system. According to these philosophers, these impacts stem from the world environment, which has been dominated by one state (Dunne, 2007, p.214). Gilpin points out that the aforementioned non-state players exists and they play a key role in the system even though states are obliged to design rules, which must be followed by other actors

3. Compare how Lakatos describes theory testing with the way Waltz describes it. How are they similar / different? Which do you prefer and why?

Lakatos and Waltz have differing beliefs concerning theory testing. Lakatos believes that new theories receive excessive empirical content accruing from corroborated empirical progressives and predictions. Lakatos emphasizes that in order for a theory to qualify as progressive, it must be empirically and theoretically progressive (Keohane, 2001, p.23). According to Lakatos, problems in shifts and research program featured by sematic devices tends to hide the real details thus decreases the nature of the theory via reinterpretation mechanisms. Lakatos argues that progressive theories must be evaluated based on an accurate criterion whereby new explanations must undergo empirical tests. On the other hand, Waltz argues based on ambiguity of balancing rather than bandwagoning. He has performed the main test arguing that nations should not engage in bandwagoning except in conditions that can be identified. He demonstrates that states balance threats (Dunne, 2007, p.45).

4. Using the concepts of competition and socialization to anchor your analysis, explain what Waltz means when he writes that a structure may designate a compensating device that works to produce a uniformity of outcomes despite the variety of inputs.

According to Waltz, structures work through socialization such that it is impossible to determine the behavior of a group by looking at the behavior of individual members of the group (Keohane, 2001, p.280). Rather, it involves looking more into the aspect of interactions by the members to determine such behavior. A good example is that of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Russian-u.S. Relations Surrounding Syria Today Summarize.  (2013, March 28).  Retrieved June 17, 2019, from

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"Russian-u.S. Relations Surrounding Syria Today Summarize."  28 March 2013.  Web.  17 June 2019. <>.

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"Russian-u.S. Relations Surrounding Syria Today Summarize."  March 28, 2013.  Accessed June 17, 2019.