International relations is a very commonly talked about topic. Whether a person likes the idea of it or not it’s something to think about. Some see having relations with international countries as dangerous and others see it as being very important and helpful. In this essay we are going be look at the difference between realism and idealism, isolationism and internationalism, unilateralism and multilateralism, preemption and provocation, and hard power and soft power.
Let’s begin differences between Realism and Idealism. Realism is looking at things at a realistic point of view. People who think this way are known as realist, they aren’t very optimistic about things and see things how they are. In politics realism, also known as political realism individuals focus more on having a prepared military, and details of national power. They look at it with a more scientific approach to the study of international relations. Realists anticipate the principal actors in the international arena to be states. They are concerned with their own refuge, they act in favor of their own national interests. They see international politics as being a struggle for power and a hunt for endurance and say that is makes for everlasting conflict between States with not resolution. However, for Idealism individuals look at thing with a much broader mindset. They believe that there are more peaceful and affective ways to deal with things other than war and other violent acts, they believe in compromise and compassion and things of that nature. Idealists seek a future of peace between with international relations.
How it works
Now for the differences between isolationism and internationalism. These two are the opposite of one another. Isolationism is the strategy to have few in not any foreign relations. Not as popular in todays time but can be seen like with American jobs being given to people from foreign countries and paying them lower wages than they would American workers. On the other hand, Internationalism is the opposite, its being or wanting to be involved with national relations.
On to the differences now between unilateralism and multilateralism. Unilateralism is when states make decisions only with its interests in mind and not how it may affect other states. Some see this as being evil or inconsiderate but in ways this has beneficial. For example, President Trump decided to extract from the Paris Climate Accord, saying that it hurt American jobs and therefore affecting American interests. Multilateralism however, refers to the coming together of multiple countries aiming for a similar goal. They want to work together much like a family, when one is at war, all are at war.
How about the differences between preemption and provocation? Preemption was the strategy for employing military power. They would remove the threat before they had a chance to carry on a harmful act. That’s why there is so many military personnel in these foreign countries such and Iraq and North Korea. They are there and stopping the threats before they can carry over to the united states. Provocation like in its name means to provoke someone or something. Just like pushing someone buttons knowing what the outcome will be. It’s believed that putting more pressure on said person would make them move or make a decision faster.
Last but not least is Soft Power vs Hard Power. Hard power includes the act of using a strong military when it comes to international political relations. Joseph Nye said, “Hard power is when people use the carrots and sticks of economic and military might to make others follow their will.”. When it comes to soft power doesn’t use threatening military to try to persuade instead it’s the use of persuasion and intellect to softly change the minds of the opposing side. The use of soft power leaves the military out of the equation, their goal is to not scare the opposing side rather to manipulate them into thinking the same as them.
With all these different policy models and theories, we can look at how they would relate to a situation involving the issue of nuclear proliferation or violent extremism. Preemption could be applied to a situation like this to take the power away before they are able to use or do such thing. Soft power could also be used to convince certain personnel to refrain from using such things. I believe that a lot of these policy models and theories could be useful to an extent, even though most are opposite from one another using a little of both at the same time could be beneficial. Such as hard and soft power use the soft and then the hard. Trying persuasion and still being prepared with military personnel if persuasion doesn’t work in our favor. Even with realism and idealism, Its good to look at things from a logical point of view but also trying to find better ways to deal with situations in also needed.