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Analysis Of Ways Of War And Peace

1258 words - 6 pages

Michael W. Doyle’s book Ways of War and Peace systematically analyzes classic theories like realism and liberalism that try to explain why nations wage war. However, not all theories discussed within the text are equal. In this paper I will try to argue that within the book written by Michael Doyle he paints a picture that the theory of realism is more applicable today then liberalism, even if that was not his original intention. Through careful evaluation I will prove that not only is realism a more pragmatic and realistic approach for the present time compared to liberalism, but I will also argue that fundamentalism is the best of Michael Doyle’s four different forms of realism.
To begin with, there must be an examination of what both of these major theories are. Initially let us look at the paradigm of realism. When Doyle launches into his discussion on realism he makes sure to mention how the Greek philosophical historian Thucydides is considered the father of realism due to the positions he takes in his book History. What Thucydides understood is that nations are always constantly sizing each other up and internally debating how much power they can obtain. When describing Thucydides opinion on international relations Doyle writes, “[i]nterstate relations in his view exist in a condition where war is always possible” (Doyle 51). This view still holds true today. Even allies such as Germany and the United States are currently in a state of apprehension due to the National Security Agency’s blatant disregard for civil liberties. Examples like the one previously stated are littered throughout history and includes political figures who have been considered followers of liberalism. This is a direct reference to Bill Clinton, who Doyle says, “[made] ‘democratic enlargement’ the doctrinal centerpiece of his administration’s foreign policy” (Doyle 205), yet when Clinton was dealing with Bosnia-Herzegovina during his presidency he was hesitant to become to involved due to the detrimental effect it could have on the United States military (Mann). Clinton, like other politicians, still put his country’s well-being above everything else even though he proposed liberalistic policies which helps strengthen my position that realism is a more applicable paradigm then liberalism.
Next, what is Doyle’s belief on liberalism? He states within his text that, “Liberal states [...] founded on such individual rights as equality before the law, free speech and other civil liberties, private property, and elected representation, are fundamentally against war” (Doyle 206). Basically, people who adhere to the liberalist concept believe that by having states who are based on freedom allows for a state of peace to exist amongst different nations. This is in direct opposition to the realist perspective that believes all states are in a perpetual state of war. One vindicator of why I believe that the liberalism paradigm is unrealistic because states who operate...

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