International relations

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International relations, considered as an academic field of study or as a public policy field, is concerned with relationships between countries.

Realist school of international relations

See also: Realist school of international relations

The "realist school" of international relations is an Anglicization of the German term "Realpolitik" popularized by Otto von Bismarck and associated with Machiavellian tactics, which may include either a pragmatic or otherwise non-ideological approach to achieving political ends. Other famous realists were John Mearsheimer and Henry Kissinger.

The leading international relations website E-International Relations describes the realist school of international relations thusly:

The first assumption of realism is that the nation-state (usually abbreviated to ‘state’) is the principle actor in international relations. Other bodies exist, such as individuals and organisations, but their power is limited. Second, the state is a unitary actor. National interests, especially in times of war, lead the state to speak and act with one voice. Third, decision-makers are rational actors in the sense that rational decision-making leads to the pursuit of the national interest...

Realism is a theory that claims to explain the reality of international politics. It emphasises the constraints on politics that result from humankind's egoistic nature and the absence of a central authority above the state.[1]

Some call it politics divorced from morality.[2]