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Is there any really well articulated link to the realism K this year except to Heg advantages, etc, or would you say that demo promo, human rights, international agreements link well too?

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Dem promo might (and this is iffy) link, but soft power and iLaw defy description in realist terms. Of course, you could always run it with a link to Khalilzad, but it would have to be a pretty messed up version of the K - that all efforts by a state to advance its own interests are realists. In fact, that's not a half bad story - the affirmative's conceptualization of international relations (even based on soft power) is realist in nature because their concerns are solely with US hegemony.

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That is primarily one of my arguments, that using preservation of US heg as an advantage is a preservation even a perpetuation of realist thought, and there are also possible dehum implications to using human lives to save us heg, but I am not sure what author I need for the second part.

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I think that the shade of realism lurks behind all of the advantages you mention. Soft Power, democracy promotion, international law, etc., are all at some level realist; behind the friendly face of McDonald's, Hollywood, the UN, and whatever else is the barrel of the gun, and the very term "soft" power cannot help but posit a "hard" power hulking around somewhere in the murk. Recent foreign policy decisions demonstrate more than anything the fallacy of drawing a clear distinction between the two--when the UN "failed" to construct a threat or mandate action, we simply took action on our own terms, and in that sense softness exists primarily to rubber-stamp and mask the uncompromising clash of wills and powers behind it.

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Questions:

 

How is democracy promotion realist?

Khalilzad also openly claims to be a realist in a few of his writings (such as in two books he and his co-authors start out with "we will advocate this from a realist perspective for these reasons:"

Neorealists (like Walt) argue that unipolarity is dangerous and we should prefer a multipolar world while liberals (such as Krasner and Kindleberger in the school of hegemonic stability theory) argue that Hegemony is stellar because it creates a free trade market system. Given this disparity, how is hegemonic articulations necessarily realist?

 

It seems quite often that people conflate "realism" with "colonization of the other via force" when they are quite distinct concepts (though some versions of realism may suggest the latter is desirable).

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Agreed. You're better off (both strategically and on a level of honesty, in my opinion) if you simply turn hegemony advantages instead of using them as internal links to realism. The intricasies of a realist methodology are far more complex than those of the authors who simply challenge the current state of United States policy (albeit realist at some times). Also, there seems to be more literature with better impacts to the latter, given that most scholars in the world hate President Bush at this point in time.

 

In any case, you would have a much more difficult time proving your criticism consistent as per all of your authors running realism than you would running hegemony bad.

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Realism is a way advantages are articulated, not just what they claim. Put briefly, realism posits a system of international anarchy (anarchy meaning absence of a higher power, not chaos) which creates a self-help system for states - in other words, power and security are the most important factors for a state. There are myriad forms, of course, but this is just a basic outline.

 

How is democracy promotion realist?

This is what I'm talking about. In one sense, democracy promotion is the age-old antithesis of realist thought - Kantian liberalism. But it can also be an example of a strategic move motivated by power politics. Something like Iraq, for example. While most realists admittedly wouldn't recognize any difference between regime types, it's not an outlandish suggestion.

 

It seems quite often that people conflate "realism" with "colonization of the other via force" when they are quite distinct concepts (though some versions of realism may suggest the latter is desirable).

I think it's because most debaters have no idea what realism means.

 

Recent foreign policy decisions demonstrate more than anything the fallacy of drawing a clear distinction between the two--when the UN "failed" to construct a threat or mandate action, we simply took action on our own terms, and in that sense softness exists primarily to rubber-stamp and mask the uncompromising clash of wills and powers behind it.

I think your use of the phrase "construct a threat" is incorrect (as is almost everyone's who has ever run it in debate). It's just the security dilemma, it isn't some Baudrillardian thing like a lot of people spin it. Other than that, interesting point that I somewhat agree with. I think I remember Nye saying something like "soft power gives hard power freedom to act" or something similar.

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Realism is good. That's Elson in 2005.

 

;)

Word, Elson is realism. Otherwise, I believe there has already been several realism threads that you can look at for input. Whatever you do, do not read a Mosev impact card, it isn't real. Some camp put it out but it is impossible to find, general concensus is that some guy wrote it at camp.

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Realism is a way advantages are articulated, not just what they claim. Put briefly, realism posits a system of international anarchy (anarchy meaning absence of a higher power, not chaos) which creates a self-help system for states - in other words, power and security are the most important factors for a state. There are myriad forms, of course, but this is just a basic outline.

 

The internatinal anarchy (structure - Waltz) is a product of neorealism, not realism proper (Morgenthau).

 

 

This is what I'm talking about. In one sense, democracy promotion is the age-old antithesis of realist thought - Kantian liberalism. But it can also be an example of a strategic move motivated by power politics. Something like Iraq, for example. While most realists admittedly wouldn't recognize any difference between regime types, it's not an outlandish suggestion.

 

Forcing a viewpoint upon a theory is pretty dishonest. Can I go on to critique Christianity because it is not too outlandish to believe that it justfies killing Jews? Some realists probably would even advocate demopromotion just like some Christians would even advocate the reprehensible - however, self-identification does not mean that you represent the theory.

 

However, if the demo promotion argument is presented as an issue of geopolitical importance, then you do get a pseudo-link to a form of pseudo-realism that your cards might apply to and critique.

 

 

I think it's because most debaters have no idea what realism means.

 

I would agree with this.

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Realism is not a monolithic theory that we can just classify x is realism, y is not. There are varying degrees of realism, several schools, and multiple mechanisms articulated by the authors for the explanation and continuation of realism into the new era.

 

Anarchy is the state from which realism operates, realism is articulated as a theory because of the supposed existence of the security dilemma. And the father of modern realism, Morgenthau, who uses the appropriation from the Trotskyists about the Hobbesian state of nature is a more in depth and possible explanation about the foundations of realism. Realism does not create anarchic international relations.

 

The basic tenet of realism is that states make decisions based upon the maximization of interest, so if you prove that a state thinks democracy is the maximization of interest via Kantian neoliberalism, then it fits into the paradigm of realism. Not all realists are neocons hard power nuts.

 

As far as psychological conceptions of threat and interest goes, there are realist theorists that do not approach it from just the idea that we have to look at the security dilemma as an empirical dilemma, but also as a psychological one. To that end, I think that Bork is right insofar as there are realists that are slightly more "critical" and do use conceptions of threat construction as a m.o.

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I honestly fail to see how anarchy is a "product" of realism and not the other way around. If the international system were not conceived as anarchic, then realism would be irrelevant. Or more succinctly, if the state of nature was not Hobbesian, then realism would be irrelevant. Which, despite the entire circularity of the security dilemma, for the realists themselves, means that anarchy is causative factor for at least normative realism.

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Is there any really well articulated link to the realism K this year except to Heg advantages, etc, or would you say that demo promo, human rights, international agreements link well too?

If anybody bother to read the regular IR journals, there's an ongoing debate within the IR community that would suggest that half of the resolution is worded under a realist construct of policymaking. The fact that no one is running the argument (or variant of the argument) seems to emphasize the fact that debaters care little about the philosophy of policymaking.

 

The basic tenet of realism is that states make decisions based upon the maximization of interest

If that's the definition of realism, then nearly every IR theory could be considered some variant of realist thought.

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That's why I said tenet, its the core from which realists make other arguments...the maximization of self interest due to anarchic international arenas.

 

Although, a lot of IR that gets other names is really just a flavor of realism.

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I think your use of the phrase "construct a threat" is incorrect (as is almost everyone's who has ever run it in debate). It's just the security dilemma, it isn't some Baudrillardian thing like a lot of people spin it. Other than that, interesting point that I somewhat agree with. I think I remember Nye saying something like "soft power gives hard power freedom to act" or something similar.

 

That was a rather unfortunate selection of phrases on my part, just strike it and replace it with something a little less loaded--I did not mean to invoke that whole group of theorists.

 

Nye and other soft power advocates do talk about the complimentarity between hard and soft power, and I have heard that inverted to say that soft power--in its many guises--is a farcical adornment for what is essentially hard and realist practice.

 

 

EDIT: RE: Syphonhail, I really don't agree that you can completely divorce the structure/theory of realism (or anything) from its practical embodiment. The structures of thought and knowledge established by realism must inevitably steer its disciples in particular directions, making certain things more or less reasonable and thinkable. "Viewpoints" don't spring up out of the ground, and although it would be unfair to conflate a theory with the viewpoints that flow from it, it's not fair to say they are totally apart, either. If the structure of realist thought allowed for all ideas to emerge freely, there would have been no need for the numerous criticisms of realism.

 

 

 

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ Yes

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I am apt to believe that most IR is a repair and/or reconstruction of realism if it assumes the same state of nature. Which would rule out things like cosmopolitanism, but include soft power.

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The internatinal anarchy (structure - Waltz) is a product of neorealism, not realism proper (Morgenthau).

Waltz is realism in the academy nowadays. Are you kidding?

 

Forcing a viewpoint upon a theory is pretty dishonest. Can I go on to critique Christianity because it is not too outlandish to believe that it justfies killing Jews? Some realists probably would even advocate demopromotion just like some Christians would even advocate the reprehensible - however, self-identification does not mean that you represent the theory.

I don't think you understand my point. Please read it again and reply again.

 

What does "Forcing a viewpoint upon a theory" mean?

 

I am apt to believe that most IR is a repair and/or reconstruction of realism if it assumes the same state of nature. Which would rule out things like cosmopolitanism, but include soft power.

Of course, Waltz and most modern realists ("neorealists" if you wish) eschew the kind of essentialization Morgenthau used.

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Waltz is realism in the academy nowadays. Are you kidding?

 

 

 

He's in grad school studing IR, so I think he might know what is considered what in the academy. But that could just be me.

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For anybody who wants a refresher on IR theory or wants a study guide for their basic INR classes this is a clever little cheat sheet..

 

http://www.irtheory.com/know.htm

 

you'll note that waltz is discussed by everyone in "the academy" as a neorealist not realist.

 

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

Mizzark Twiz-iz-ain

 

 

(i keep asking for directions, trying to find this academy but i keep getting lost or sidetracked, perhaps its a chimera...)

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He's in grad school studing IR, so I think he might know what is considered what in the academy. But that could just be me.

Is this an appeal to authority to prove that the authority is an authority and not wrong?

 

Hey thanks Ilike2DB8 for missing my point entirely, get banned and never post again

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Is this an appeal to authority to prove that the authority is an authority and not wrong?

 

It's a specific point. Not a general support that his "authority" makes all things he says on IR right, but that when it comes to how people are considered in the academy, chances are someone in the academy is more liking to know than someone not. Call it epistomological priveledge, if you want.

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Waltz is realism in the academy nowadays. Are you kidding?

 

were you typing with invisable characters that i'm just not seeing or what? i'm not trying to be a dick here but how exactly did i misinterpret what you said?

 

realism...nowadays....nowa....new..noooow..neo....neorealism.....

 

 

ohhhhhh i get it; you're a freaking genius! neorealism IS realism nowadays! Here i am still thinking that god i feel dumb! maybe you can give me some advice on how to go about getting banned.

 

substantial contribution: Waltz's work came later than Carr, Morganthau etc, obviously the changes that took place in international politics from 1930-1952 or so warranted a little bit of an adaptation of the traditional realpolitik ideologies. The reason i wouldn't consider his "realist nowadays" is because it completely moots the distinction between his work and Morganthau and Carr and others and basically nullifies the coined term neorealism...although maybe realism 2.0 would be a more catchy title anyway. i really do get the point you were making, i just think you deserve somebody out there that tries to piss you off for no reason. karma.

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I'm going to clue you people into a couple of things so that this discussion can move forward:

 

1. "gimmick account", although gimmicky, is ALSO connected to the IR academy, and waving your grad school penis in her face is neither compelling nor responsive. Going out of your way to be a jerk, and then saying explicitly that you are doing so, is unlikely to "piss [her] off for no reason" or have a constructive impact.

2. Thanks for treating us all like idiots who don't know the difference between the Morgenthau era and present day. You can reduce this discussion to the semantics of "neorealism" vs. "realism nowadays" vs "realism 2.0" vs "sarcastic retort x" all you want, but you're not really making a substantive argument by doing it.

 

Are you making a coherent defense of anything by saying all of this, or what?

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I'm going to clue you people into a couple of things so that this discussion can move forward:

 

1. "gimmick account", although gimmicky, is ALSO connected to the IR academy, and waving your grad school penis in her face is neither compelling nor responsive. Going out of your way to be a jerk, and then saying explicitly that you are doing so, is unlikely to "piss [her] off for no reason" or have a constructive impact.

2. Thanks for treating us all like idiots who don't know the difference between the Morgenthau era and present day. You can reduce this discussion to the semantics of "neorealism" vs. "realism nowadays" vs "realism 2.0" vs "sarcastic retort x" all you want, but you're not really making a substantive argument by doing it.

 

Are you making a coherent defense of anything by saying all of this, or what?

 

 

This thread confuses me. But that is besides the point. i was the one who was pointing out the grad school, no one else did. And I specified my reasons why (they are specific response to a specific argument, not at all anything else). syphonhail has done nothing of that sort, period. syphonhail nor myself were jerks to "jennifer", so i am totally confused "robert" (geez, can't you people go by your real names, this is ridicolous) who you are addressing? Sorry, it's late for me, but I'm lost.

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