In this final part of our discussion board I would like you to start by rereading the posts by your classmates to Discussion Board Part 2. I would like you to write around 250-300 words here where you summarize (a) what you learned from the discussion boards and (b) what the commonalities and differences are in your classmates responses to Discussion Board Part 2. Were there answers that surprised you? Were there things you did not know prior to this module that you now do? Did things go the way you expected?
You can earn up to 10 points based on the depth of your reflection, demonstration that you've read your classmates responses to the previous discussion board, and usage of correct grammar/writing style.
1. Realism would be the value that I find most acceptable as well and it seems as if your reasoning aligns with mine as well. The realism theory holds many realistic values, these core values derive from protecting the power of the the state and national interests when pertaining to international relations. This consideration of the states power and the acknowledgment of the power of the state creates a view that the states will and are completely able to focus on protecting their interests in regards to neighboring states. With this being said the other highlight of this theory is the the substantial time in which it’s been in place and it’s effectiveness has proven to be very effeciant. This this theory doesn’t shy away from the truth as you may tell just from its name, this theory provides an outline of the effects that disastrous events have and shows the true results not shying away from anything but the truth. In this theory the state acts in unison when it come to large scale events with the consideration of nation interest always being a priority, the state speaks with one voice. Another highlight of realism is the fact that it emphasizes human history of falling into very repetitive cycles driven by their nature. This is interesting to me in the fact that it is able to address and issue that has been seen before and can be seen repeating itself again, finding roots allows for us to stop the problem before it even starts. The major flaw of this theory in my own opinion is it’s neglection of ethical norms amongst the relations of states. Liberalism is another theory in which some core beliefs align with that of the realism theory, however in liberalism the power of the people is what is emphasized. I believe this can be seen both as a good and bad thing, solely due to the fact that giving people this much power opens the door for more conflict amongst one another. There are too many people with too many co flicking believes so it’s hard for individuals to come together and collectively gather thoughts while taking each individual into consideration. That is where I believe the biggest flaw that liberalism presents, although being a well rounded theory, liberalism has flaws that the realism theory does a good job in addressing.
2. After reading the replies from part one, I find that both theories are believable, but compellingly wise, I wanted to write about the theory of constructivism. It is compelling bc of the way that it emphasizes the unique context in which learning and understanding both take place. Isiah Farley's explanation spoke to me most because he says you have to "pay attention to while using this is the condition of the state", and in all things, you have to pay attention to all of its variables and things that may be thrown at you. His statement there proves that there is a reason to believe in it – bc it pertains to real life international events – you will always have to pay attention to the unique way something is formed. I do not find anything less believable about any of the theories, but when it comes to compelling, I have to find that liberalism is not as logic-based as realism and constructivism. For realism, you have to be realistic. And for constructivism, you have to also be realistic about how scenarios are set up, as well as logic-based. Liberalism theory, best quoted from Jenna Interian's post is "Liberalism is loosely based on morals, and making sure that an individual has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Situations need to be handled with logic and realistic views, not "believing" people will make the right choice for "happiness". There are pros to the liberalism theory, though, but in comparison to Constructivism for this exercise, I find it less compelling.
3. After reading the replies from part one, I find that both theories are believable, but compellingly wise, I wanted to write about the theory of realism. It is a compelling theory because the theory claims to explain the reality of international politics. While reviewing my peers' posts, in Luke Rowe’s response, he states “ Realists believe that states find their dependency on their own capabilities. Overall what makes this theory a believable one is just its use of practical thinking and logical thinking. Use of emotion or sympathy isn’t being shown; it all boils down to what is factual, and that is what I believe makes this theory the most believable from my standpoint.” This stood out to me because I agree with his standpoint that is using practical and logical thinking. It is important to not show emotion or sympathy instead it is important to stick to what is actually factual. He also says in his response that “The most unrealistic claim I believe this theory makes is that all leaders are able to put aside beliefs or political persuasions to govern their states within a competitive environment.” I agree with this as well because all humans have feelings and it is difficult to put those emotions aside and it is also a huge part in the decision making. However, it is also still important to stick to the facts. Personally, I believe someone will have an opinion and want to embrace that opinion whether it is in a specific way or not. If an individual wants their opinion to be known, then I believe that it will be known.
4. After reading some of the posts by my classmates I have discovered more theories besides liberalism that have interested me. Such as realism which is trying to achieve things in what they are by using facts instead of emotions. This theory shows us how realists believe to find their state of dependency it must be on their capabilities. Another theory that I have discovered was constructivism which is when scholars in a particular field are being acknowledged and respected for a particular point of view. Most people that follow this theory do all believe that history does not play a role in where we are today. Another theory that I took interest in was radicalism which is when people share views through politics or social reform. These people tend to have the most extreme opinions and make them known to others. I still find liberalism the most compelling since everything that is being done is for the actual good of the person and not for high stakes such as a business or money. By doing this they also are helping defend our human rights and to keep us humans civil to benefit us all as a whole rather than individually. Liberalism speaks to me the most since I always want to help people and I feel this theory does that the best. What I do find less compelling about my theory is that people are so open-minded on the ideas of liberalism that they all follow liberalism in different ways, meaning no one is fully following the same exact vie
5. When I discussed Liberalism in the last discussion post, I noted that even though it sounds like the fairest and most appealing theory, its not so realistic. Realism theory stresses the importance of putting your own states power and security first. While this may sound selfish, its the most realistic and believable theory in my opinion. I feel that part of human nature is wanting and seeking power and believe this stands on an international scale as well. When states start upping their security and military, for example, nuclear weapons or technologies, other states out of panic and worry start to do the same. Theres always going to be corrupt countries that are going to make nuclear weapons or up their military out of seek for more power and out of defense, surrounding states have to do the same. In a perfect world, where everyone would agree to not use nuclear weapons or military force to intrude other states, then yes, liberalism would be ideal, but its just not realistic. This reminds me of another very popular topic going around the US which is gun laws. While its no question that there needs to be more restrictions on fire arms, I think its unrealistic and quit radical to say there should be no guns allowed. You are always going to have people with bad intentions that whether guns are allowed or not, are going to get weapons illegally putting the average person at danger and a disadvantage. The same way if all countries agree to not upgrade their military and make nuclear weapons, there will always be a corrupt state that does it anyways so they can have ultimate power. I still do think its important to seek relationships and understandings with other countries but not to be so naive and think the world is a perfect place where everyone will be on the same page and hold back from wanting power. I believe having a realist approach has helped America greatly considering we have been seen as the biggest power in the world forever. Nobody wants to mess with America because they know how strong and powerful we are. Not only do other countries respect the power we have but they understand that America is like the mediator of the world and are hesitant to use their military power on other countries because they are scared of us getting involved… at-least thats how it used to be until the last couple of years.
6. The theory that I found the most compelling was Realism. Realists believe that states are rational actors who contribute because they are motivated by the ambition of gaining military strength and security over ideals and ethics. Realists believe it is in human nature to be selfish, seek conflict and be competitive. This theory is more believable because this theory signifies that the state is a more pre-eminent actor, on the other hand, all other actors are considered to have less significance in world politics. For realists, one of their main objectives is states' survival. Additionally, it believes that no other state is guaranteed to aid the survival of a state meaning that they believe in self-help. Another reason that I find this theory compelling is that states are logical actors who only aim for their own self-interests and for their own respective gain. Additionally, realists strongly believe that the only way that they can reach or have peace and have strong security is by gaining more military strength. I have always felt that any sort of violence or gun-related is very contradicting to peace and tranquility. It could bring very strong security but there will always be hard to be peaceful. Realists also believe that every state has the right to carry weapons so they can have self-security. One of the things that I find less compelling from the other theories is that liberalism seems a bit unrealistic since they seek for the people to have more say in making decisions. They believe that the state should not have any sort of power but this is somewhat unbelievable since on most occasions this is rare. There will always be someone that has more authority than the people.
7. The most compelling theory is constructivism in international relations. Although this is not the topic that I chose I do find that the topic of constructivism my classmates have written about provides adequate information that leads to very compelling theories. Constructivism is based on socialization and education. The role of the state in this theory is to have an understanding of its own ideas and characteristics and also have an understanding of other foreign policies characteristics and ideas. This theory believes that conflicts can be resolved by communication. When working together and sharing different ideologies that come from different cultures around the war it is believed that conflicts can be avoided such as war. I believe that this is a realistic approach when dealing with different backgrounds. I agree that conflicts can be avoided and issues can be dealt with through communication and an understanding of other states' ideologies. The topic I find least compelling is realism in international relations. Realism highlights conflict and competitiveness. It also involves the state making decisions on behalf of its citizens. What is unrealistic about the theory is the lack of cooperation and constantly having competitiveness, this theory is very power-hungry. With the lack of cooperation with other foreign policies creates isolation which can be seen as hypocritical. It can be hypocritical because the theory is supposed to have its people's best interest but with isolation, there is no help from others on the outside which would result in problems and a decline in well being.
8. After reading my classmate's posts, I have chosen to speak about realism. Even though this is not the topic I discussed in my first discussion, I think it is the most compelling theory of them all. In the book, realism is defined as "a theory of international relations that emphasizes states interest in accumulating power to ensure security in an anarchic world." Even though this is how it is defined in the book, I got a better understanding after reading my classmate's posts. I think realism is the most accurate theory because it has nothing to do with emotions and opinion, but it focuses more on factual information. I believe this is important because people can get caught up in their opinions when in reality it is more important to follow the facts instead of someone's judgment towards something. I believe since there is no emotion it makes realism the most believable out of the theories because it focuses on the right things. When looking at the other theories, some of them do not seem as believable and compelling as the others such as constructivism. Unlike realism, constructivism is more focused on emotional judgment instead of facts. In my opinion, this could lead to bad decision-making and does not seem as realistic as the other theories. Lastly, I feel like liberalism can seem less believable because it focuses on equality. Even though this is extremely important in our world, it can be unrealistic when it comes to equality in certain aspects such as money. This can make this theory harder to comprehend.
9. There were many good take aways from the previous discussion post about the theories and after reading them, the most compelling theory is constructivism. This is because of the base of the idea coming from an ever-changing socialization and education. "Constructivists', explains Ryan Teyechea "think that most conflicts can be resolved through communication, socialization, and education." His statement not only describes the ideas of the Constructivists, but also details how modern-day work forces work. This is not to say a theory should be based off a work environment but there are many glaring similarities between nations and a company and their workstations for example, both of them require a strong leader that is willing to hear others' opinions out. This theory speaks to me the most because the proof in the pudding as some may call it, many of the powers and global relationships are not a mirror image of each other or what they were in the past. This allows us to infer that the development of countries and technological advances there has been changed to help adapt to these new ways of life. Although no political leader has come out and said this is because of us changing, it is evident that this theory has many truths to it. Truth is something that is blurry and hard to draw out when talking about these theories however, there may be no absolute truth but some theories more than other move further away from it. Realism can be hard to fully trust because of its set plan on how to approach situation. When deciding who gets to decide the state's power or interest, how many of the people are able to voice their opinion or can say they trust the amount of power their leaders have.
10. While reading the posts of my classes, I get to consider that the theory I found most believable is realism, due to it is based on facts instead of emotions, it rejects any impractical ideology and helps us to obtain a better grasp of how and why politics has been shaped over time, which creates confidence only basing itself on concrete evidence and logical thinking making it the most credible. The theories I found less believable are constructivism, which focuses on education and communication, they believe that conversation, socialization, and education can resolve most problems. Even though a well-educated society is great to improve a country, communication will not be enough to address all the world's problems. For example, we have those countries that advocate constructivism and start addressing differences through conversations when there is a problem that takes years to solve but they never find a solution for both parties. The other theory I think is less believable is liberalism, which is based on making sure that every citizen has all their rights and independence, but this principle creates a weak spot; they believe individuals are rational and social entities capable of interacting and making wise decisions when not many people are capable of doing these activities; nonetheless, liberalism is the theory that speaks to me the most, because the fact that there is a lot of data suggesting that the purpose of liberal philosophy is to please people as a whole and make decisions collectively is what makes it so appealing to me and the fact that it is built on the individual's rights, freedom, consent of the governed, and equality before the law from a political and moral standpoint.
11. I believe that the theory that is most compelling and most believable is realism, because to me the idea nations act in their own self-interest makes the most sense and is most backed by historical evidence. Realism speaks to me the most because I believe that people will almost always act in their own self-interest, and even when they don't (such as altruistic actions), they in a sense are, since they receive the satisfaction of doing a good deed. Expanding this to a more national scale, I think that since nations are made up of and governed by people, who are naturally somewhat self-centered, the idea of looking at international relations through a similar lens is the most natural way to view it. Essentially, it looks at the nation as a group of people more than its own separate entity, and shows how the tendencies of human beings are shown in the actions of the nation. Realism is also strongly backed by looking at history, as any conflict or behavior initiated or exhibited by any country was "justified" in the name of the interest of the nation. In my opinion, constructivism is the least compelling of all of the approaches, because, as Ryan highlighted in part 1, constructivists think that most issues can be resolved through communication, socialization, and education. I'm not saying that these tools are effective at negotiating and solving some conflicts, but I think a lot of the major conflicts that exist in the world, like militaristic, political, social, economic, and others, are beyond a point of being resolved by these methods. While I don't think force should be used to resolve these conflicts by any means, I think finding a middle ground between education and force is necessary to create a timely and effective solution.
12. In my opinion after reading through many explanations of the certain theories I believe that constructivism is the most compelling, and believable. It is a theory that is based around the idea that knowledge is the key to everything. However, it states that knowledge that is given to you is not as effective or important as knowledge that you gain from life experiences and trial and error. Experience is a main factor in the ability to make rational decisions, it allows for people to make their own judgement and compare it to others thoughts. It can provide a safe space where people find common ground through communication. This is another reason as to why I think constructivism is worlds ahead of the other theories. Communications is key to everything we do it life whether it is very minor or a massive issue. Communication almost always leads to to most efficient result, it keeps people calm and level headed. This theory combines many great values of other theories into one great international relations theory that can still be effective to this day. It is not that I disagree with the other theories I just believe that constructivism is the best, however I still really like the theory of liberalism. It focuses on the liberty and rights of individuals, which when it comes down to it can be viewed as one of the most important things among nations. These two theories are what I believe to be most reasonable and effective among different countries.
13. The most compelling theory seems to be realism due to its emphasis on security. Security seems to have strong explanatory power when discussing international relations because of the uneasy alliances that the necessity of security has mandated. The allied powers in World War II would be a very strong example of how states without shared values have been coerced into cooperating with each other in order to enhance their security against an external threat. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union became allies despite the Cold War between the powers that would ensue less than two years later. This seems to suggest that shared values are less important than the security of a state. NATO's member states could also be a strong case for realism. Most member states of NATO have shown a commitment to democracy, but not all of them. A country like Turkey being a part of NATO is pretty compelling evidence against the liberal belief in human rights and freedom. If there were a principled opposition to all authoritarian regimes, Turkey would cease to be a NATO member. However, all the states in the treaty have a vested interest in protecting themselves from hostile neighbors, and want the benefits that shared protection offers. The thing that makes liberalism and constructivism less compelling is how frequently principles and identities are violated. While it is true that the United States mostly aligns itself with democracies, the United States has friendly relations with countries that violate democratic principles and reject the liberal identity. The United States has strong economic and security ties with Saudi Arabia, a country that is ruled by a monarch. The reason that realism is more compelling than liberalism or constructivism is that neither of the latter theories have strong explanatory power for why the United States would have strong relations with Saudi Arabia.
14. The most theory I Find it as the most compelling and believable for me is the constructivism theory. As it mainly focuses on human consciousness and the role it plays in international affairs, in contrast to other theories, especially realism, which focus on the material aspect and on how to distribute power from military and economic capabilities in determining the balance of power and in explaining the behavior of states. I think this materialist interpretation is wrong. The thing that should be the most important element in international relations is social and not material. This is how our world should be. I think this is the theory that I felt is speaking to me the most because not everything should be about power. Constructivism is the most compelling one as it talks about human and social relations, not Just power. The one that I find less compelling is the realism. As This theory places great emphasis on the concept of power, and makes it the pivot in the analysis of international relations. On the other hand, this theory ignores other factors, especially social factors. They did not agree on one agreed definition of the concept of force, so that it would be appropriate to build on it. Some realists defined force as a tool and a means to achieve goals, foremost of which is national security, while another group adopted a different definition that makes force a goal that the state seeks to increase. So, I understand that power takes an important place but it shouldn't be my main concept about everything. We should consider concepts and principals other than power.
15. The theory of international relations that I find most compelling and believable is liberalism. I believe that this is because it operates with the idea of achieving the highest absolute gains, and encourages cooperation between nations with a greater good in mind. I believe that this best reflects the ideals of the average individual within a nation, and leaves the most room for peaceful co-existence. I find realism in particular less compelling because it operates primarily out of self interest and lack of faith in other nations and entities. This seems to create problems such as the security dilemma, and potentially could create dangerous situations as a result of escalation from lack of trust and good faith negotiations in international relations. I do find constructivism somewhat compelling, as education and socialization are extremely important factors in international relations. However I find it less realistic than liberalism due to deep rooted cultural differences between states. While education could work to bridge this gap, I don’t believe that it would ever be able to eliminate it entirely. Radicalism also seems unrealistic due to it’s disproportionate focus on the individual state. It is unreasonable to expect that international relations would not play a more important role that would prevent such extreme focus on the individual state economy.
16. After reading everyone's discussion posts and gaining some more knowledge about the theories I believe realism is the most compelling and believable. The concept of realism was complex for me to grasp at first but my classmates and reading more about it helped me understand it more. If I had to explain realism to someone I would say it is the belief that world politics is among self-interested states for power and position under anarchy. For example, humans are obsessed with their own well-being which makes sense why realism works when it comes to states. Power is the currency of international politics and states must acquire the power to survive. Realism is essential when it comes to analyzing, providing security, demonstrating power, and most importantly needed for accomplishments within the states. Realism offers both the most accurate explanation of state behavior and a set of policy prescriptions. Realism also focuses on continuing patterns of interaction in an international system lacking authority. Although there are many different realist theories they all see the insecurity of states as the central problem in international relations, which outlines the international system as a realm where "self-help" is the primary motivation. Another reason I agree with realism is that they believe states must provide security for themselves because no other agency or actor can be counted on to do so, which can be interpreted in your everyday life along with international relations. These are all examples of why I believe realism is the most effective.
17. I find realism to be the most compelling and believable. The reason why I find realism to be that way is because the world is archaic, every state wants to defend its territory and sovereignty. In today's world we have found ways to be more civilized, and be more diplomatic between states, however, there are still wars, and there is still fighting between countries and borders. Russia and Ukraine for example, their conflict started in 2014 but recently this year has become a physical conflict. Now there are talks between China to take back Taiwan. The most powerful states control the way the world moves. I do parts of the other theories like constructivism, being social with your neighboring states, and educating each other could be a way to prevent conflict but I do not see that happening in the nearby future. The liberal theory is a great theory too, support individual rights and support peoples freedoms, but that does not stop a more powerful state from wanting another state's territory. In my opinion, I feel constructivism and liberalism are great theories for national relations, internationally though, a state needs to be able to protect itself and be powerful to move the world in the right direction. If the state wants to have a voice realistically speaking, they need to be powerful. Radicalism, might as well not give anyone a choice and try to take over the world. The thing is, diplomatically liberalism or constructivism are great, but realism is best for the archaic world we live in.
18. Realism was a very interesting theory to gain some information on. When I think of Realism, I think about realistic. To most people realism makes common sense and you know exactly what the word means. But you don't study the theory and understand how it was create and what types of rules it has set for states and international system, you would be using the word wrong and don't have the correct definition of what it stands for. Realism and realistic are two different things, Realism is a theory that some politicalist use to to share their fews on how certain things should be constructed and applied in todays rules and policies. Realism is used to create laws, resolve issue, or enforce some laws. When I think of this theory I thought that people came together and talked abut things and try to find a common ground that will benefit everyone involved. But gaining more information, I see that if you refuse to follow the laws that are set they will force those opinions on you rather you like it or now. Which, is not always a bad thing but what it is a law that you don't agree with? do the group come together and talk about all that it affects and try to find another solution. This remind me of the mandate that was just lifted when it came to wearing mask for the virus that is still around. They forced this new order on people and it caused an uproar for others and people started to rabell.
19. Realism was a very interesting theory to gain some information on. When I think of Realism, I think about realistic. To most people realism makes common sense and you know exactly what the word means. But you don't study the theory and understand how it was create and what types of rules it has set for states and international system, you would be using the word wrong and don't have the correct definition of what it stands for. Realism and realistic are two different ], Realism is a theory that some politicalist use to to share their fews on how certain things should be constructed and applied in todays rules and policies. Realism is used to create laws, resolve issue, or enforce some laws. When I think of this theory I thought that people came together and talked abut things and try to find a common ground that will benefit everyone involved. But gaining more information, I see that if you refuse to follow the laws that are set they will force those opinions on you rather you like it or now. Which, is not always a bad thing but what it is a law that you don't agree with? do the group come together and talk about all that it affects and try to find another solution. This remind me of the mandate that was just lifted when it came to wearing mask for the virus that is still around. They forced this new order on people and it caused an uproar for others and people started to rebel.
20. Realism theory is the most compelling theory and easy to believe. It entails being truthful and stating facts over creating fictitious illusions and emotions. Politicians pursue the art of impractical visional ideologies other than focusing on the factual side of their ideologies. Realism theory creates a comprehensive understanding of the influence created by each political regime locally and internationally. The theory is based on the factual side of reality other than focusing on fictitious situations. Though the lack of a central government constrains it, it significantly
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