Neorealism and the American War in Viet Nam

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|September, 05, 2012 |[International Relations HomeWork] | Full name: Tran Hoang Long. . Date of birth: May 18, 1992 Neorealism and the American war in Viet Nam 1/ Neorealism: Realism, one of the most widely recognized international relations (IR) theories, includes a group of related arguments with similar assumptions and premises. Neorealism or structural realism, outlined by Kenneth Waltz in his 1979 book Theory of International Politics, is supposed to be the most powerful reinterpretation of realism. Waltz argues in favor of this reinterpretation in order to make political realism a more accurate theory of international politics. He suggests a systemic approach: the international structure acts as a restriction on state behavior, so that only states whose outcomes fall within an expected range survive. This system is comparable to a microeconomic model in which firms accept both their prices and quantity based on the market. Neorealists endeavor to simplify explanations of behavior with a view to explaining and predicting general tendencies better. They stress the structure of the international system in their analyses as a clarifying feature over states, which are emphasized by earlier realists, and over the natural characteristics of human beings. Waltz argues that the most crucial unit to study is the structure of the international system. The structure of a particular system is determined by the ordering principle, namely the absence of overarching authority, and the sharing of capabilities among states. The international structure that constrains state behavior, rather than the characteristics of individual states, decides outcomes. Unlike traditional realists , neorealists believe that the

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