Realism vs. Liberalism
What is Realism?
The Global setting is anarchy
Focus on State Actors
State's are always self-interested
States are unitary, rational actors whose only focus is survival
War and Violence is always a threat and always the answer
War and Violence are inevitable so preemptive strikes are preferred
Historical Example: The Vietnam War
In order to stop communism from spreading across the world, the US took a Containment Policy stance and preemptively invaded different countries to overthrow or fight growing communist strife in the areas. The biggest example of this was the Vietnam war.
Present Example: Osama Bin Laden
The US spent 10 years tracking, planning, and hunting the infamous terrorist as a response to the Twin Towers terrorist attack of September 11th, but also to take him out before he would attack again.
Fictional Example: The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is the supreme example of Realism in fiction because the children reaped from their different districts are forced to kill each other until only 1 remains, forcing the children to focus on self-survival and plot and strike against others before they can attack them.
What is Liberalism?
Violence is not always the answer, there are many options to try
More focus on diplomatic and economic negotiating
Can reach the same conclusions as Realism, but takes other approaches to minimize violent outbursts
Cooperation and peace can exist in a world of self-interest and anarchy
Historical Example: The UN
Formed in 1945, the UN was formed to deal with conflicts and tension across the world by providing a global response, not just expanding violence.
Present Example: Russia/US Relations
Due to Russia's current actions in Ukraine, the US chose to impose sanctions on Russia so they would stop their troubling actions in Ukraine, including travel bans and freezing US assets going into Russia, then escalated to bans on business activity with key Russian business individuals and oil companies, and escalated again to further sanctions on Russian energy companies and financial companies (i.e. banks). These sanctions were a direct reason why the Russia ruble almost collapsed in early 2015.
Fictional Example: The Avengers
The Avengers are a group of superheros that work together to respond to global super-threats. While violence is the conclusion usually reached, they have also uses diplomatic means.