Realism and liberalism are some of the theories used to try and explain international relations. The former has been stated to be interpreted differently, hence no explicit definition.However, most people have basically focused on the common ground that realists are individuals that believe the State is the principal actor in international politics and that they are very concerned with the balance of power. In this, there is the belief that corporations hold very limited or little power as compared to states which are entities looking after themselves. The theory focuses on the muscle of countries in terms of the military and as such, continues to be valid as long as armed conflicts, aggression, ideological rifts continue to operate globally (Jumarang, 2011). On the downside, the theory fails to explain the concept of international relations and free trade, particularly because it is centered on power.
On the other hand, liberalism believes that the measurement of power is through state economies, the possibility of peace and cooperation, as well as the concepts of political freedoms and rights. This is in sharp contrast to realism. The strength of liberalism lies in the fact that it operates on the real world conditions and as such, reflects the interests of the state as well as those of the economies. Furthermore, the theory provides a possible explanation for peace as it states that the economies of states are the determinants in the international market.
Both theories try to explain international relations but realism can be summarized as politics while liberalism is politics idealized (Jumarang, 2011). Therefore, liberalism can be considered as the most relevant to the modern society. On this note, aggression is not so relevant to international relations as stated by realism, freedom, and cooperation is.Secondly, Liberalism tries to idealize politics and the call for peace, which is an ongoing trend of the world today.Finally, the theory asserts the selection of government through democracy.
Jumarang, K. (2011, July 2). Realism and liberalism in international relations. Retrieved from E-International relations: http://www.e-ir.info/2011/07/02/realism-and-liberalism-in-modern-international-relations/