Empirical Illustration of Major Theories of Realism and Liberalism in International Relations

Noah Kankam Kwarteng, Augustine Adu Frimpong


This study discusses crucial issues in international relations by recalling the relevant theories of Realism and Liberalism. It further outlines several factors or forces that influence the relations among nations. In the study, we have utilized as urgent illustrations several selected empirical cases in the realm of international relations. As a narrative research, the study has revealed that Liberalism theory gained popularity after the Second World War, indeed between 1939 and 1945. At the time, problems with gigantic dimensions had been created by the war, hence some nations came together to create an international entity , known as the United Nations Organization (UNO), to help build either a peaceful or harmonious world. While our study found that Liberalism theory recognises that the world is a dangerous place, we have concluded that t the consequences of using military power (i.e. to foment wars) can endanger the world the more. Therefore, our contention in the study is that economic power (of course, not the imperial way) can be used to compel other nations to do what is expected of them without the destruction of properties as well as the maiming and killing of others. Conversely, the study found that Realism theory is built on the belief that military power is the primary basis of international relations. An example is that during the time of the Cold War, the prevailing notion was for much stronger or more powerful nations to have dominion over other weaker nations. This situation prompted several weaker countries to seek protection by aligning themselves with stronger countries of either the East or the West, thus perverting their non-aligned status. It is always part of our thesis that, in g the same Cold War period, some stronger countries also used threats of their military power either to bully or to “colonize” (or “neo-colonialize”) several weaker nations. Therefore, what emerged at the time were countries that constituted themselves into such military power blocs or axis, including the West’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance and the former Soviet bloc’s erstwhile Warsaw Pact alliance. It is part of the conclusions of our study that, under the prevailing circumstances, the stronger countries used their military might to serve their respective interests, especially in their relations with the weaker nations of the world. In the final analysis, it was generally felt that the weaker countries of the developing world – sometimes referred to negatively as Third World nations -- were compelled to do what they (as weaker nations) would otherwise not have ordinarily done.

Keywords: Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism, Nations, Realism, Liberalism, Theories, and Relations.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-574X ISSN (Online)2224-8951

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