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Realism as a political theory dominates the international relations area historically slaying or engulfing competing theories Despite the dominance of realism since idealism was butchered on the battlefields during World War II 1 it has been assigned to the political scrap heap many times Both the scientific approach in the 1960s and transnationalism in the 1970s merely helped to craft a more robust form of realism Timothy Dunne2 describes how the presence of realism today is predominantly due to this ability to change such plurality creates several difficulties when defining the concept of realism I order to assess the limits of a world framed using idealism and realism we must first define realism by criteria which incorporates the highly reified paradigm3 Only once we have established this residual substance4 can we examine the scope of realism as a political theory Although it would be unfair to belittle the importance of idealism due to realistic dominants during the post war years it would also make little sense to examine both theories equally when one accounts for a greater share of our political understanding I will therefore use idealism when necessary to complete voids left by the predominant theory Such a definition of realism can be found from Timothy Dunne where the three Ss are used as a common core that all realists must subscribe to I will examine each of these in turn aiming to establish limitations of each- it is from this that we can begin to conclude overall limitations Statism is defined as the concept of states organising power domestically and then trying to accumulate power internationally This creates two main problems we require a definition for power and we are confronted with the concept of the separation of international from domestic politics The problems created by such a separation have led to the formation of cosmolitanism which proffers a more unified conception of political life5 Anthony McGrew suggests
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