Authored by: Henry R. Nau

Routledge Handbook of American Foreign Policy

Print publication date:  August  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415800884
eBook ISBN: 9780203878637
Adobe ISBN: 9781135967352


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Realism is still the most venerable—and scrutinized—theoretical approach to the study of international relations and American foreign policy. As such, it is important to know what realism is and what it is not. This chapter discusses briefly how realism contrasts with other approaches such as liberal and constructivist studies of American foreign policy. The bulk of the chapter then deals with the dimensions and differences of four types of realism—classical realism, neo-realism, defensive realism, and offensive realism.

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