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Realism and Politics Among States in the 21st Century
Realism is a theoretical paradigm within international relations that characterizes the international political system as anarchic, comprised of states possessing military capabilities, and distinguished by inter-state power competition. While it does not account for every factor in international politics, it identifies some of the most salient factors. The twenty-first century international system will likely remain anarchic, occupied by states possessing military capabilities, and distinguished by inter-state power competition. As a result, realism will remain essential for understanding, explaining, and shaping international politics in the coming years and decades. Policymakers in all states must understand and use realist insights, and politicians in democratic states must inform their citizens about the merits of a realist foreign policy.