The Typologies of Realism

  • Citation: Feng LiuLiu Feng, Zhang Ruizhuang, The Typologies of Realism, The Chinese Journal of International Politics, Volume 1, Issue 1, Summer 2006, Pages 109–134
    • Topics:
    • IR Theories
    • Keywords:
    • realist tradition
    • new terminology
    • a more coherent classification scheme

Much more than a single theory, realism is a school of thought containing numerous related branches. In recent years an outpour of debate and exchange within the realist tradition has captured the attention of scholars. Many scholars have attempted to create schemes classifying the different branches and threads of realist thought that have emerged, while others have introduced a wealth of new terminology. Unfortunately, as a result of these efforts, realist concepts have become obfuscated, resulting in much confusion, and ultimately erecting a barrier to intellectual progress in the field. The goal of this article is to help remove this barrier by clarifying the criteria for classifying different approaches to realist thought and presenting a more coherent classification scheme that will enhance the understanding of the relationship between…

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