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Abstract


A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF MEARSHEIMER’S “OFFENSIVE REALISM”: THE RIGHTS AND WRONGS

John J. Mearsheimer is known as one of the most important theoretician and contributor of contemporary realist understanding of international relations discipline who provides crucial information over the theory of “offensive realism”. Along with his other related works, basic tenets of Mearsheimer’s offensive realism were researched by particularly focusing on his groundbreaking work “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics” in this study. On the other end; analyses of Mearsheimer’s opponents published in “History and Neorealism” was also examined to obtain more consistent results. Thus, the fundamental concepts of Mearsheimer’s theory like anarchy, state behavior, power maximizing, offshore-balancing strategy in line with buck-passing strategy, and stopping power of water were dealt with critically and comparatively. Among many, the most salient contradiction with this theory is that on the one hand Mearsheimer disregards clear impact of domestic politics and internal factors on foreign policy formulations and state behavior in international arena; on the other hand he strictly emphasizes the lobbies’ excessive effect on the United States’ foreign policy formulations. Furthermore, Mearsheimer’s some core concepts exhibit serious controversy so much so that weakens the consistency of offensive realism significantly.



Keywords
offensive realism, anarchy, offshore-balancing strategy, buck-passing strategy, the lobbies



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