Neoclassical Realism: An Overview

Bhaso Ndzendze,

Neoclassical realism (NCR) came about in 1998, with an article by Gideon Rose.

One of three modern variants of structural realism or neorealism; others being Defensive (Waltz) realism and Offensive realism (Mearsheimer), and four overall including Classical.

Pays attention to domestic politics, as opposed to only the international system (compare against The Tragedy of Great Power Politics).

Considers state foreign policies to be responses to stimuli (hence Realist), but is aware that choices options are not always clear-cut. Moreover, executives, while privileged information, are also restrained by domestic institutions and are accountable to the domestic population.

Thus, it takes effort for potential power as to be made actual.

Splinters already taking shape within the NCR theory as well: Snyder, Zakaria, Rose, Taliaferro, Narizny (pathologies) and Ripsman, Lobell, Wohlforth (choices).