STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Neoclassical realist theory of international politics

Vikash Chandra is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Dr B.R. Ambedkar Government Degree College, Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, India
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  • May 2017
    Volume: 
    41
    Issue: 
    3
    Book Review

    In the mid-1990s, Colin Elman cited a maxim horses for courses meaning ‘every horse is suited to a particular course’ to underscore the inherent weakness of neorealist theories in that they ‘cannot be used as theories of foreign policy’. In response, Kenneth Waltz had unequivocally admitted the weakness: ‘My old horse (Neorealism) cannot run the course and will lose if it tries.’ But since then, discourse in International Relations (IR) theory has entered a new phase. Even within the realpolitik framework, attempts have been made to develop a realist theory of foreign policy, though under a new banner called neoclassical realism.

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