Identify Five Thinkers of International Security. Discuss Ideas They Brought out in Their Contribution and Say whether the Ideas Fall in Any Of the Following: Realism, Neo- realism, Liberalism, Neo Liberalism?


  1. Nayef Al – Rodhan – Symbiotic Realism

Nayef R. F. Al-Rodhan is a philosopher neuroscienscist, geostrategist, and author. He is an Honorary Fellow of St. Anthony’s College at Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, Senior Fellow and Centre Director of the Centre for the Geopolitics of Globalisation and Transnational Security at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland.

Nayef Al-Rodhan began his career as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist. As a medical student, he was mentored and influenced by the renowned neurologist, Lord John Walton Of Detchant. He trained in neurosurgery and conducted neuroscience research at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota in the United States. He became Chief Resident in neurosurgery and was influenced by Thoralf M. Sundt, David Piepgrass, and Patrick J Kelly at the Mayo Clinic. He obtained a Ph.D. in 1988 for his work on the Characterization of Opioid and Neurotensin Receptor Subtypes in the Brain with Respect to Antinociception.


  1. Robert Marshall Axelrod _ Liberal Institutionalism.

Robert Marshall Axelrod (born May 27, 1943) is an American political scientist. He is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan where he has been since 1974. He is best known for his interdisciplinary work on the evolution of cooperation, which has been cited in numerous articles. His current research interests include Complexity Theory (especially agent-based modeling), international security, and cyber security. Axelrod is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Axelrod received his B.A. in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1964. In 1969, he received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University for thesis titled Conflict of interest: a theory of divergent goals with applications to politics. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1968 until 1974.


3.Edward HallettTedCarr- Classical Realism.

Edward HallettTedCarr CBE (28 June 1892 – 3 November 1982) was an English historian, diplomat, journalist and international relations theorist, and an opponent of empiricism within historiography. Carr was best known for his 14-volume history of the Soviet Union, in which he provided an account of Soviet history from 1917 to 1929, for his writings on international relations, particularly The Twenty Years Crisis, and for his book What is History?, in which he laid out historiographical principles rejecting traditional historical methods and practices.

  1. Robert Gilpin _ Neorealism.

Robert Gilpin; born 1930) is a scholar of international political economy and the professor emeritus of Politics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International affairs at Princeton University. He holds the Eisenhower professorship. Gilpin specializes in political economy and international relations, especially the effect of Multinational corporations on state autonomy.


  1. Peter Joachim Katzenstein _ Constructivism.

Peter Joachim Katzenstein (born February 17, 1945) is the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. He was educated in his native Germany. Katzenstein has received degrees from the London School of Economics, as well as a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Recently, Katzenstein was recognized by the journal Foreign Affairs as a “renowned scholar of international relations” in 2013 Katzenstein is often associated with the school of neoliberal institutionalism through his joint projects with Robert Keohane. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Discussions On:


Classical realism

In the field of international relations, realism has long been a dominant theory, from ancient military theories and writings of Chinese and Greek thinkers, Sun Tzu and Thucydides being two of the more notable, to Hobbes, Machiavelli and Rousseau. It is the foundation of contemporary international security studies. The twentieth century classical realism is mainly derived from Edwards Hallet ‘s book The Twenty Years Crisis. The realist views anarchy and the absence of a power to regulate the interactions between states as the distinctive characteristics of international politics. Because of anarchy, or a constant state of antagonism, the international system differs from the domestic system. Realism has a variety of sub-schools whose lines of thought are based on three core assumptions: groupism, egoism, and power-centrism. According to classical realists, bad things happen because the people who make foreign policy are sometimes bad


Beginning in the 1960s, with increasing criticism of realism, Kenneth Waltz tried to revive the traditional realist theory by translating some core realist ideas into a deductive, top-down theoretical framework that eventually came to be called neorealism. Theory of International Politics brought together and clarified many earlier realist ideas about how the features of the overall system of states affects the way states interact:

“Neorealism answers questions: Why the modern states-system has persisted in the face of attempts by certain states at dominance; why war among great powers recurred over centuries; and why states often find cooperation hard. In addition, the book forwarded one more specific theory: that great-power war would tend to be more frequent in multipolarity (an international system shaped by the power of three or more major states) than bipolarity (an international system shaped by two major states, or superpowers).


Liberalism has a shorter history than realism but has been a prominent theory since World War One. It is a concept with a variety of meanings. Liberal thinking dates back to philosophers such as Thomas Paine and Immanuel who argued that republican constitutions produce peace. Kant’s concept of perpetual peace is arguably seen as the starting point of contemporary liberal thought.

  1. Liberal institutionalism

Liberal institutionalism views international institutions as the main factor to avoid conflicts between nations. Liberal institutionalists argue that; although the anarchic system presupposed by realists cannot be made to disappear by institutions; the international environment that is constructed can influence the behavior of states within the system. Varieties of international governmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) are seen as contributors to world peace.


The Five Ideas They Brought Out In Their Contribution.

  1. Concepts Of Security in The International Arena.

There is no universal definition of the concept of security. Edward Kolodziej has compared it to a Tower of Babel Roland Paris (2004) views it as “in the eye of the beholder” But there is a consensus that it is important and multidimensional. It has been widely applied to “justify suspending civil liberties, making war, and massively reallocating resources during the last fifty years”

2.The Multi-sum security principle

Traditional approaches to international security usually focus on state actors and their military capacities to protect national security. However, over the last decades the definition of security has been extended to cope with the 21st century globalized international community, its rapid technological developments and global threats that emerged from this process. One such comprehensive definition has been proposed by Nayef. What he calls the “Multi-sum security principle” is based on the assumption that “in a globalized world, security can no longer be thought of as a zero-sum game involving states alone. Global security, instead, has five dimensions that include human, environmental, national, transnational, and transcultural security, and therefore, global security and the security of any state or culture cannot be achieved without good governance at all levels that guarantees security through justice for all individuals, states, and cultures.

3.Traditional Security.

The traditional security paradigm refers to a realist construct of security in which the referent object of security is the state. The prevalence of this theorem reached a peak during the Cold War. For almost half a century, major world powers entrusted the security of their nation to a balance of power among states. In this sense international stability relied on the premise that if state security is maintained, then the security of citizens will necessarily follow. Traditional security relied on the anarchistic balance of power, a military build-up between the United States and the Soviet Union (the two superpowers), and on the absolute sovereignty of the nation state. States were deemed to be rational entities, national interests and policy driven by the desire for absolute power Security was seen as protection from invasion; executed during proxy conflicts using technical and military capabilities.


4.Women in international security

As stated previously, international and national security are inherently linked. Hillary Clinton has been prominent in highlighting the importance of women in national and thus international security. In what has been referred to as the “Hillary Doctrine,” she highlights the adversarial relationship between extremism and women’s liberation in making the point that with women’s freedom comes the liberation of whole societies. As states like Egypt and Pakistan grant more rights to women, further liberation and stability within such countries will inevitably ensue, fostering greater security throughout the international realm.[


5.Human Security.

Human security derives from the traditional concept of security from military threats to the safety of people and communities. It is an extension of mere existence (survival) to well-being and dignity of human beings. Human Security is an emerging school of thought about the practice of international security. There is no single definition of human security; it varies from ” a narrow term of prevention of violence to a broad comprehensive view that proposes development, human rights and traditional security together.” Critics of the concept of human security claim that it covers almost everything and that it is too broad to be the focus of research. There have also been criticisms of its challenge to the role of states and their sovereignty.



  1. Buzar, B. and L. Hansen (2009) The Evolution of International Security Studies. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  2. Sheehan, M. (2005). International Security: An Analytical Survey. London, Lynne Rienner Publishers
  3. Buzen, B., O. Wæver, et al. (1998). Security: A new frame work for Analysis. Boulder, CO, Lynne Rienner Publishers; Doty, P., A. Carnesale, et al. (1976). “Foreword.” International Security 1(1).
  4. Sheehan, M. (2005), International Security: and Analytical Survey, London, Lynne Rienner Publishers


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