The Cold War, from the Prespectives of Realism, Pluralism and Structuralism

2117 words 9 pages
Why did none of the three main approaches to world politics (Realism, Pluralism and Structuralism) predict the end of the Cold War? Should they have done so?

This essay will address why the three main approaches to world politics did not predict the end of the Cold War. Firstly it will briefly give a background insight into what the Cold War was. Then it will go on to explain what characterises the three main approaches to world politics which are Realism, Pluralism and Structuralism, it then will briefly look at the distinctive theory behind them. Lastly the essay will analyse whether or not the three main approaches could have predicted and anticipated the end of the Cold War.

The Cold War was the standoff conflict of tension
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“In this case the end of the Cold War was not only about the end of the USSR’s international challenge to American power, but was also paralleled by dramatic domestic socio-political transformation” R.Saull (2001:9). Ronald Regan was the last US president of the Cold War and under this administration the United States would see some of the most anti-communist foreign policies. “Ronald Reagan had assumed the presidency in 1981 as an anti-communist hardliner who had accused Jimmy Carter of conducting a foreign policy indistinguishable from appeasement. Under his watch, the U.S. defense budget soared...” C.Hodge and C.Nolan (2007:352). Not only was the United States changing in domestic political affairs it was also doing this internationally, the Soviet Union also saw changes under Mikhail Gorbachev. “The Transformation of soviet foreign policy under Mikhail Gorbachev especially the ditiching of the Brezhnev Doctrine, provided one of the principal external stimuli to the internal changes in Eastern Europe in 1989” R.Saull (2001:8).

Despite this Realists have a firm ideology based on the fact that states are the most important factors. “The focus on states as principle movers in the Cold in its origins and development is difficult to dispute” R.Saull (2001:8). Another reason why Realists may have not predicted the end of the Cold War is because they focused too much on states, power and security and the notion of having victor or a loser. “Finally the claim