Realism Approach To The Ukraine Crisis Essay

Submitted By JUNGROK
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The Ukraine crisis (2014) has brought escalating tensions between Western and Russia relationship. Russia has been trying to achieve self-interest on the logic of power in Crimea and Western powers has been struggling with suppressing Russia’s desire. This crisis is one of the clear examples of realism. Realism is an important theoretical tradition in international relations and the natures of realism has offered explicit explanations for the behaviours of states. However, in the terms of the natures, realism could be explained by its tenets, the crisis and its strength and weakness.
Realism could be defined by a number of major fundamental principles. In realism, the state is considered as the most significant actor and its goal in an anarchic world is survival. The survival could be accomplished by the accumulation of power including military and political might (Saatsi, 2014). Realism is also passionate advocate of self-help. Self-help referring to the capacity of a state to pursue its own self-interests include the accumulation of power or profit (Brooks, 1997). In the self-help system, states are balancing against each other to check the power of other states (Ruttkamp, 2011). Therefore, those principles could give a clear explanation for the behaviours of states on realism.
In terms of the behaviours of states, the Ukraine crisis could be explained by realism. For instance, Russian military force’s invasion into Crimea could be regarded as its attempt to have hegemony over the region in order for its survival to be guaranteed (Cockurn, 2014). In addition, pursuing moral interests was used to make an excuse for Russia to achieve strategic interests and seen as a mean of attempting to expend its power (Adamowski, 2014). It can be also argued that the behaviours of the United States and the European Union to adopt a series of sanctions on Russia could be considered as a way of balancing power (Lindley, 2014). Thus, the crisis was on the logic of power and showed the movements of states clearly interpreted by realism.
However, the strength and weakness of realism are co-existing. Although realism has provided an objective way for the behaviours of states in their relations throughout history, the limitations of realism has been discussed. For example, realists do not examine new issues by which the state is not affected including spread of disease, poverty and environmental problems (Chernoff, 2007). Furthermore, realists only examine issues between states, rather than issues within states. This indicates that realism could not explain non-state actors’ activities including terrorism and civil wars (Wilkin, 2013). In the case of the Ukraine crisis, the role of European Union could be clarified not by realism, but by liberalism. Therefore, realists has been questioned the weakness of realism.
In conclusion, realism could be…