Concept

Defensive realism

Summary
Defensive neorealism is a structural theory in international relations that is derived from the school of neorealism. The theory finds its foundation in the political scientist Kenneth Waltz's Theory of International Politics in which Waltz argues that the anarchical structure of the international system encourages states to maintain moderate and reserved policies to attain national security. In contrast, offensive realism assumes that states seek to maximize their power and influence to achieve security through domination and hegemony. Defensive neorealism asserts that aggressive expansion as promoted by offensive neorealists upsets the tendency of states to conform to the balance of power theory, thereby decreasing the primary objective of the state, which they argue to be the ensuring of its security. Defensive realism denies neither the reality of interstate conflict or that incentives for state expansion exist, but it contends that those incentives are sporadic, rather than ende
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