Research Question of the Article: The author seeks to explain the major factors, concepts, assumptions, structures, theories, and important data that International Relations (IR) experts have presented in the last few years regarding realism and complex interdependence. Moreover, the author has weighed the pros and cons of political researchers’ and scientists’ opinions regarding three main characteristics of complex interdependence. In his exploration of factors and intricacies of global politics, the author elaborates the importance of comprehending the differences between “realism” and “complex interdependence”. The author raises his concerns that many people fail to truly understand the difference between both concepts. According to the author, the role of international organizations is minor as per realism. However, according to complex interdependence, international organizations have significant powers in international affairs and global politics. The reviewers might appreciate the approach of the author to explain the concepts; moreover, the chapter seems lucid for new learners of global politics.
Main Arguments and Theories: This article’s main argument is the existence of clear and visible differences between realism and complex interdependence. The author negates the idea of mixing both the concepts, which poses problems for the explanation of various real-life situations in international politics including the role of global institutions. The author seems to have a mixed view about the traditional theories of international politics. The theories of political realists have dominated the postwar period (page 19). It might be the reason that he has used various premises to challenge the authenticity of theories of political realists. “These realist assumptions define an ideal type of world politics. They allow us to imagine a world in which politics is continually characterized by active or potential conflict among states, with the use of force possible at any time “(page 19). The author seems unhappy with the impaired conceptualization of realism in IR. He also argues that that the IR today is not as simple as theorized by the realist. According to the author, “each of the realist assumptions can be challenged” (page 20). To challenge the underlying assumption of realist, the author has devoted considerable space. He uses the “complex interdependence” logic to prove his thesis. Besides, it is important to grasp that both the domestic and international regulations and institutions have a significant role to play and shape the outcome of an IR event. Governments usually increase their military power to defend their land; moreover, in recent history, various states have formed military alliances. In this context, the author tries to prove his thesis and increases his criticism of realists who according to him are the victim of oversimplification of various IR factors and intricacies.
Closing Thoughts: The author has offered a lucid analysis and review and account of realism and complex interdependence. The researcher has used the three main characteristics of complex interdependence with real-life examples. In the end, the author has presented a table that elaborates the differences between both main concepts of the chapter along the five main dimensions: agenda formation, goals of actors, linkages of issues, roles of international organizations and instruments of state policy. His approach is multidisciplinary, which enhances the weight of rationality and logic applied in his contemplations of international politics. By shedding light on the weakness of logic of realists the author provided an alternative to gauge global happenings in IR. In the broader context, it is vital to learn the conceptual and practical implications of increasing reliance of one state on the other, which is increasing the speed of formation of global alliances. At the same time, the readers should comprehend that each approach has its own pros and cons and cannot explain all IR happenings every time.
“Realism and Complex Interdependence” pp. 19-31