In current a long time, particularly for the reason that finish of the Cold War, Neorealism has acquired criticism from quite a few sources inside the area of International Relations (IR) concept (Krause & Williams, 1996, p. 229). These criticisms have collectively proven that Neorealism is unsuitable for explaining the behaviour of states within the worldwide system and the causes of interstate battle, due to this fact damaging the legitimacy of Realism as an entire. This paper recognises Realism’s present lack of legitimacy however contends that Mohammed Ayoob’s Subaltern Realism, a post-colonial, post-positivist, neo-classical perspective / concept, possesses rehabilitative potential for Realism as a mainstream IR paradigm. This is as a result of it is ready to clarify the behaviour of a majority of states inside the worldwide system and the causes of a majority of interstate conflicts, an assertion which this paper will purpose to show.

In order to realize this this paper will adhere to the next construction: firstly, the factors by which a concept might be judged as profitable shall be set out, earlier than critiquing Neorealism as a way to present why it fails to fulfill these standards. This critique will take a postcolonial strategy, centring round the issue of western centrism in IR and the results this has on Neorealism. Following this Ayoob’s Subaltern Realism will then be outlined. Here its important rules shall be defined, displaying the way it differs from Neorealism and the way it atones for its failings, while additionally making clear the foundational position that classical realist thought performs in Ayoob’s formulation of the speculation (Ayoob, 1998, pp. 39-41). Finally, each Neorealism and Subaltern Realism shall be utilized to a case research of the Nagorno-Karabakh battle with the purpose of displaying why the prior is impractical and unhelpful, and why the latter succeeds, proving that it will possibly rehabilitate Realism inside IR concept.

How Can we Judge an IR concept to be Successful or Unsuccessful?

To make discussions on the failures of Neorealism and the strengths of Subaltern Realism attainable it’s first necessary to grasp what makes an IR concept ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’. Here it should be famous that there’s, as Robert Cox said, “no theory of universal validity” within the area of IR (Seethi, 2018). Stephen Walt expands upon this, explaining that “no single approach can capture the complexity of contemporary world politics” (Walt, 1998, p. 30). In different phrases, no concept or perspective can clarify all of the actions of all states always within the worldwide system attributable to its huge dimension and complexity.

In gentle of this, IR theories should due to this fact purpose to supply ‘majority validity’ as a substitute. Ayoob, in assist of this, argues that to ensure that a concept or perspective to be credible it should clarify the 2 most necessary points within the area: why a majority of states behave the best way they do within the worldwide system, and the causes of a majority of the interstate conflicts occurring inside it (Ayoob, 2002, pp. 28, 33). If profitable in doing so a concept will present “substantive theory on its (IR’s) most important issue of all: war and peace.”, and because of this shall be helpful to policymakers in stopping and ameliorating battle (Mann, 1996, p. 221).

Therefore, to ensure that an IR concept to achieve success and of sensible use to policymakers it should adequately clarify the behaviour of a majority of states within the worldwide methods and the the explanation why a majority of interstate conflicts happen. This paper will argue that Neorealism is unsuccessful as a result of it fails to fulfill these standards, while Subaltern Realism succeeds as a result of it does.

Why Neorealism Fails

Having now set out the factors that an IR concept should fulfil as a way to be deemed credible and virtually helpful, this paper will now argue that Neorealism fails to fulfill them. To do that Neorealism shall be outlined then critiqued with the purpose of displaying that the speculation, attributable to it being western centric and positivist, is unable to elucidate the actions of a majority of states within the worldwide system and a majority of the conflicts that happen between them.

Neorealism was notably formulated by Kenneth Waltz and John Mearsheimer within the aftermath of the Second World War. Representing a divergence from Classical Realist thought, the speculation argues that state behaviour is motivated by the need to extend their energy as a way to realize safety within the anarchical worldwide system, whereas prior Realist doctrine considered states as power-maximisers (Dunne & Schmidt, 2017, p. 108). Waltz articulated this, stating that “the ultimate concern of states is not for power but for security” (Waltz, 1989, p. 40). Taking an empirical, positivist strategy, the speculation, also called Structural Realism, is within the “distribution of capabilities” amongst actors as this impacts the construction of the system (Lobell, 2010, p. 1). This leads Neorealism to make its key argument – that the worldwide system is at its most steady when its construction is bipolar in nature, because it was throughout the Cold War, attributable to there being a steadiness of energy between the 2 actors. A multipolar system just like the one which existed earlier than WW2, based on Neorealism, is much less steady and vulnerable to battle as states are likely to type alliances with different states to achieve safety benefits over rivals (Waltz, 1964, pp. 882-885). Neorealism can due to this fact be seen to be a positivist, nomothetic concept, which means that it goals to establish common scientific legal guidelines that govern state behaviour, with this inflexible strategy inflicting issues that shall be additional elaborated upon in a later a part of this critique (Narizny, 2017, p. 160). This positivist strategy leads it to view all states as power-maximisers, with it favouring a bipolar worldwide system over multipolar one attributable to it viewing the prior as extra steady.

With Neorealism having been overviewed, a critique can now be carried out. Having beforehand talked about that the important thing overarching criticism of this critique is that the speculation is just too western-centric, you will need to observe that this downside applies to mainstream IR concept as an entire, with “mainstream IR theory” referring broadly to Realism and Liberalism and their numerous iterations. Stanley Hoffman, by stating that the sector is “An American social science…to study American foreign policy was to study the international system”, reveals the dominance of the West within the research of IR, and divulges an incapacity to look past the West when formulating concept (Hoffman, 1977, pp. 41-42). Ayoob additionally identifies this downside. He describes a “monopoly over theoretical knowledge” present in IR concept favouring states within the West (Ayoob, 2002, p. 29). This signifies that theories are formulated by the usage of knowledge recorded from a minority of states within the worldwide system, with these states being properly developed with (largely) well-ordered home conditions (Ayoob, 1998, p. 39). Obtaining proof from a “restricted universe” is a key consider rendering the mainstream IR paradigms unable to elucidate the behaviour of a majority of states within the worldwide system as a result of these states are typically very completely different from these which these theories are primarily based upon (Ayoob, 1998, p. 42). This evaluation of the mental foundations of IR establishes the issue of western centrism that the mainstream paradigms endure from, which renders them unable to fulfil the factors set out in Section 1 and unsuccessful consequently. However, because the purpose of this paper is to not critique the mainstream IR paradigms the following process shall be to point out how this downside particularly manifests itself within the case of Neorealism.

The downside of western centrism impacts Neorealism in plenty of methods. Firstly, it causes the speculation to miss the overwhelming majority of interstate conflicts occurring within the worldwide system attributable to them going down within the Third World, outdoors of its mental perimeters. The analysis of Kalevi Holsti illustrates this, with him calculating that 159 of the 164 conflicts occurring between 1945 and 1995 occurred within the Third World (Holsti, 1996, p.22, cited in: Ayoob, 1998, pp.38-39). Conflict between the Great Powers has, against this, decreased dramatically for the reason that Second World War, with 0 direct conflicts occurring in the identical interval (Roser, 2016). Neorealism, attributable to its slender western-centric focus, ignores these Third World conflicts and the components that trigger them, main it to erroneously assert that the bipolar system within the Cold War was steady as a result of there was no direct battle between the Great Powers. This incorrect assertion begins to point out why Neorealism fails to fulfill the factors for a profitable IR concept because it overlooks the overwhelming majority of interstate conflicts and the shortage of stability within the Third World, rendering it unable to elucidate a majority of those conflicts or the behaviour of a majority of states within the worldwide system.

Another adverse impact that the issue of western centrism has on Neorealism is that it causes the speculation to advertise a definition of safety that solely applies to the Great Power states, which means that it can not clarify “the multifaceted and multidimensional nature of the problem of security as faced by the majority of actors in the international system” (Ayoob, 1997, p. 121). As a results of this Neorealism presumes that states do not need to take care of inner threats and that they’re coherent socio-political items, with threats to their survival originating from different states as a result of anarchic nature of the worldwide system (Clempson, 2011). However, in actuality a majority of states within the worldwide system are extra preoccupied with inner threats than exterior ones (Ayoob, 1998, p. 33). Data from the UCDP reveals this, revealing that between 1946-2018 the overwhelming majority of armed conflicts occurring globally have been intrastate in nature. Indeed in 2018 30 out of 37 armed conflicts had been inner, with only one being interstate (Petersson, et al., 2019).

Furthermore, interstate conflicts occurring on this interval typically started internally earlier than being internationalised attributable to different states offering assist to 1 facet of an inner battle, additional displaying the importance of inner safety in motivating state behaviour (Themnér & Wallensteen, 2011, p. 528). Neorealism’s assertion that exterior safety is the important thing motivating issue behind state behaviour within the worldwide system is due to this fact false, as its western-centric focus causes it to miss the truth that a majority of states within the worldwide system are usually not coherent socio-political items, and that they’re extra involved with inner threats than exterior ones. The concept is due to this fact unable to elucidate the behaviour of a majority of states within the worldwide system because it doesn’t recognise the importance of home variables in influencing behaviour, rendering it unable to fulfil the factors set out in Section 1.

Through inspecting the character of Third World states additional gentle might be shed on how the issue of western centrism impacts Neorealism. Third World states are typically at a really early stage of state-building, much like “Florence in the 15th century and England in the 17th century” (Ayoob, 1998, p. 41). Regimes are due to this fact much less capable of obtain and keep sovereignty, explaining why these states can’t be handled in the identical approach because the legit, developed Western states when theorising in IR. Developing states are sometimes at a really early stage of state-building as a result of massive enhance within the dimension of the worldwide system attributable to decolonisation following the Second World War, with this making them weak to inner dysfunction and adverse exterior affect (Ayoob, 1998, p. 32). Neorealism, attributable to its western-centric focus, ignores decolonisation and the ensuing early phases of state-building prevalent within the Third World when figuring out the causes of battle. Mearsheimer’s view that each one states should be involved with energy relative to different states as a way to keep their place within the international hierarchy exemplifies this, as he presumes that each one states are domestically well-ordered sufficient to actively pursue higher worldwide affect (Mearsheimer, 1995, p. 34). As the Third World makes up the vast majority of states within the worldwide system this due to this fact additional reveals how the speculation is unable to fulfill the factors for profitable IR theorising. 

At this stage of the critique appreciable consideration has been dedicated to how the issue of western centrism negatively impacts Neorealism. This might logically lead one to query why the speculation can not merely adapt to account for the collapse of the bipolar system and decolonisation. By exploring the reply to this query, the weaknesses of Neorealism’s positivist strategy are revealed. Neorealism might be thought to be positivist attributable to it being empirically formulated at a time when the IR self-discipline was “seeking to produce a scientific research program as objective and universal as possible” (Pellerin, 2012, p.60). However, Robert Cox states that “all theories have a perspective. Perspectives derive from a position in time and space.” (Cox, 1996, p.87).  Neorealism’s quest for objectivity is due to this fact in the end unsuccessful attributable to it being a product of the time it was created in, the Cold War, and being primarily based on knowledge obtained from a “restricted universe”, with this scientific strategy making it unaware of its historic context (Ayoob, 1998, p. 42, Alawi, 2014, p. 60). The strategy due to this fact additionally renders it unable to adapt to account for the enlargement of the worldwide system, which means that it’s unable recognise a majority of states and can’t clarify their behaviour or the causes of battle amongst them (Ayoob, 2002, pp.30-31).

This strategy might be critiqued additional by evaluating it to the classical strategy of the English School. The English School rejected positivism, which means that it doesn’t apply strategies from the pure sciences to the social sciences, permitting it to adapt to include the enlargement of the worldwide system into its perspective (Wight, 1966). Here Ayoob notes Hedley Bull, who described theorising in IR as a “scientifically imperfect process of perception characterized above all by the explicit reliance upon the exercise of judgement” (Bull, 1969, p.20, cited in: Ayoob, 2002, p.31). This strategy is due to this fact aware of its historic context and the constraints this causes, and thru this “exercise of judgement” is ready to adapt (Bull, 1969, p.20, cited in: Ayoob, 2002, p.31). Bull differs from Waltz, arguing that there’s an increasing worldwide society composed of shared widespread norms, values and establishments, versus a global system which is created by “contact between states and the impact of one state on another” (Hoffman, 1986, p. 185). For Bull, change takes place within the worldwide society because of the evolution of tradition in societies creating completely different, or shared, conceptions of the targets behind state coexistence and cooperation, a view which might be utilized to all states. Waltz, alternatively, noticed change within the construction of the worldwide system as being the results of modifications within the distribution of state energy inflicting the system to transition from being multipolar to bipolar (or vice versa), an evaluation which solely doubtlessly applies to developed states (Hoffman, 1986, p. 185). The English School strategy reveals the drawbacks of Neorealism’s inflexible scientific strategy, which renders it unable to adapt to incorporate the vast majority of the worldwide system in its evaluation, displaying why the speculation doesn’t fulfil the factors for profitable theorising in IR. Furthermore, the adaptive potential of the classical strategy might be seen right here, which is utilised by Subaltern Realism.

This critique has argued that, because of the issue of Western Centrism and its positivist strategy, Neorealism is unable clarify the actions of a majority of states within the worldwide system and the causes of a majority of interstate conflicts. This downside limits the speculation because it causes it to presume that the problems dealing with states within the developed world are the identical all through all states attributable to it surmising that each one states have well-ordered home conditions, when in actuality the antithesis is prevalent. Neorealism due to this fact has an outdated view of safety and the motivating components behind state behaviour within the worldwide system, with its positivist strategy rendering it unable to increase its mental parameters past a minority of developed states. The concept doesn’t meet the factors for profitable theorising in IR concept, thus displaying why Realism requires rehabilitation inside IR concept.

What is Subaltern Realism and Why is it Successful?

Having proven how Neorealism fails as an IR concept, this part will define Subaltern Realism, displaying why it succeeds as an IR concept. To obtain this an examination of Ayoob’s literature will first be carried out. Here it may be seen that the time period “Subaltern” is used attributable to it referring to the much less highly effective part of a society that are likely to represent the vast majority of its inhabitants (Ayoob, 1998, p.45). When doing this it’s instantly necessary to notice that Ayoob, like Bull, utilises the aforementioned classical strategy, referencing the foundational work of Niccolo Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes (Ayoob, 1998, pp. 39-41). Of key significance right here is the time interval wherein they had been writing, when states in Europe weren’t coherent socio-political items and leaders needed to try to seek out the precise steadiness between energy and legitimacy. Ayoob factors out that the majority states within the present-day worldwide system are “at the same stage of historical development as Florence in the 15th century and England in the 17th century”, while additionally agreeing with the realist notion of the system being anarchical and state-centric (Ayoob, 1998, p. 41-43).

Subaltern Realism due to this fact doesn’t view all states as being extremely developed, functioning items in the best way that Neorealism does, and is a lot better suited to explaining the actions of a majority of states within the worldwide system consequently. This is as a result of it recognises that the important thing process dealing with these actors is state constructing, not the acquisition of energy in relation to different rival states, with state-building being a home process with an exterior side, as beneficial regional balances of energy profit the state making enterprise (Ayoob, 1998, p. 43).

Having recognised this, Subaltern Realism then goes on to make 4 key assertions about theorising in relation to Third World states. The first of those is that “issues of domestic order and international order are inextricably intertwined, especially in the arena of conflict and conflict resolution” (Ayoob, 1998, pp. 44). Here, because of their early stage of state-building, growing states are weak to the insurance policies of the Great Powers and their establishments. The Structural Adjustment Policies of the Great Powers present this, forcing Third World states to try to realize Western ranges of improvement in mere a long time, while the funding of proxy wars continues to be a key reason for each inner and exterior battle within the Third World (Ayoob, 1998, p.45, Themner & Wallensteen, 2011, p. 528). This reveals the affect of worldwide order on Third World states. Ayoob then asserts that home stage variables should obtain analytical precedence when explaining a majority of conflicts within the worldwide system attributable to them being the first reason for such conflicts, however that exterior variables should even be taken into consideration as a result of destabilising impact that they’ve on home order (Ayoob, 1998, p. 45). The 2011 Libyan revolution might be cited for example of how home dysfunction is a key reason for interstate battle, as rising unrest within the state led the UK, USA, and France to grow to be militarily concerned within the battle in an effort to take away Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from energy (BBC, 2011, Yonamine, 2011, pp.1-2). Steven David additionally offers primacy to inner dysfunction attributable to them inflicting humanitarian disasters and hindering entry to pure assets, each of which might be causes of exterior intervention, supporting Ayoob’s assertion (Steven, 1998, p. 77).

Finally, Ayoob states that the hyperlink between home and exterior variables explains the hyperlink between intrastate and interstate battle (Ayoob, 1998, p.45). For instance, states might try to offer assist to diaspora in one other state’s inner battle, with whom they’ve been separated from attributable to colonially drawn borders, inflicting it to grow to be interstate consequently. The Nagorno-Karabakh battle is an instance of this, as shall be proven later on this paper (Council on Foreign Relations, 2020).

These assumptions present the stark distinction between the approaches taken by Subaltern Realism and Neorealism, with the prior’s emphasis on the importance of home stage variables in inflicting interstate battle displaying a far higher understanding of the character of a majority of states within the worldwide system and the causes of battle between them than the latter’s give attention to energy distribution and exterior safety.

Leading on from this, Ayoob then outlines 5 variables that ought to be studied when predicting, explaining, and stopping battle. The first variable is the extent of state-building of the states concerned. The much less developed they’re the extra probably inner battle and dysfunction turns into (Ayoob, 1998, p.45). Second is the ethnic composition of a state, because the much less coherent and singular the inhabitants’s conception of nationalism is, particularly when in comparison with that of the state management, the higher the possibility of inner battle (Ayoob, 1998, p.46). Next is contested territory, as if this exists between states or teams then inner and exterior battle is extra more likely to happen (Ayoob, 1998, p.46). Great Power involvement can be a variable, as rivalry between these states may cause home battle in Third World states. In financial phrases this exacerbates the issue of the worldwide division of labour with these growing states being economically dependent upon the Global North which in flip impacts their behaviour in each home and worldwide methods (Ayoob, 1998, p.46). Finally, Ayoob additionally notes worldwide norms as a variable, as if they enable the breakup of a state then that is extra more likely to happen, as was the case with the USSR in 1991 (Ayoob, 1998, p.46).

These variables allow the IR theorist to foretell and clarify inner dysfunction, with this being a number one reason for interstate battle within the worldwide system. This additional reveals how Subaltern Realism has a superior understanding of the components affecting the behaviour of Third World states within the worldwide system when in comparison with Neorealism, which overlooks them due its slender give attention to the Global North.

Despite these strengths Ayoob’s concept will not be devoid of criticism, as his view of safety reveals. He states that “security… is defined in relation to vulnerabilities both internal and external, that threaten to, or have the potential to, bring down or significantly weaken state structures… the more a state and/or regime… fall(s) toward the invulnerable end of the vulnerable-invulnerable continuum the more secure it/ they will be.” (Ayoob, 1997, p. 130). Critics argue that that is in actual fact a Western-centric view of safety that presumes that state safety is at all times legit in nature and that it at all times makes an attempt to enhance the safety scenario of all the inhabitants, not only a ruling elite. Turki Mahmoud Alawi, for instance, argues that Ayoob rejects “the view that the state may actually be imposing an illegitimate form of security on the population” (Alawi, 2014, p. 61). This, nonetheless, is brief sighted as Ayoob recognises that states with authoritarian regimes that use safety to subjugate their populations often fall into the weak space of the “vulnerable-invulnerable continuum” (Ayoob, 1997, pp.130-131). Subaltern Realism is due to this fact conscious of the damaging impact that repressive state safety has on each the home order inside a state and on the legitimacy of the regime itself. However, the speculation could possibly be improved right here if the delegitimising impact this has internationally was to be outlined, as this will typically trigger exterior intervention. Ayoob’s definition of safety is due to this fact imperfect but sound on the entire, with the versatile classical foundation of the speculation permitting for this definition to simply be expanded upon to incorporate a global dimension.

In abstract, Subaltern Realism is a post-colonial Realist IR perspective / concept that comes with the growing Third World states, a majority of the states within the worldwide system, into its evaluation of state behaviour and interstate battle. It takes a special view of the challenges dealing with states and the components motivating their behaviour than that of Neorealism, convincingly arguing that the need for home order is a extra highly effective motivating issue behind state behaviour within the worldwide system than the necessity for energy over different states attributable to a majority of states being at an early stage of state constructing. Furthermore, by figuring out inner dysfunction as a major reason for interstate battle Subaltern Realism promotes a extra trendy conception of safety when in comparison with Neorealism, which views safety as an exterior situation. Finally, by utilising the classical realist, post-positivist strategy, Subaltern Realism will not be sure by the inflexible empiricism that Neorealism suffers from, and is as a substitute aware of the historic time interval wherein it was formulated and capable of adapt consequently. Subaltern Realism due to this fact fulfils the factors for profitable IR theorising because it is ready to clarify the behaviour of a majority of states within the worldwide system and the causes of a majority of interstate conflicts, and is appropriate to be used in policymaking consequently.

Neorealism and Subaltern Realism Applied to the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

With a critique of Neorealism and Subaltern Realism having proven that the latter is extra credible as an IR concept attributable to it fulfilling the factors for profitable IR theorising set out in Section 1, this conclusion will now be examined by making use of it to a case research of the Nagorno-Karabakh battle. This battle has been chosen as a result of it’s an ethnic battle that reveals how home dysfunction may cause interstate battle (Yamskov, 1991, pp. 636-637). In order to carry out this case research the historical past of the battle shall be briefly outlined earlier than Neorealism is utilized to point out how the speculation overlooks the important thing causes of battle and can’t present a convincing clarification of the battle, making it unsuitable to be used in attaining battle amelioration. Following this, the identical shall be executed with Subaltern Realism as a way to assist the conclusions of Sections 2 and three.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an Armenian ethnic majority area in Azerbaijan over which direct battle with Armenia has occurred since 1988 following the 2 state’s independence from the Soviet Union, following a earlier battle between the 2 states over the area in 1920 following their independence from the Ottoman Empire (Harutyunyan, 2017, p. 69). Due to a ceasefire being agreed following an ethnic Armenian victory and the formation of the Republic of Artsakh within the area in 1991, the battle has been described as “frozen” while peace talks have been performed by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE Minsk) (Council on Foreign Relations, 2020). Despite this battle has ceaselessly occurred lately (Harutyunyan, 2017, p.70, Council on Foreign Relations, 2020, BBC, 2016). Other states have additionally concerned themselves within the battle, specifically Russia supplying Armenian forces and Turkey supporting Azerbaijan by closing their border with Armenia in 1993 (Harutyunyan, 2017, pp. 70-71). This due to this fact offers a quick define of the historical past of the battle and its present standing.

Having executed this, Neorealism will now be utilized to the battle as a way to assist the paper’s argument. Neorealism, when explaining the battle, would assert that Armenia has fought for the independence of the Nagorno-Karabkah area as a way to try to extend its energy by territorial acquire. Through doing this its safety shall be strengthened in opposition to Azerbaijan and different hostile neighbours similar to Turkey. Neorealists would additionally have a look at the distribution of capabilities between the 2 states, noting Azerbaijan’s higher pure assets, significantly pure fuel, and would due to this fact assert that Armenia’s involvement within the battle is an try to minimize their financial drawback.

This interpretation is flawed nonetheless, with it ignoring key historic components and likewise presuming that Armenia and Azerbaijan act upon the identical needs and pursuits that developed first world states do. Neorealism, being ahistorical, is unaware of the importance of colonialism in inflicting the battle, with the Soviet Union creating the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast inside the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic regardless of it having a majority Armenian inhabitants, and can be unaware of the earlier battle between the 2 states over the area (Harutyunyan, 2017, p. 70). As a results of this it additionally ignores the ethnic side of the battle, a key home issue. This interpretation demonstrates how Neorealism treats all states as being developed attributable to it drawing proof from a “restricted universe”, inflicting it to disregard the intricacies and nuances of Third World states and making it unable to fulfil the factors set out in part 1 or assist obtain battle amelioration (Ayoob, 1998, p. 42).      

Subaltern Realism is much extra helpful when explaining the Nagorno-Karabakh battle. Unlike Neorealism, it’s conscious of the historic causes and ethnic side of the battle, with the area being the sufferer of “colonially crafted boundaries… (that) paid little attention to the population’s precolonial affinities and shared myths and loyalties.” (Ayoob, 1998, p. 42). Armenia’s involvement within the battle is due to this fact defined by its want to help the secessionist motion inside Nagorno-Karabakh, displaying how home components may cause interstate battle. Furthermore, the speculation additionally notes the involvement of extra highly effective states, notably Russia and Turkey, and the exacerbating impact they’ve had by funding the battle and thru Turkey closing their border with Armenia (Harutyunyan, 2017, pp. 70-71). Finally, Subaltern Realism additionally attracts consideration to the early stage of state-building of each Armenia and Azerbaijan. Having been confronted with this process upon gaining independence each states have naturally sought to realize territorial and nationwide integrity within the aftermath of an extended colonial historical past, with this being a number one reason for battle between the 2.

This case research due to this fact reveals how Subaltern Realism is ready to present a much more convincing clarification of the Nagorno-Karabakh battle than Neorealism. The clarification given is keenly conscious of each the character and historical past of Armenia and Azerbaijan, which aren’t the extremely developed items that Neorealism presumes them to be, with Neorealism additionally being unaware of the colonially drawn borders which can be a key reason for ethnic battle right here. It is for these causes additionally that Subaltern Realism is extra suited to prescribing methods for battle alleviation. Through this case research it may be seen that Subaltern Realism’s understanding of Third World states and the components that motivates their behaviour within the worldwide system is essential in permitting it to offer a deeper, extra convincing clarification of the Nagorno-Karabakh battle than Neorealism, displaying how the speculation is ready to fulfil the factors set out in part 1 while supporting the conclusion of sections 1 and a pair of.


This paper has aimed to argue that Mohamed Ayoob’s Subaltern Realism possesses rehabilitative potential for Realism inside IR concept attributable to it fixing the failings of Neorealism by with the ability to clarify the behaviour of a majority of states within the worldwide system and the causes of battle between them. These standards are key for profitable theorising in IR and have due to this fact been used as a way of testing the credibility of each Neorealism and Subaltern Realism. In order to point out how Neorealism fails to fulfill these standards and present why Realism requires rehabilitation the speculation has been critiqued from a post-colonial perspective, displaying how the issue of western centrism impacts it. Here it may be seen that this causes it to attract proof from a small minority of developed states, leaving it unable to account for Third World states getting into the system because of decolonisation. As these states type the overwhelming majority of these within the worldwide system Neorealism is due to this fact unable to fulfill the check standards. The concept’s central argument, that the bipolar system of the Cold War was steady in nature, is inaccurate consequently because it ignores the shortage of order amongst much less developed states throughout the interval. In addition to this the speculation’s positivist strategy was additionally criticised attributable to it stopping Neorealism from increasing its evaluation to incorporate states within the Third World.

Subaltern Realism has then been analysed as a way to present the way it is ready to fulfill the factors for profitable IR theorising. Through inspecting the options of Subaltern Realism it has been proven that the speculation incorporates Third World states right into a neo-classical realist analytical framework, noting that states within the Third World are at an early stage of state-building and are vulnerable to home dysfunction, with this being a key reason for interstate battle. Furthermore, the speculation can be keenly conscious of the historical past of growing states, giving it sturdy explanatory potential in relation to interstate battle. Following this examination each theories have been utilized to the Nagorno-Karabakh battle, displaying how Subaltern Realism offers a extra helpful and credible evaluation of the battle than Neorealism, displaying how the latter concept’s western-centric nature hinders its sensible viability.

This permits this paper to attract three last conclusions. Firstly, that Neorealism is unsuitable to be used as an IR concept and possesses little explanatory capacity for a majority of the world. Secondly, that Subaltern Realism is each convincing and credible as an IR concept and that it represents a superior various to Neorealism. Thirdly, and most importantly, that Realism requires rehabilitation as a result of failings of Neorealism, and that this may be achieved by the appliance Ayoob’s concept of Subaltern Realism.


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Written at: University of Birmingham
Written for: Dr. George Kyris
Date written: 9/2020

Further Reading on E-International Relations