Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brocker I 630
State/Waltz: Regardless of major differences in economic strength, population or territorial size, all states fulfil the same functions: to create internal and external security. All states are equal in that they want to maintain or strive for the freedom of social self-development (1). See System/Waltz, Sovereignty/Waltz.
The structure of the "international policy" system (see System/Waltz) is shaped by the states as units. However, this need not always be the case, it is only the case as long as states have the greatest potential for power. This is a characteristic of Waltz's neo-realist theory. (2)
VsNeorealism: the state-centered ontology of neorealism has often been criticized. (3)
NeorealismVsVs: this criticism ignores the fact that the prominent position of the state in neo-realist theory results from its empirical position in international politics since the Peace of Westphalia rather than from a metaphysical view.
State/Waltz: is organised according to the division of labour. Its structure remains unaffected by the changing distribution of power between the units of the system. (4)
Brocker I 632
Functions of the state: although there is a power gap between states, this does not lead to the emergence of specialisation in the functions that states have to fulfil.
System: The states with the strongest power potential determine the structure of the international system (see International Policy/Waltz.)
Brocker I 633
Rationality/Waltz: Waltz believes that it is not necessary for his theory to assume that the state is a rationally acting actor, since the result of state action is always influenced by the complex environment. (5)


1. Richard Löwenthal, „Freiheit der Eigenentwicklung“, in: Außenpolitische Perspektiven des westdeutschen Staates, Band 1: München 1971, p. 11.
2. Kenneth N. Waltz Theory of International Politics, Reading, Mas. 1979, p. 81
3. Daniel L. Nielson/Michael J. Tierney, „Principals and Interests: Agency Theory and Multilateral Development Bank Lending“, Chicago 2002, p. 3.
4. Waltz 1979, p. 82.
5. Waltz 1979, p. 76-77

Carlo Masala, „Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics” in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

PolWaltz I
Kenneth N. Waltz
Man,the State and War New York 1959

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-02-23
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