Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Idealism and realism in international relations: an ontological debate
Authors: Fernandes, Vitor Ramon
Keywords: Idealism
Issue Date: Nov-2016
Publisher: OBSERVARE. Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
Citation: Fernandes, Vítor Ramon (2016). "Idealism and realism in international relations: an ontological debate". JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations, Vol. 7, Nº. 2, November 2016-April 2017. Consulted [online] on the date of last consultation, (
Abstract: The debate between realism and idealism continues to mark the discipline of International Relations. On the one hand, realism argues that international politics is a struggle for power and a quest for survival, which results in a condition of permanent conflict between States without any possibility of evolution or progress. On the other hand, idealism considers it possible to build a world of peaceful coexistence, prosperity and well-being, achieved through cooperation and based on values and aspirations shared by humans. The object of this article is to analyse the debate between idealism and realism, considering it as an ontological debate and taking into account the controversy it has generated. The argument presented here is that both realism and idealism are two responses to the creation and maintenance of international order, that is, how States relate in international society; however these responses are not mutually exclusive and can coexist in constant tension with one another. An analysis of internationalist thought of two authors, Hans Morgenthau and Raymond Aron, is also presented, which relates to how they are positioned in this debate as well as International Relations as a whole.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISSN: 1647-7251
Publisher Version:
Appears in Collections:OBSERVARE - JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations. Vol.7, n.2 (November 2016 - April 2017)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
en_vol7_n2_art2.pdf380,63 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInDiggGoogle BookmarksMySpaceOrkut
Formato BibTex mendeley Endnote Logotipo do DeGóis Logotipo do Orcid 

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons