chapter  1
16 Pages


ByMichael A. Jensen, Colin Elman

In this chapter, students will learn about the various strands of the realist research tradition and their different approaches to security studies: classical realism, neorealism, rise and fall, neoclassical, offensive structural, and defensive structural realism. Although sharing a pessimistic outlook about the continuity of inter-group strife, each of these research programmes is rooted in different assumptions and provides different explanations for the causes and consequences of armed conflict. These differences are illustrated with reference to what the contemporary strands of realism anticipate will happen in international politics as China’s power continues to grow.