Today the world includes more than one hundred and fifty different countries that vary from each other in their history and culture. After surviving two World Wars, many other challenges, including local disputes, frozen conflicts, cyber-attacks, and genocides, continue to occur year after year. On this basis, the importance of maintaining world peace has been one of the most discussed issues that humanity seeks to resolve. Contemporary political affairs are being handled based on the foreign policy model a country chooses to follow. It is essential to understand different perspectives to determine the more suitable ideology for resolving international conflicts and achieving world peace.
Different countries decide to handle disputes through diplomacy; others tend to be more aggressive and persistent instead of peaceful negotiations. Nonetheless, the states tend to decide on their foreign policy based on their ideological perspective. Ideology determines government officials’ ideas and values that would seek to maximize efficiency in navigating the country’s foreign policies. Often enough, country officials strive to determine the acceptable level of interdependence based on the redistribution of power within International Relations. Thus, some believe in the realism approach and others in idealism.
First, Realists believe that the leading actors with International Relations are states. Each country predominantly focuses on its safety and security because of the desire to pursue its interests. Therefore, the international arena is based on constant power-struggle, as realists believe that relations between states are a subject of a zero-sum game. This idea implies that any gains of one country, including political and economic, are followed by losses of other states. Overall, realists are focused on maximizing the benefits of their nation rather than considering the possible compromise of interests. Ideology assumes that allowing other states to compromise can only be done at their own expense. Therefore, the priority of a realist state is to maximize their powers, including their military might. Moreover, realists believe in international anarchy, meaning that the world is chaos with no one concrete in charge. Therefore, states can only rely on their own strengths while navigating within the global system.
In contrast, Idealists assume that International Relations are driven by moral ideals, such as global peace and cooperation. Idealism accepts that the world does not have enough means to meet the goal; however, it assumes that people are rational and capable of changing that. Moreover, unlike realists, idealists believe that the world is built upon the positive-sum premises. This idea implies that everyone is capable of benefitting within the International arena, meaning that all countries can negotiate a scenario that would equally help all parties involved. Additionally, the world is not defined from a perspective of a struggle for power but rather a pursuit of gaining more resources that would overall benefit the states and lead the world to prosperity. Idealists are implementing these through global trade, diplomacy, and International Organizations such as the United Nations (UN).
From the perspective of global peace, the Idealist ideology seems to be more suitable, as it assumes the possibility of world order through cooperation. Idealism is designed to promote overall prosperity between states, as the core belief is that countries can challenge the chaotic status quo. For that reason, International Organizations, such as the UN, the WTO, and others, were designed after World War II. After social and economic devastation, countries decided to strive for peaceful solutions to conflicts through global partnerships. This way, within the General Assembly, countries can discuss solutions for the world’s problems in a way that allows every state to share their perspective.
In conclusion, states follow different ideologies based on their idea of cooperation in International Relations. Some states choose to follow a realist perspective, which assumes that the global arena is anarchy, and the states should struggle for power. This assumption is based on the zero-sum perspective, which implies that countries cannot gain control simultaneously, whereas, some states choose an Idealistic view on International Relations, which emphasizes cooperation for global benefit. Idealism perspective is more suitable to meet the need for world peace, as it is built on the assumption that states are capable of partnership that can lead to international stability.