Realism States are the principal actors in world politics. States are unitary actors. States are rational actors. The high politics of military security dominates the low politics of economic and social affairs. Material factors shape international politics. International relations are essentially conflictual. Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau. Classical Realism. Structural Realism - conflict due to international relations. The first image - humans are inherently aggressive, selfish, an power-seeking The third image - anarchy: the security dilemma, the distribution of power, system polarity. World History: cyclical, equilibrium and disequilibria, rise and decline of great powers. Peace of Westphalia (1648) - France makes bid for hegemony. Treaty of Utrecht (1713) - France makes a bid for hegemony. The Congress of Vienna (1815) - Germany makes a bid for hegemony. Treaty of Versailles (1919) - Germany makes a bid for hegemony. End of WWII World War I Point of power transition: declining British hegemony, increasing German power. Fear of future imbalances. The unification of the European states system and rigid multipolarity. Bipolarity. World War II Increasing German power Failure to balance Liberalism States are not the only important actors in the international arena. States are not unitary. There are multiple issues of importance to international actors. Non-material factors (institutional, rules, and norms) at times affect international politics. International relations are not necessarily conflictual. Hugo Grotius, Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, David Ricardo.