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Realism uses an explanatory, as opposed to a normative, approach to studying International Relations. Three core assumptions are made: (1) states are the key players in the international field, also known as “statism” (Dunne and Schmidt, 2017: 109); (2) states function as isolated, rational actors that are moved by their self-interests and egoism that they need to fulfill (Ikenberry and Parsi, 2009); (3) the international system is an anarchic one and it does not have an overarching authority (Mearsheimer, 2001: 30). Hence, assure their survival and security by way of relying on self-assist and their own material capabilities (Waltz, 1979: 213).

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