Realpolitik (from German: real; "realistic", "practical", or "actual"; and Politik; "politics", German pronunciation: [ʁeˈaːlpoliˌtiːk]) is politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism. It is often simply referred to as "pragmatism" in politics, e.g. "pursuing pragmatic policies". The term Realpolitik is sometimes used pejoratively to imply politics that are perceived as coercive, amoral, or Machiavellian.[1]

Origin of the term

The term Realpolitik was coined by Ludwig von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century.[2] His 1853 book Grundsätze der Realpolitik angewendet auf die staatlichen Zustände Deutschlands describes the meaning of the term:[3]

The study of the forces that shape, maintain and alter the state is the basis of all political insight and leads to the understanding that the law of power governs the world of states just as the law of gravity governs the physical world. The older political science was fully aware of this truth but drew a wrong and detrimental conclusion—the right of the more powerful. The modern era has corrected this unethical fallacy, but while breaking with the alleged right of the more powerful one, the modern era was too much inclined to overlook the real might of the more powerful and the inevitability of its political influence.

Historian John Bew suggests that much of what stands for modern Realpolitik today deviates from the original meaning of the term. Realpolitik emerged in mid-19th century Europe from the collision of the Enlightenment with state formation and power politics. The concept, Bew argues, was an early attempt at answering the conundrum of how to achieve liberal enlightened goals in a world that does not follow liberal enlightened rules.

Publicist, journalist and liberal political reformer Von Rochau coined the term in 1853 and added a second volume in 1869 that further refined his earlier arguments. Rochau, exiled in Paris until the 1848 uprising, returned during the revolution and became a well-known figure in the national liberal party. As the liberal gains of the 1848 revolutions fell victim to coercive governments or were swallowed by powerful social forces such as class, religion and nationalism, Rochau—according to Bew—began to think hard about how the work that had begun with such enthusiasm had failed to yield any lasting results.

He said that the great achievement of the Enlightenment had been to show that might is not necessarily right. The mistake liberals made was to assume that the law of the strong had suddenly evaporated simply because it had been shown to be unjust. Rochau wrote that "to bring down the walls of Jericho, the Realpolitiker knows the simple pickaxe is more useful than the mightiest trumpet". Rochau's concept was seized upon by German thinkers in the mid and late 19th century and became associated with Otto von Bismarck's statecraft in unifying Germany in the mid 19th century. By 1890, usage of the word Realpolitik was widespread, yet increasingly detached from its original meaning.[4]

Political realism in international relations

Whereas Realpolitik refers to political practice, the concept of political realism in international relations refers to a theoretical framework aimed at offering explanations for events in the international relations domain. The theory of political realism proceeds from the assumption that states—as actors in the international arena—pursue their interests by practising Realpolitik. Conversely, Realpolitik can be described as the exercise of policies that are in line with accepted theories of political realism. In either case, the working hypothesis is generally that policy is chiefly based on the pursuit, possession and application of power (see also power politics). However, some international relations realists, such as Kenneth Waltz, have viewed state policy in terms of the pursuit of survival or security, rather than the pursuit of power for its own sake.

History and branches

See political realism for branches and antecedents more relevant to contemporary diplomacy and the particular modern, international relations paradigm.


Otto Fürst von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck, a German statesman often associated with Realpolitik

In the United States, the term is often analogous to power politics while in Germany Realpolitik has a somewhat less negative connotation, referring to realistic politics in opposition to idealistic (or unrealistic) politics. It is particularly associated with the era of 19th century nationalism. Realpolitik policies were employed in response to the failed revolutions of 1848 as means to strengthen states and tighten social order.

The most famous German advocate of Realpolitik was Otto von Bismarck, the first Chancellor (1862–1890) to Wilhelm I of the Kingdom of Prussia. Bismarck used Realpolitik in his quest to achieve Prussian dominance in Germany. He manipulated political issues such as the Schleswig-Holstein Question and the Hohenzollern candidature to antagonize other countries and cause wars if necessary to attain his goals. Such policies are characteristic of Bismarck, demonstrating a pragmatic view of the "real" political world. Another example was his willingness to adopt some social policies of the socialists such as employee insurance and pensions; in doing so, he used small changes from the top down to avoid the possibility of major change from the bottom up. Likewise, Prussia's seemingly illogical move of not demanding territory from a defeated Austria, a move that later led to the unification of Germany, is an oft-cited example of Realpolitik.

Adolf Hitler's attempt to annex the predominantly German region of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland in 1938 may also be described as Realpolitik. At first, Hitler unsuccessfully demanded that Czech President Edvard Beneš hand over that region of the country. However, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain subsequently gave the Sudetenland to Hitler in the (ultimately unsuccessful) hope of preventing a war as codified in the Munich Agreement. With Britain a guarantor of Czech independence, Hitler knew that Beneš' opinion on the matter was immaterial if Chamberlain was prepared to give Hitler what he desired.

E. H. Carr was a liberal realist and left-wing British historian and international relations theorist who argued for realistic international policies versus utopian ones. Carr described realism as the acceptance that what exists is right and the belief that there is no reality or force outside history such as God. He argued that in realism there is no moral dimension; and that what is successful is right and what is unsuccessful is wrong. Carr was convinced that the Bolsheviks were destined to win the Russian Civil War and approved of the Prime Minister David Lloyd George's opposition to the anti-Bolshevik ideas of the War Secretary Winston Churchill under the grounds of Realpolitik.[5] In Carr's opinion, Churchill's support of the White Russian movement was folly as Russia was likely to be a great power once more under the leadership of the Bolsheviks.

United States

American Realpolitik began in the 1960s with the influence of Polish-American Zbigniew Brzezinski, later National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter. Contrary to McCarthy-era hostility (and John Foster Dulles' talk of the military "liberation" of the Eastern Bloc), Brzezinski proposed "peaceful engagement" with the Soviet Union while he was advising Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Brzezinski, uninterested in promoting anti-Soviet propaganda for the benefit of the United States, felt the United States would be more successful through frequent interactions with regimes and people under communist rule. Brzezinski knew the tough economic realities of those living in the Eastern Bloc, in particular the permanent shortage of goods; and that their attachment to the Soviet Union was born of historic necessity rather than common ideology. Brzezinski suggested enticing these countries economically and through educational and cultural exchanges that would appeal to intellectuals, followed by favoritism for regimes showing signs of liberalization or less reliance on Moscow. Through this approach, Brzezinski "offered a realistic, evolutionary alternative to empty political rhetoric".[6]

Henry Kissinger has been credited with formally introducing the policy of Realpolitik to the White House as Secretary of State to Richard Nixon.[7] In this context, the policy meant dealing with other powerful nations in a practical manner rather than on the basis of political doctrine or ethics—for instance, Nixon's diplomacy with the People's Republic of China despite American opposition to communism and the previous doctrine of containment. Another example is Kissinger's use of shuttle diplomacy after the 1973 Arab–Israeli war, where he persuaded the Israelis to withdraw partially from the Sinai in deference to the political realities created by the oil crisis.

Kissinger himself said that he had never used the term Realpolitik and has said that it is used by both liberal and realist foreign policy thinkers to label, criticize and facilitate a choosing of sides.[8] Kissinger had looked at what he implemented while serving as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor not in the confines of making Realpolitik a standard policy, but within the terms of being a statesman. This political mindset can be seen in Kissinger’s book A World Restored and is pointed out by historian John Bew in his book Realpolitik. Kissinger goes on to say that the role of the statesman is "the ability to recognize the real relationship of forces and to make this knowledge serve his ends".[9][10]

In this context, one can see how Realpolitik principles can influence American policy, but not as standard policy. The reach and influence of Realpolitik is found instead in pragmatic and flexible policy that changes to the needs of the situation. This type of policy making could be seen as recently as in the administration of Barack Obama. Bew makes note of this direction in the Obama administration when Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel remarked in an article in the New York Times that everyone wanted to break it down into contrasts of idealist and realist, but "if you had to put him in a category, he's probably more realpolitik, like Bush 41 [...] You’ve got to be cold-blooded about the self-interests of your nation".[11]

Realpolitik is distinct from ideological politics in that it is not dictated by a fixed set of rules, but instead tends to be goal-oriented, limited only by practical exigencies. Since Realpolitik is ordered toward the most practical means of securing national interests, it can often entail compromising on ideological principles. For example, during the Cold War the United States often supported authoritarian regimes that were human rights violators in order to theoretically secure the greater national interest of regional stability.[12][13][14][15] After the end of the Cold War, this practice continued.[16][17][18][19]

Most recently, former ambassador Dennis Ross advocated this approach to foreign policy in his 2007 book Statecraft: And How to Restore America's Standing in the World. For the purposes of contrast and speaking in ideal types, political ideologues would tend to favor principle over other considerations. Such individuals or groups can reject compromises which they see as the abandonment of their ideals and so may sacrifice political gain in favor of adhering to principles they believe to be constitutive of long-term goals.


China has a "realistic" tradition dating back thousands of years. Often referred to as Chinese Legalism, the spirit of its content may be most readily recognized by Western viewers through one of its kindred, The Art of War.[20] Chinese administrative organization influenced Western administrative practices not later than the 12th century, playing a significant role in the development of the modern state, including use of the examination.[21][22][23][24]

Starting in the Spring and Autumn period (771–476/403 BC), a trend of "realistic" reformers were taken on to advance the material interest of their respective states, with the Qin state founding the first Chinese Empire, Qin dynasty in 221 BCE, ending China's Warring States period. The political theory developed during the era, including that of Confucianism would influence every dynasty thereafter.

Those termed Legalist are more purely "Realpolitikal"[note 1] in contrast to Confucianism and include non-legal Shen Pu-hai derived political technique, which charges the ruler engage in passive observation to determine facts rather than take on too much himself. Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel writes: "If one wishes to exaggerate, it would no doubt be possible to translate (foundational Realist) Shen Buhai's term Shu, or technique, as 'science', and argue that Pu-hai was the first political scientist," though Creel does "not care to go this far".[21]

During the Spring and Autumn period,[23] the prevalent philosophy had dictated war as a gentleman's activity; military commanders were instructed to respect what they perceived to be Heaven's laws in battle.[25] For example, when Duke Xiang of Song[note 2] was at war with the state of Chu during the Warring States period, he declined an opportunity to attack the enemy force (commanded by Zhu) while they were crossing a river.

The Qin disregarded this military tradition, taking advantage of their enemy's weaknesses.


The PAP government has taken pains to present its principles of meritocracy and pragmatism as a viable alternative to liberal democracy and multi-party competition, sometimes by drawing from a specious notion of Confucian values and Asian culture to construct ideological bulwarks—like "Asian democracy"—against the criticisms of the so-called liberal West. By crediting meritocracy and pragmatism for creating the right conditions for economic success, the PAP government has been able not only to justify its (liberal) democratic deficit, but also to produce ideological resources and a structure of authorization for the maintenance of a one-party dominant regime. In "pragmatic" terms, Singapore's considerable economic success is justification enough for its authoritarian means.

— Kenneth Paul Tan, "The Ideology of Pragmatism: Neo-liberal Globalisation and Political Authoritarianism in Singapore"[26]

According to Kenneth Paul Tan of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, "Chua Beng Huat (1997)[27] argued that the rhetoric of pragmatism in Singapore is ideological and hegemonic in nature, adopted and disseminated in the public sphere by the People's Action Party (PAP) government and institutionalized throughout the state in all its administrative, planning and policy-making functions. It is suggested that by doggedly describing itself as pragmatic, the Singapore state is actually disguising its ideological work and political nature through an assertion of the absence of ideology and politics. Chan Heng Chee (1975) earlier described Singapore as a depoliticized "administrative state", where ideology and politics had triumphantly been replaced by rational and scientific modes of public administration".[26]

See also


  1. ^ Civilization and Realpolitik, by Prasenjit Duara, India International Centre Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 3/4, INDIACHINA Neighbours Strangers (WINTER 2009 SPRING 2010), pp. 20-33.
  2. ^ Not to be confused with any Duke of the Song dynasty of a later period.


  1. ^ Humphreys, Adam R. C. (2014). Realpolitik. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. pp. 3151–3152. doi:10.1002/9781118474396. ISBN 9781118474396.
  2. ^ Haslam, Jonathan (2002). No Virtue Like Necessity: Realist Thought in International Relations since Machiavelli. London: Yale University Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-300-09150-2.
  3. ^ von Rochau, Ludwig (1859). Grundsätze der Realpolitik angewendet auf die staatlichen Zustände Deutschlands.
  4. ^ Bew, John (2014). Real Realpolitik: A History. Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress.
  5. ^ Davies, Robert William "Edward Hallett Carr, 1892–1982" pages 473–511 from Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 69, 1983 page 477.
  6. ^ Gati, Charles (2013). Zbig: The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski. JHU Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 9781421409771. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  7. ^ Byrnes, Sholto. "Time to Rethink Realpolitik". New Statesman. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  8. ^ Kissinger, Henry (June 2012). "The Limits of Universalism". New Criterion.
  9. ^ Kissinger, Henry (1999). A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812–1822. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 312–322.
  10. ^ Bew, John (2015). Realpolitik: A History. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 258.
  11. ^ Bew, John (2015). Realpolitik: A History. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 4–5.
  12. ^ DeConde, Alexander; et al., eds. (2001). "Dictatorships". Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, Volume 1. Simon & Schuster. p. 499. ISBN 9780684806570.
  13. ^ Adams, Francis (2003). Deepening democracy: global governance and political reform in Latin America. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 31. ISBN 9780275979713.
  14. ^ McMahon, Robert J. (1999). The limits of empire: the United States and Southeast Asia since World War II. Columbia University Press. p. 205. ISBN 9780231108805.
  15. ^ Grandin & Joseph, Greg & Gilbert (2010). A Century of Revolution. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. pp. 397–414.
  16. ^ Chick, Kristen (14 May 2012). "US resumes arms sales to Bahrain. Activists feel abandoned". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  17. ^ Josh Rogin (2014-06-14). "America's Allies Are Funding ISIS". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  18. ^ "US support for human rights abroad: The case of Saudi Arabia". 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  19. ^ "5 dictators the U.S. still supports". The Week. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  20. ^ Wealth and Power. Orville Schell
  21. ^ a b Creel, Herrlee G. (March 1974). "Shen Pu-Hai: A Secular Philosopher of Administration". Journal of Chinese Philosophy. 1 (2): 119–136. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6253.1974.tb00644.x.
  22. ^ Van der Sprenkel
  23. ^ a b Origins of Statecraft in China
  24. ^ "Legalism and the Legalists of Ancient China".
  25. ^ Morton 1995, p. 26
  26. ^ a b Tan, Kenneth Paul (February 2012). "The Ideology of Pragmatism: Neo-liberal Globalisation and Political Authoritarianism in Singapore". Journal of Contemporary Asia. 42 (1): 67–92. doi:10.1080/00472336.2012.634644.
  27. ^ Chua, Beng-Huat (1995). Communitarian ideology and democracy in Singapore (Repr. 1996. ed.). London [u.a.]: Routledge. ISBN 9780415120548.

Works cited

1943 in Denmark

Events from the year 1943 in Denmark.

Arsenal of Democracy

During the Second World War (1939–1945), "Arsenal of Democracy" was the slogan used by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a radio broadcast delivered on 29 December 1940. Roosevelt promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by giving them military supplies while the United States stayed out of the actual fighting. The president announced that intent a year before the Attack on Pearl Harbor (7 December 1941), at a time when Germany had occupied much of Europe and threatened Britain.

Nazi Germany was allied with Fascist Italy and the Empire of Japan (the Axis powers). At the time, Germany and the Soviet Union had signed a non-aggression treaty under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, and had jointly affected the Invasion of Poland (1939), a Realpolitik deal that remained effective until Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, in 1941.

Roosevelt's address was "a call to arm and support" the Allies in Europe, and, to a lesser extent, arm and support the Republic of China, in total war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. "The great arsenal of democracy" came to specifically refer to the industry of the U.S., as the primary supplier of material for the Allied war effort.

The slogan "Arsenal of democracy" refers to the collective efforts of American industry in supporting the Allies, which efforts tended to be concentrated in the established industrial centers of the U.S., such as Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and other places.

Big Stick ideology

Big stick ideology, big stick diplomacy, or big stick policy refers to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy: "speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far." Roosevelt described his style of foreign policy as "the exercise of intelligent forethought and of decisive action sufficiently far in advance of any likely crisis."The idea is negotiating peacefully but also having strength in case things go wrong. Simultaneously threatening with the "big stick", or the military, ties in heavily with the idea of Realpolitik, which implies a pursuit of political power that resembles Machiavellian ideals. It is comparable to gunboat diplomacy, as used in international politics by imperial powers.


Busir or Bazir (Greek: Ibousiros Gliabanos, Busir Glavan; fl. 688–711) was the Khazar khagan in the late 7th century and early 8th century.

In 704 Justinian II, who had been exiled at Chersonesos for nine years, arrived at Busir's court. Busir, perhaps seeking to use him in his political maneuverings with the Byzantine Empire, welcomed Justinian and gave him his sister in marriage (the woman's Khazar name is unknown, but she took the baptismal name of Theodora.) Busir provided the couple with funds and a house in Phanagoria.

However, the winds of realpolitik soon shifted, and the new emperor, Tiberius III, offered Busir a substantial bounty for his brother-in-law's head. Busir dispatched two agents, Balgitzin and Papatzys, to kill Justinian, but the latter was warned by his wife, who bribed the assassins' slaves to learn the nature of their mission. Turning the table on his would-be killers, Justinian murdered the pair after a banquet and fled Phanagoria by ship, seeking aid from Khan Terval of Bulgaria, with whose help he retook Constantinople.

Busir now attempted to make peace with Justinian, sending Theodora to Constantinople. He later became involved with, possibly instigating, a revolt by Justinian's officers in the Crimea, which led ultimately to the crowning of Philippikos Bardanes as emperor and the death of Justinian in 711.


Callicles (; Greek: Καλλικλῆς; c. 484 – late 5th century BCE) was an ancient Athenian political philosopher best remembered for his role in Plato’s dialogue Gorgias, where he "presents himself as a no-holds-barred, bare-knuckled, clear-headed advocate of Realpolitik". While he provides a counter-argument to Plato’s philosophical ideas, the lack of other contemporaneous sources about him suggests that he may be no more than a character created by Plato for the dialogue. Another idea proposed is that Callicles is a fragment of what Plato may be, had he not Socrates to guide him. He is the antithesis to Socrates.Callicles is depicted as a young student of the sophist Gorgias. In the dialogue named for his teacher, Callicles argues the position of an oligarchic amoralist, stating that it is natural and just for the strong to dominate the weak and that it is unfair for the weak to resist such oppression by establishing laws to limit the power of the strong. He asserts that the institutions and moral code of his time were not established by gods but instead by humans who naturally were looking after their own interests.

Despite the scant surviving sources for his thought, he served as influential to modern political philosophers, notably including Friedrich Nietzsche.

Jan Jacek Bruski

Jan Jacek Bruski (born 1969) is a Polish historian. His specialization is a history of 20th Century.

In 1999 he gained his PhD (thesis: Centrum Państwowe Ukraińskiej Republiki Ludowej na wychodźstwie w latach 1919-1924. Monografia polityczna; supervisor: Michał Pułaski). In 2011 he passed his habilitation (thesis: Między prometeizmem a Realpolitik. II Rzeczpospolita wobec Ukrainy Sowieckiej, 1921-1926).

Bruski is working at the Jagiellonian University.

For his book Między prometeizmem a Realpolitik. II Rzeczpospolita wobec Ukrainy Sowieckiej 1921-1926 Bruski won the Henryk Wereszycki and Wacław Felczak Award.

Johann von Leers

Omar Amin (born Johann von Leers; 25 January 1902 – 5 March 1965) was an Alter Kämpfer and an honorary Sturmbannführer in the Waffen SS in Nazi Germany, where he was also a professor known for his anti-Jewish polemics. He was one of the most important ideologues of the Third Reich, serving as a high-ranking propaganda ministry official. He later served in the Egyptian Information Department, as well as an advisor to Gamal Abdel Nasser. He published for Goebbels, in Peron's Argentina and for Nasser's Egypt. He converted to Islam, and changed his name to Omar Amin.

John Bew (historian)

John Bew is Professor in History and Foreign Policy at King's College London and from 2013 to 2014 held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the John W. Kluge Center. His most recent book is about Realpolitik: A History in 2016 published by Oxford University Press.

Ludwig von Rochau

August Ludwig von Rochau (20 August 1810 in Wolfenbüttel – 15 October 1873 in Heidelberg) was a German journalist and politician. He engaged in the Frankfurter Wachensturm of 1833 and subsequently spent ten years of exile in France. He published the famous Grundsätze der Realpolitik, angewendet auf die staatlichen Zustände Deutschlands ("Practical Politics: an Application of its Principles to the Situation of the German States") in 1853.

Mosque of Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim

The Mosque Ibrahim Ibin Abdul Aziz Al-Ibrahim or Caracas Mosque is a mosque in the El Recreo district of Caracas. it is the second largest mosque in Latin America after the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center in Buenos Aires. Mirroring modern Venezuela's religious tolerance and its oil realpolitik the construction of the mosque began in 1989 by Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim. The mosque designed by architect Zuhair Fayez occupies an area of 5000 m², its minaret is 113 metres high and the dome is 23 metres high. Construction of the mosque was completed in 1993. The mosque can hold around 3500 worshipers.

Rising higher between the Catholic Cathedral a few blocks away and the Caracas Synagogue, the minaret is the highest in the Americas."It is like a dream come true for us," Hassan Majzoub, president of Venezuela's Islamic Center, said of the four-year project, culminated in March 1993 with the inauguration of the Caracas Islamic Center.

Mr. Majzoub, a shopkeeper who emigrated from Lebanon in 1968, acknowledged that the 100,000 Muslims in Venezuela were easily surpassed in number by Muslims in Argentina, Brazil and the United States.


Netpolitik is an emerging type diplomacy that differs from realpolitik. In 2002, the Aspen Institute convened a three-day conference in Aspen, Colorado to explore the meaning of netpolitik and how the internet is changing the powers of the nation-state, international relations, and national security. From the report produced by this conference, as synthesized by David Bollier, “Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik—which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion—Netpolitik traffics in ‘softer’ issues such as moral legitimacy, cultural identity, societal values, and public perception” (p. 2, 2002). Netpolitik requires different resources than realpolitik, and is therefore different in its availability for use, bearing implications for the execution of diplomacy. The emergence of netpolitik and its interaction with realpolitik are related but not limited to that of soft power, and its interaction with hard power.

Netpolitik may overlap with other proposed ‘politiks,’ such as mediapolitik, cyberpolitik, and noopolitik, but its proponents argue that none of them is sufficient for dealing with issues of the 21st century, such as high technology and biological encroachment, and that only netpolitik embodies the network form as the organizing principle in the conduct of world affairs.

Peace through strength

"Peace through strength" is a phrase which suggests that military power can help preserve peace. It is quite old and has famously been used by many leaders from Roman Emperor Hadrian in the first century AD to former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. The concept has long been associated with realpolitik. The idea has critics: "'Peace through strength' easily enough becomes 'peace through war,'" according to Andrew Bacevich.

Pragmatism (disambiguation)

Pragmatism is a philosophical movement.

Pragmatism or pragmatic may also refer to:

Pragmaticism, Charles Sanders Peirce's post-1905 branch of philosophy

Pragmatics, a subfield of linguistics and semiotics

Pragmatic ethics, a theory of normative philosophical ethics

Realpolitik, politics or diplomacy based primarily on practical considerations, rather than ideological notions

Realism (international relations)

Realism is a school of thought in international relations theory, theoretically formalising the Realpolitik statesmanship of early modern Europe. Although a highly diverse body of thought, it can be thought of as unified by the belief that world politics ultimately is always and necessarily a field of conflict among actors pursuing power. Crudely, realists are of three kinds in what they take the source of ineliminable conflict to be. Classical realists believe that it follows from human nature, neorealists focus upon the structure of the anarchic state system; neoclassical realists believe that it is a result of a combination of the two and certain domestic variables. Realists also disagree about what kind of action states ought to take to navigate world politics and neorealists are divided between defensive realism and offensive realism. Realists have also claimed that a realist tradition of thought is evident within the history of political thought all the way back to antiquity to Thucydides.

Jonathan Haslam characterizes realism as "a spectrum of ideas." Regardless of which definition is used, the theories of realism revolve around four central propositions: that states are the central actors in international politics rather than individuals or international organizations, that the international political system is anarchic as there is no supranational authority that can enforce rules over the states, that the actors in the international political system are rational as their actions maximize their own self-interest, as well as that all states desire power so that they can ensure their own self-preservation.

Realism is often associated with Realpolitik as both are based on the management of the pursuit, possession, and application of power. Realpolitik, however, is an older prescriptive guideline limited to policy-making (like foreign policy), while realism is a particular paradigm, or wider theoretical and methodological framework, aimed at describing, explaining and, eventually, predicting events in the international relations domain. The theories of Realism are contrasted by the cooperative ideals of liberalism. Realism is one of the dominant strains of thought in modern foreign policy. As an academic pursuit, realism is not tied to ideology; it does not favor any particular moral philosophy, nor does it consider ideology to be a major factor in the behavior of nations. Priorities of realists have been described as "Machiavellian", with the primary focus being increasing the relative power of one's own nation over others.


Realpolitik! is an EP released by Intro5pect on October 16, 2007. It is the first album to feature Stza on vocals.

Rogue Trooper

Rogue Trooper is a science fiction strip in the British comic 2000 AD, created by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons in 1981. It follows the adventures of Rogue, a "Genetic Infantryman", a genetically engineered, blue-skinned, super soldier and his three comrades' search for the Traitor General. His comrades are in the form of biochips – onto which a G.I.'s entire personality is downloaded at the time of death for later retrieval – and are named Gunnar (mounted on Rogue's rifle), Bagman (on his backpack) and Helm (on his helmet). He is genetically engineered to be immune to almost all known toxins, can submerge in strong acid unaffected, and is able to withstand a vacuum in his bare skin.

The series was rebooted in 1989 in the story "The War Machine," featuring a new version of the character called Friday. This version of the character last appeared in 1996. The original character returned in 1999 and all stories since then have featured the original Rogue. The character has also featured in a number of 2000 AD crossovers.


Satyavati (Sanskrit: सत्यवती) (also spelled Satyawati or Setyawati in Indonesian) was the queen of the Kuru king, Shantanu of Hastinapur and the great-grandmother of the Pandava and Kaurava princes (principal characters of the Hindu epic Mahabharata). She is also the mother of the seer Vyasa, author of the epic. Her story appears in the Mahabharata, the Harivamsa and the Devi Bhagavata Purana.

Daughter of the Chedi king, Vasu (also known as Uparichara Vasu) and a cursed apsara (celestial nymph) who was turned into a fish called Adrika, Satyavati was brought up as a commoner. She is the adopted daughter of a tribal fisherman chieftain, Dusharaj (also a ferryman) on the banks of the river Yamuna. Due to the smell emanating from her body, she was known as Matsyagandha ("She who smells like fish"), and helped her father in his job as a ferryman.

As a young woman, Satyavati met the wandering rishi (sage) Parashara, who fathered her son Vyasa out of wedlock. The sage also gave her a musky fragrance, which earned her names like Yojanagandha ("She whose fragrance is spread as far as a yojana") and Gandhavati ("fragrant one").

Later King Shantanu, captivated by her fragrance and beauty, fell in love with Satyavati. She married Shantanu on condition that their children inherit the throne, denying the birthright of Shantanu's eldest son (and crown prince) Bhishma. Satyavati bore Shantanu two children, Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. After Shantanu's death, she and her prince sons with the help of Bhishma ruled the kingdom. Although both her sons died childless, she arranged for her first son, Vyasa, to father the children of the two widows of Vichitravirya through niyoga. The children, (Dhritarashtra and Pandu) became the fathers of the Kauravas and Pandavas respectively. After Pandu's death, Satyavati went to the forest for penance and died before the Kurukshetra War.

While Satyavati's presence of mind, far-sightedness and mastery of realpolitik is praised, her unscrupulous means of achieving her goals and her blind ambition are criticized.

Treaty of London (1915)

London Pact (Italian: Patto di Londra), or more correctly, the Treaty of London, 1915, was a secret pact between the Triple Entente and the Kingdom of Italy. The treaty was signed in London on 26 April 1915 by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the French Republic, the Russian Empire, and the Kingdom of Italy. Its intent was to gain the alliance of Italy against its former allies, including the German Empire and Austria-Hungary. The main lure was promising large swaths of Austria-Hungary to the north of Italy and to the east across the Adriatic. Britain also promised funding. Italy promised to enter the war the next month. The alliance with Italy's old enemy Austria had been promoted by some politicians as a realpolitik move and had never been popular with the public. Also, the Allies could easily outbid Austria-Hungary and thereby won a military alliance with 36 million Italians. The secret provisions were published by the Bolsheviks when they came to power in Russia in late 1917.

After the war, British and French leaders refused to fulfil the pact, giving rise to a belief in a so-called "mutilated victory" within Italy, which played a role in determining Italian inter-war expansion. It fueled the rhetoric of Italian irredentism and Italian nationalism before World War II and was a key point in the rise of fascism.

Unification of Germany

The unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France. Princes of the German states, excluding Austria, gathered there to proclaim William I of Prussia as German Emperor after the French capitulation in the Franco-Prussian War. Unofficially, the de facto transition of most of the German-speaking populations into a federated organization of states had been developing for some time through alliances formal and informal between princely rulers, but in fits and starts. The self-interests of the various parties hampered the process over nearly a century of autocratic experimentation, beginning in the era of the Napoleonic Wars, which prompted the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, and the subsequent rise of German nationalism.

Unification exposed tensions due to religious, linguistic, social, and cultural differences among the inhabitants of the new nation, suggesting that 1871 only represented one moment in a continuum of the larger unification processes. The Holy Roman Emperor had been often called "Emperor of all the Germanies"; contemporary news accounts frequently referred to "The Germanies". In the empire, higher nobility were referred to as "Princes of Germany" or "Princes of the Germanies"—for the lands once called East Francia had been organized and governed as pocket kingdoms since before the rise of Charlemagne (800 AD). In the mountainous terrain of much of the territory, isolated peoples developed cultural, educational, linguistic, and religious differences over such a lengthy time period. By the nineteenth century, transportation and communications improvements brought these regions closer together.

The Holy Roman Empire, which had included more than 500 independent states, was effectively dissolved when Emperor Francis II abdicated (6 August 1806) during the War of the Third Coalition. Despite the legal, administrative, and political disruption associated with the end of the Empire, the people of the German-speaking areas of the old Empire had a common linguistic, cultural, and legal tradition further enhanced by their shared experience in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. European liberalism offered an intellectual basis for unification by challenging dynastic and absolutist models of social and political organization; its German manifestation emphasized the importance of tradition, education, and linguistic unity of peoples in a geographic region. Economically, the creation of the Prussian Zollverein (customs union) in 1818, and its subsequent expansion to include other states of the German Confederation, reduced competition between and within states. Emerging modes of transportation facilitated business and recreational travel, leading to contact and sometimes conflict among German speakers from throughout Central Europe.

The model of diplomatic spheres of influence resulting from the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 after the Napoleonic Wars endorsed Austrian dominance in Central Europe. The negotiators at Vienna took no account of Prussia's growing strength within and among the German states and so failed to foresee that Prussia would rise to challenge Austria for leadership of the German peoples. This German dualism presented two solutions to the problem of unification: Kleindeutsche Lösung, the small Germany solution (Germany without Austria), or Großdeutsche Lösung, the greater Germany solution (Germany with Austria).

Historians debate whether Otto von Bismarck—Minister President of Prussia—had a master plan to expand the North German Confederation of 1866 to include the remaining independent German states into a single entity or simply to expand the power of the Kingdom of Prussia. They conclude that factors in addition to the strength of Bismarck's Realpolitik led a collection of early modern polities to reorganize political, economic, military, and diplomatic relationships in the 19th century. Reaction to Danish and French nationalism provided foci for expressions of German unity. Military successes—especially those of Prussia—in three regional wars generated enthusiasm and pride that politicians could harness to promote unification. This experience echoed the memory of mutual accomplishment in the Napoleonic Wars, particularly in the War of Liberation of 1813–14. By establishing a Germany without Austria, the political and administrative unification in 1871 at least temporarily solved the problem of dualism.

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