REALISM OR REALPOLITIK is the school of thought that posits that international relations are governed by power and national interest, not morality. The personal relationships of politicians and diplomats are irrelevant in the realist view, for nations base their decisions on the demands of national interest, not on the basis of friendship. The goal of international relations, from a realist perspective, is to seek a balance of power rather than the triumph of ideals. One of the most famous and earliest examples of a consciously realist diplomacy is presented in the fifth book of the Greek historian Thucydides' The History of the Peloponnesian War. In the so-called Melian Dialogue, presented by Thucydides, the Athenians memorably told the Melians that the strong would do what ...

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