Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Advisor 1

Jonathan R. Strand, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

John P. Tuman

Second Committee Member

David Fott

Graduate Faculty Representative

Andrew Bell

Number of Pages



The paradigm of classical realism has been the subject of extensive debate in the study of international relations. Its axiomatic suppositions, conceptual structures, theoretical framework, and analytical scope have made realism the subject of both genuine veneration and intense scrutiny at the hands of international relations scholars. This has had a three-fold effect on the evolvement of the paradigm: realism has been methodically revised by neorealists; realism has become a tool of analysis for revisionist non-realists; and realism has been marginalized and erroneously critiqued. The objective of this thesis is to demonstrate and prove the following four points. First, to address the problem of revisionism and the marginalization of classical realism, arguing for the revival of the paradigm. Second, to introduce an original method of inquiry, via the dialectical, to the study of the realist paradigm, providing for a new analytical approach. Third, to demonstrate, contrary to much held criticism, that the realist paradigm is both adequate and progressive within the standards of philosophy of science. And fourth, to address the concerns of whether the explanatory powers of the paradigm are sufficient in addressing the anomalies of the modern international political system. In its entirety, this thesis demonstrates that classical realism is a complete paradigm, providing the discipline with the most comprehensive tools in addressing the age of globalization.


Classical realism; Dialectics of power; Globalization; Neoliberalism; Neorealism; Paradigmatic progressiveness; Revisionism; World-systems theory


International and Area Studies | International Relations

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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