The article deals with the concept of war in modern political realism. Realism claims to have an original notion of war, which distinguishes it from empirical war studies and from other schools in international relations theory. Realism does not have a strict formal definition of war like empirical studies do, it focuses on understanding the causes and nature of war instead. The distinction between realism and other international relations theories like idealism, Marxism or constructivism consists in the realist notion of politics. Realism understands politics as an eternal struggle for power that underlies all social life, while war is the most intense manifestation of this struggle. Thus, the possibility of war cannot be eradicated. The article shows the normative aspects of such understanding of war. Realism, unlike pacifism or just war theory, is less enthusiastic about ethical or legal regulation of war; furthermore, it shows the dangers that may be caused by political moralism and “criminalization” of war. On the other hand, realism fails to provide a set of norms or principles that would surpass the just war principles. The realist principles of national interest and prudence are as vague, unclear and prone to misuse as classic just war principles are. Author draws a conclusion that to be able to create a valid set of principles of war, realism needs to further converge with international relations theory schools and “enlarge” the set of its base theoretical notions.
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DOI 10.30727/0235-1188-2020-63-11-104-127
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Imperialism: A Study.J. A. Hobson - 1968 - Science and Society 32 (1):100-104.

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