To what extent does realist theory help to explain the incidence of international terrorism
What specific should be developed?
Are stated motivations necessarily the real motivations?
Can religious motivations fit into a theory that explains everything in terms of power?
Realism doesn't teach about moral values, and these values are often the cause of terrorism.
Give different motivation for terrorism.
"To what extent does realist theory help to explain the incidence of international terrorism?"
I took the following definition of realism from the website below.
REALISM - The principle actors are states, personified unitary rational actors whose behaviour is determined by the structure of international anarchy. World politics is a self-help system involves a struggle for power between states in the pursuit of their national interests. Diplomacy is one instrument for gaining a state's objectives, but ultimately the key instrument is military force.
I believe that realism has some obvious drawbacks in terms of explaining international terrorism, but it can explain certain elements.
Obviously, realist thought is state-centric and so it tends to overemphasize the role of states when compared to NGO's and other non-state actors - and international terrorist organizations are non-state actors that have had tremendous influence on the international system.
Realist thought also focuses on "rational" action in support of rationally defined interests. Generally speaking, this is certainly true of actors - state and non-state. Even in the case of international terrorism, this is often true. The IRA or the Basque terrorist movement are good examples of seemingly rational actors. Some international terrorist groups, however, are not so neatly defined. Indeed, terrorist groups that embrace radical interpretations of fundamentalist Islam can be described as irrational actors. Many of their members seemed determined to seek martyrdom and it seems to many that winning the struggle, is less important than the struggle itself. After all, such individuals are convinced they are holy warriors doing God's will. Death is to be sought in the service of Allah.
Realism can, however, go a ...
The solution provides an extensive discussion on the topic of terrorism, realism and the motivation behind international terrorism as it relates to power.