III. Contextual Filling: 10%
The new realism, in contrast to the old, begins by proposing a solution to the problem of
distinguishing factors internal to international political systems from those that are external.
Theory isolates one realm from others in order to deal with it intellectually. By depicting an
international political system as a whole, with structural and unit levels at once distinct and
connected, neorealism establishes the ___(31)____ of international politics and thus makes a
theory possible. Neorealism develops the concept of a system’s structure which at once
___(32)____ the domain that students of international politics deal with and enables them to see
how the structure of the system affect the interacting units and the outcomes they produce.
The concept of structure is based on the fact that units differently juxtaposed and combined
behave differently and ___(33)___ produce different outcomes. International structures are
defined, first, by the ordering principle of the system, in our case anarchy, and second, by the
distribution of capabilities across units. In an anarchic realm, structures are defined in terms of
their major units. International structures vary with significant changes in the number of great
powers. Great powers are marked off from others by the combined capabilities they __(34)____.
When their number changes ___(35)____, the calculations and behaviors of states, and the
outcomes their interactions produce, vary.
The idea that international politics can be thought of as a system with a precisely defined
structure is neorealism’s fundamental departure from traditional realism. The sparseness of the
definition of international structure has attracted criticism. Robert Keohane asserts that
neorealist theory “can be modified progressively to attain closer ___(36)____ with reality.” In
the most sensitive and insightful essay on neorealism that I have read, Barry Buzan asks
whether the logic of neorealism completely captures “the main features of the international
political system.” He answers this way:
“The criticisms of Ruggie, Keohane, and others suggest that it does not, because their
concerns with factors such as dynamic density, information richness, communication facilities,
and ___(37)____ do not obviously fit into Waltz’s ___(38)____ ‘systemic’ theory.”
The “factors” mentioned by Buzan would not fit into any theory. Can one imagine how
demographic trends, information richness and international institutions could be thrown into a
theory? No theory can contain these “factors,” but if a theory is any good, it helps us to
understand and explain them, to estimate their significance and to gauge their effects. Moreover,
any theory leaves some things unexplained.
To achieve “closeness of fit” would ___(39)____ theory. A theory cannot fit the facts or
correspond with the events it seeks to explain. The ultimate closeness of fit would be achieved
by writing a finely detailed description of the world that interests us. Nevertheless, neorealism
continues to be criticized for its omissions. A theory can be written only by leaving out most
matters that are of practical interest. To believe that listing the omissions of a theory
____(40)___ a valid criticism is to misconstrue the theoretical enterprise.
(AB). as such
(DE). in interacting
(ABC). in retrospect
(CDE). such like