Realist theories the following key assumption: 1 The international system is anarchic. There is no authority above state capable of regulating their interactions: states must arrive at relation with other state on their own, rather than it being dictated to them by some other higher controlling entity.
2 Soverign states are the principal actors in the international system and the social attention is afforded to great power as they have most leverage on the international stage. International instituttion, non-govermental ornanization , multinational co-operation individuals and sub-states or trans state actors are viewed as having littel independent influence.
3. Staes are rational unitary actors each moving towards their national interest. There is a general distrust for long term co-operations or alliance
4. The over ridding nationa interst of the state is its national security and survival
5. In pursit of natioanl security the state strive to amass resources
6. Relation betweeen the states are determined by their comparitive level of power derived preliminary from their military and economic capabilities
7. Their are no universal principles that all states can use to guide their actions . Instead a state must be ever aware of the actions of the states around it and must use pragmatic approach to resolve the problem that arise
8. the injection of molarity into international relations cause reckless commitment s, diplomatic rigidity , and escalation of conflict. In summary , realist belive that mankind is not inherintly benevolent but rather self centered and competitive. this Hobbesisan perspective which views human as selfish and conflictual unless given appropriate conditions under which to cooperate, contrast with approach of librealism of internationqal relations. Furthe rhtey belive that states are inherently aggresive and obssessed with security and territorial expansion is only constrained by opposing power .
This aggresive build up how ever leads to security delemma where increasing one's security can bring along greater instability as the opponent builds up its own arms in in response. Thus security is azero sum game where only relative gains can be made.