Grand Strategy and Theory There Essay

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With the widening of economic interdependence and spread of democratic norms, liberalism envisions a slow journey away from the realists' vision. Liberalists do not view a state as a single actor in war, but rather as a coalition of coalitions that is representing different individuals and groups. Limitations of state power, rule of law, transparency of democratic and government processes will make it easier for the sustenance of international cooperation.

In terms of security, liberalists differ from realists as they not only view it in military terms, but also as the promotion and protection of individual rights. In the fight on terrorism, the liberal approach would emphasize on application of legal instruments instead of military force. The liberal approach to the United States war on terrorism would involve issues like organized crime and its potential for creating terrorists.

This would be in contrast to the realist approach of force on the state where terrorists come from. Analyzing organized crime would allow for the discovery of links between terrorism and organized crime. This liberal approach would reduce the use of force and instead push for the investigation of how terrorists are crossing borders and the influence they have on other criminals.

The fight on terrorism has been successful due to the use of military force. Using liberalism theories, the United States would not have attacked terrorists as it would have been infringing on the rights of the individuals. Protection of individual rights would not have facilitated the successful fight on terrorism. The use of force has resulted in civilian casualties, which could have been avoided had the liberalism theory been adopted. The liberalist theory would have required that as military force is used consideration for the civilians should be considered. There should be a promotion and protection of individual rights.


Constructivism has gained prominence in international relations debates especially in recent years. Constructivism is a more contemporary strand of idealism. The constructivist theory promotes the use of identities and ideas, but it should be noted that the constructivist approach is quite diverse and does not offer a single prediction to any of the issues.

Constructivists take a state and regard it based on its identities and interests thus creating a highly malleable product. They do not just assume a state seeks to survive. Constructivists emphasize on how ideas are created, how they shape a states understanding, how they evolve, and how states respond situations

Having debates in regards to people's ideas allow individuals to become more powerful as they attempt to convince others into adopting their ideas.

Using debates one can show how the realist approach to anarchy fails to explain the reasons for conflicts. The reason for conflicts is based on the different understandings of anarchy. Constructivism theory gives meaning to intentions and situations. It is quite true that the security dilemma is not reduced by constructivism, but it does reduce the uncertainty of security. This is true especially in the fight on terrorism. If the United States can understand why the terrorist attack the country, it can reduce the uncertainty of these attacks. Once they understand the terrorist's interests, and identities it would be easier to embrace new ideas in the fight against terrorism instead of just using force. Liberalism and realism cannot explain why certain events take place, but constructivism is able to anticipate and explain the reasons.


Grand strategy provides a state with the opportunity of creating strategic road maps that can be used to persuade citizens. The grand strategy should be clearly communicated and explanations provided. This will ensure that all individuals understand it and can agree with the strategy. The grand strategy should incorporate the three main theories of realism, liberalism, and constructivism. Combining these theories will provide the state with resources that are beneficial from the different theories. The theories have different views, but those views are dependent on the different situations a state might find itself. The best theory would be liberalism. This is because it allows a state to not only use force, but seek other ways to deal with war. It also encourages cooperation amongst the various states.


Drezner, Daniel W. "Does Obama Have a Grand Strategy? Why We Need Doctrines in[continue]

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