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The neoclassical realist approach considers systemic stimuli (independent), and leader images, strategic culture, state-society relations, and domestic institutions (intervening) as the variables of an explanatory model of foreign policy and international outcomes (dependent variable).
Starting from the central assumptions of Ethology and Classical Élites Theory with the purpose of delimitating the agent – the geopolitical agent or the foreign policy executive – this paper aims to reinforce the importance of the intervening variables geopolitical agent’s perceptions and capacities in shaping the geopolitical design and other foreign policy outcomes. The true core of the paper is to expand the scope of geopolitical studies by including the methodological task of studying the geopolitical agent’s perceptions and capacities. In doing so, the matter directly relates to the analysis of both (i) how the geopolitical agent can perceive the geographical space (Raumsinn), and (ii) what can be the geopolitical agent’s capacities in managing resources assigned to the foreign policy.
The purpose of the paper is then threefold: (i) conceptual – because it deals with definition of terms and their differentiation, (ii) theoretical – since the paper intends to review the neoclassical realist approach and merge it with geopolitical studies trying to forge a joint approach, and (iii) methodological – as it provides methodological guidelines about the new framework.
Therefore, the paper brings the innovation of including insights of the neoclassical realist intervening variables into the geopolitical studies’ framework for a more accurate and enhanced scope of geopolitical analysis in the future.
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- This paper is an updated and extended version of the conference paper ‘The role of élites in geopolitical studies,’ presented at the 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts, in Vienna, on the 20th March 2018. ; Full bibliographic reference: Nuno Morgado, ‘The role of élites in geopolitical studies,’ in 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts, Volume 5, Issue 1.1. (Sofia: SGEM, 2018), 765-772. DOI 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/11/S12.0972018
- Vide: (1) Nuno Morgado, ‘Geopolitical Design and the ‘Sense of Space’ – methodological cores in Geopolitical Studies,’ in SGEM Vienna Hofburg, Book 2 Political Sciences, Law, Finance, Economics & Tourism, Volume I Political Science (Sofia: SGEM International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences & Arts, 2016); (2) the author’s PhD thesis ‘Towards the New World Order? A geopolitical study of Neo-Eurasianism and Meridionalism,’ Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague; (3) Nuno Morgado, ‘Theoretical fundaments and methodological guidelines in Neoclassical Geopolitics’ (paper presented at The International Political Science Association 25th World Congress of Political Science, Brisbane, Australia, 25th July 2018) pp. 23 available at: https://wc2018.ipsa.org/events/congress/wc2018/paper/theoretical-fundaments-and-methodological-guidelines-neoclassical
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- This idea was also developed in the literature in political science. For instance: Vilfredo Pareto, Trattato Di Sociologia Generale (Charleston: Nabu Press, 2010); Gaetano Mosca, Elementi di Scienza Politica (Torino: Fratelli Bocca Editori, 1923); Robert Michels, Para uma Sociologia dos Partidos Políticos na Democracia Moderna, trans. José M. Justo (Lisboa: Antígona, 2001); Wright C. Mills, The Power Elite (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966);
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- This refers to getting familiarized with ‘systemic stimuli’, the independent variable of neoclassical realism, and the general predictions of the theory – vide: Norrin M. Ripsman, Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, and Steven E. Lobell, Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 33-57.
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- Using the same terminology than Norrin M. Ripsman, Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, and Steven E. Lobell, Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 61-66.
- In case that foreign policy is not conduct primarily for electoral purposes, a dangerous option that will create instability.
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- Jerrold Post has an interesting chapter introducing this technique - Audie Klotz and Deepa Prakash, ed., Qualitative Methods in International Relations – A Pluralist Guide (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 131-150.
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- Bessa extended the scope of the topic much beyond the limits of this paper, giving examples of sickness, old age, pusillanimity or cowardice, bravery – António Marques Bessa, O Olhar de Leviatã – Uma Introdução à Política Externa dos Estados Modernos (Lisboa: Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, 2012), 118-119.
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- This working paper was presented at the University of West Bohemia with the title ‘Conservative or far-right: examining the ideology of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro,’ in Critiques of Liberalism and Challenges to Democracy: Understanding the Conservative Standpoint; Research Workshop – COST Action CA 16211 RECAST / Working Group 2: Languages and Ideologies, University of West Bohemia, Pilsen, Czech Republic, 15th February 2019.
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- Norrin M. Ripsman, Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, and Steven E. Lobell, Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 34.
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