Rozhkov Alexander

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  • 4, 2019

    • Interests and Ideals: Redefining Political Realism

      Abstract. Despite the widespread use of the term “national interests” in the media and academia, researchers and experts still cannot come to a consensus on its meaning. Political realists equate national interests with the states’ aspiration for power and security, liberals — with the will of citizens, constructivists — with a rhetorical tool that legitimizes foreign policy decisions of governments. The variety of approaches to defining national interests, as well as the presence of a significant number of criteria, leads to the erosion of this concept.

      According to the author, the described situation is rooted in the contradiction between the subjective interpretation of national interests by the ruling elite and the objective needs of the population of the respective countries. He sees the key to solving this problem in introducing an “ideal” — the concept that connects the interests of the elite and population, emphasizing that it is due to the support of the masses of the ideal elaborated by the elites that one can talk about national interests as a single whole.

      On the basis of the psychoanalytic analysis of the “I-ideal” and its influence on mass consciousness, the author shows that turning to the concept of an ideal not only removes the main contradiction in the definition of national interests in political realism, but also opens the way to effectively promote them in the long term. An ideal that is correctly formulated removes the tough confrontation between the interests of the ruling elites and the masses, creates conditions for stabilizing the situation within the country and allows the authorities to pursue an innovative policy without fear of slipping into chaos and conflict.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2019-95-4-39-52

      Pages: 39-52