Summarize “The Realist Theory in Dr. Strange Love” Essay in 2000 Words
Dr. Strange Loveis the film of choice for this film review assignment, and this paper connects this movie to the realist International Relations (IR) theory. This paper will follow the following structure. A Summary of the movie Dr. Strange love is followed by a breakdown of what the realist IR theoryis and its significance to this movie. It will then connect the movie Dr. Strangelove to the zombie in politics from the Realist perspective that was cover in this course. Then finish off by explaining what this film says about IR in terms of whether IR is still merely the relationship between states. The movie Dr. Strangelove will be used to provide a summary of the movie, followed by, Tim, Dunne and Brian C. Schmidt. “6. Realism.” Politics Trove, article to analyze the concept of Realism in relations to this film. To breakdown the theory of realism farther as it relates to the movie and connects it to the topic of zombies in politics, Drezner, Daniel W’s book Theories of “International Politics and Zombies, chapter five: The Realpolitik of the living dead” is used. Boyer, Paul S. Article “‘Dr. Strangelove’ at 40: The Continuing Relevance of the Cold War Cultural Icon” is used in conjunction with Friedman, Thomas L‘s article “Rethinking Foreign Affairs: Are They Still a U.S. Affair?” to provide understanding of the shared views about the cold war in the United States and the significance that IR started to play after the cold war for the United States.
International relations are appropriate way of maintaining international relation by strengthening culture and developing society. Dr. Strange’s movie is about pushing wrong button by wrong person. The movie indicates the importance of cold war in USA and related significance of international relations after world war for United States1. Dr. Strange has shown clearly different themes on the basis of warfare as well as power and culture of large number of militaries and mindsets as well as importance of patriotism at the time of cold war. Cold war has been the reason of high impact of Berlin crisis as well as crisis of cuban Missile. For the purpose of justifying action against Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), B-52 bomb squad has been followed in the following movie. This is because of trying to deliver package at the time of war. However president of United States, Merkin Muffley and Russian president have tried to prevent delivery process of bomb squad. Due to which, idea regarding nuclear attacks and explosion of bomb have been depicted significantly. The movie is based on different aspects such as structural realism as well as proper maintenance of self interest and management over ethical procedures. Based on which, security of state can be maintained effectively2.
General Jack Ripper stated that “ I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids”3.
The process in which President Merkin and Premier Dmitri go through to stop these nuclear attacks is depicted in a lighthearted manner not to take away from the seriousness of it all but high light the confusing indirect nature that surrounded that time that was only perpetuating a fear atmosphere. In the end, only one of the bombs was unstoppable but it did not hit its initial intended target area, leaving viewers to determine whether the crisis was averted or not.
2. Summary of one of IR theories
Realism is key concept of international relation theory based on which security system of state can be maintained effectively. Realism is generally set of theories based on international relations which clearly demonstrate role of different state and interest of nation and power of military department in case of global politics. International relations is the significant aspect in context of maintaining international relation by establishing strong relationship with different state of a country so as to get assistance at the time of facing war4. After war, dependency upon international relations is enhanced significantly due to overcoming different challenging situation such as finance crisis over country. Realism deals about human rights as well as global poverty
It can be demonstrated that state security and concept of realism are based on survival as well as maintaining security of state called as state help and statism. Based on which, significant strategy regarding the way of maintaining international relations after world war can be taken effectively. Realism in international relations is generally utilized into different segments such as semantic realism and realism type of metaphysical based on which information regarding right of human being and individual state of country can be gathered significantly5. It has been essential part of international relation due to addressing different factors such as influence of people as well as different multinational corporations and international organizations all over the world. In the following case, US are being threatened by USSR which is generally considered as rising power.
The Theory applied to this film is Realism. In all forms of realism, there are 3elements that are mostly Involved, statism6, survival7and self-help8 or maintain state security. It concludes that power and maintaining power is the central most important element in ensuring state security and reaming the most powerful state also known as the hegemon state.
Realism was selected as the theory to apply because this film in many ways shows what can arise when a hegemon, in this case, the (US) is feeling threatened by a state that is considered a rising power (USSR), and decides to react aggressively using nuclear force in hopes of ensuring that they remain the hegemon state, and instilling a leave of fear in any other state thinking of revolting against them. Another form of realism that is portrayed in this film is liberal realism9between the United States president and the Russian premier Dmitri. Once the US president Merkin was made aware of the situation that general Jack Ripper had created he immediately sot to compose a joint counteractive plan to diffuse the bombs and prevent the potential threat of a nuclear war providing full disclosure to the Russian premier and agreeing to do whatever is required to reach a state of peace and rectifying the situation which would be a liberal realist approach to the situation.
Main actors in the film
Main actors of the following movie include General Jack Ripper and executive officer named Mandrake along with president of USA and Russia. Russian president and American president both have been tried to prevent nuclear explosion and bomb squad with the aid of collaborating each other. General Jack Ripper has taken decision regarding diffusion of bombs which has been major potential threat for two countries10. Due to which, main actor of the film can be selected as Jack Ripper.
b. Main sources of power
Main source of power has been identified as decision taken by General Ripper who has been declared to destroy USSR by taking advantage of nuclear explosion and stopping spread of different communist ideas into USA. This has been selected as hard power due to taking strong action and strategic decision on the basis of maintaining international relations. On the other hand, soft power has been selected as decision taken by president of USA Merkin due to sending invitation card to Russian ambassador11. This has been identified as key gesture of collaboration.
However, film shows maintenance of realist position of ensuring the security of his state by talking to Premier Dimitri out of releasing his dumb day device on America.
C. Preferred tools
President Merkin reinstated this logic of appropriateness by stating that “it is the avowed policy of our nation never to strike first with nuclear weapons! “(Dr.Strangelove movie.2018) when general Buck Turgidson was trying to insinuate that working with the communist state was not within the best interest of the American people, reinstating that there are rules and procedure that are in place to maintain a balance and level of peace between states, even though General Ripper had violated this rule.
d. Used IR logics
Both IR logics are used in the film12, the logic of consequence as well as the logic of appropriateness. The logic of consequence meaning if one thing happens then the other must follow13 occurred when Russian premier Dimitri heard about the unprovoked nuclear attack from the United States. Logic of consequences and appropriateness has been used for the purpose of maintaining international relations. Logic of consequence indicates chances of occurrence is high due to occurring consequently of different incidents. At the time of hearing from Russian president Dmitri regarding nuclear attack, statement regarding war has been declared from USA14. On the other hand, logic of appropriateness indicates rule and strategic action can be taken at certain circumstances. Based on which, possible chances of occurring incidence can be reduced significantly. It can be discussed that logic of appropriateness has been used in the film due to maintaining sustainable balance and keeping internal peace between different states of a particular nation.
4. Statement of the film
Tying the movie in to the concept of realism and zombies in politics, Daniel W. Dresdner in chapter 5 talks about how “all realists start with a common assumption that anarchy meaning a lack of centralized, legitimate authority, is the overarching constraint of world politics”15stressing the importance of power in “preventing other states from coercion while being able to influence other states”16 , Dresdner applies the same logic to there being a zombie apocalypse, showing that a realist state would react similarly if they were a hegemon state given that zombies lack the intellectual capacity that would facilitate negotiating tactics between them and state leaders and so the state would be forced to use their power and military might to control, or remove the zombie issue17. This logic arguably was the driving force behind general Ripper’s actions as well, he believed that there was no use in trying to change the communist ideology that the USSR believed and that communist ideologies such as eliminating private property ownership rights, would threaten the fundamental structure of the united states capitalist freedom to accumulate wealth and property beliefs. Failing which itwas his responsibility to stop it from infiltrating the people of the United States andthe state structures.
Relations of states
The movie clearly shows that in case of maintaining internal relationship between different states, chances of occurring war can be reduced significantly. Showing respect and communicating with neighboring state in case of facing challenging situation are significant aspects in context of maintaining international relations. Thus, it is clear that with the aid of adopting strategy regarding realism such as providing basic right to human being and collaborating each other can be reason of reducing chances of occurring cold war. In the film, different challenging situation regarding conflict between governing body and regulation authority has been raised. Thus, it can be mentioned that president of Russia and USA could consider avoidance of conflict situation by solving problem and mutually understanding the fact. In case of avoiding conflict situation, both of them can be able to reduce chances of occurring cold war18. The film has clearly pointed out importance of international relations which is needed for maintaining economic and social balance based on which development of country can be processed significantly. Strong collaboration between different NGOs and multinational corporations are essential for enhancing economic condition based on which societal development can be possible. Consideration of social and technological as well as economical factors is significant aspects in context of maintaining sustainable balance of international relation. International relations is the significant aspect in context of maintaining international relation by establishing strong relationship with different state of a country so as to get assistance at the time of facing war19.
The movie has shown major point related to significance of state to state collaboration and maintenance of internal culture based on which cold war can be prevented. Based on collaborative work, planning regarding nuclear explosion and operation of bomb squad can be destroyed.
The question of whether the term international relations should be modified in include non-state actors as it relates to this movie is a difficult question to answer, simply because the states involved (US) (Russia) in the movie could somewhat contain the problem amongst themselves. However, when looking at international relations in today’s modern society, based on what has been covered in class there is an argument that can be made to expand the definition to include and highlight the influence that non-state actors such as IGO’s like United Nations, NGO’s like the Red Cross, and large corporations like Apple have on state interactions, as it relates to things such as economic policies agreements.
Dr. Strangelove Movie (1964)
Posted (2018, April 11). Retrieved February 2, 2019, from
To provide a summary of the movie
Dunne, Tim, and Brian C. Schmidt. “6. Realism.” Politics Trove, 2017, pp. 86–98., doi:10.1093/hepl/9780198739852.003.0006.
Offenberger, Bryce “Classical Realism (2)”, PowerPoint side, 2019, slide.1-39.
To breakdown the theory of realism
Bell, D. Political realism and international relations. Philosophy Compass, vol.12, no. 2, Dec. 2017. pp.32-39.
Political realism and international realism
Boyer, Paul S. “‘Dr. Strangelove’ at 40: The Continuing Relevance of the Cold War Cultural Icon.” Arms Control Association, vol. 34, no. 10, Dec. 2004, pp. 46–48., www.jstor.org/stable/23627447
To help provide a breakdown of the movie and explain the significance of this move to IR theory and societal outlook on the cold war
Drezner, Daniel W. Theories of International Politics and Zombies. Princeton University Press, 2015.
To connect the theory of realismand this movie to the zombie concept in politics that we are covering in class.
Ebert, Rodger. Dr Strangelove Summary. https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-dr-strangelove-1964. 28 March 2019.
Friedman, Thomas L. “Rethinking Foreign Affairs: Are They Still a U.S. Affair?” New York Times, 7 Feb. 1992.
To breakdown the shared views about the cold war in the US
1 Boyer, Paul S. “‘Dr. Strangelove’ at 40: The Continuing Relevance of the Cold War Cultural Icon.” Arms Control Association, vol. 34, no. 10, Dec. 2004, pp. 46–48., www.jstor.org/stable/23627447
2 Drezner, Daniel W. Theories of International Politics and Zombies. NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015.
3 Ebert, Rodger. Dr Strangelove Summary. https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-dr-strangelove-1964. 28 March 2019.
4 Statism: is the idea that the state is the legitimate representative of the collective will of the people. (Tim Dunne, pg.87)
5 Self-help: is ensuring that your state needs are meat first, and is the principle of action in an anarchical system where there is no global government (Tim Dunne, pg.87)
6Statism: is the idea that the state is the legitimate representative of the collective will of the people. (Tim Dunne, pg.87)
7Survival: isremaining the most dominant state is the pre-eminent goal in order to survive in international politics and against other state actors. (Tim Dunne, pg.94)
8Self-help: is ensuring that your state needs are meat first, and is the principle of action in an anarchical system where there is no global government (Tim Dunne, pg.87)
9: meaning the state of war can be mitigated to keep the status quo intact using diplomatic ventures. (Bryce Offenberger, classical Realism PowerPoint slid:39)
10 Bell, D. Political realism and international relations. Philosophy Compass, vol.12, no. 2, Dec. 2017. pp.32-39.
11 Dr. Strangelove. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
12 Dr. StrangeloveHow I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
13 “Ife X then Y” applying the logic of game theory (Bryce, PowerPoint, slid:9)
14 The book: “Theories of International Politics and Zombies” Revised Edition (2015)
15The book: “Theories of International Politics and Zombies” Revised Edition (2015, pg.37)
16 Dr. StrangeloveHow I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
17 The book: “Theories of International Politics and Zombies” Revised Edition (2015)
18 Dr. Strangelove. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
19Bell, D. Political realism and international relations. Philosophy Compass, vol.12, no. 2, Dec. 2017. pp.32-39.
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