Power and Narcists – Ideal Types of States Based on Their Sources of National Power, Extraction Capability and Foreign Policy Behaviour

Mateusz Z. Filary-Szczepanik


This paper aims at problematizing this distinction between status quo and revisionist/imperialist states by creating a typology of four kind of states: imperialist, status quo, young and old narcist state. The text will proceed in three sections that: 1) problematises the contemporary realist theorising; 2) reconstructs Morgenthau’s notions of sources of national and political power, ideal types of foreign policy and the character of political community and its interest; 3) presents the four ideal types of states. This typology, based on analyticist metatheory and deeply inspired by Hans Morgenthau’s thought, aims at solving problems with neorealist, and neoclassical realist theorising. Based on such non-positivist metatheory, and thus closer to the classical realist roots, it omits the offensive/defensive neorealist assumption about states motivation. By explicitly combining the three historically bound qualities of states –their sources of national power, extraction capability and foreign policy behaviour it transcends the problems with weak causal linkages between state level variables present in neoclassical realism. Hence, it exemplifies the approach to general theory-building that is practically viable for explicitly exerting normative judgement, also from the perspective non great power state actors – the consistent weakness of mainstream, contemporary realist theorising.

Słowa kluczowe: classical realism, neorealism, neoclassical realism, analyticism, ideal types of states, extraction capability, power, sources of power, foreign policy behaviour

Alexandroff, A.S., Cooper, A.F. (eds.) (2010). Rising States, Rising Institutions: Challenges to the Global Governance. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

Aron, R. (2017 [1966]). Peace & War: A Theory of International Relations. New York: Routledge.

Blanchard, J.-M.F., Ripsman, N.M. (2008). “A Political Theory of Economic Statecraft”. Foreign Policy Analysis, 4(4), pp. 371–398.

Bull, H. (1977). The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics. London: Macmillan.

Chotiner, I. (2022), “Why John Mearsheimer Blames the US for the Crisis in Ukraine”, https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/why-john-mearsheimer-blames-the-us-for-the-crisis-in-ukraine (accessed: 17.06.2022).

Cooley, A., Nexon, D., Ward, S. (2019). “Revising Order or Challenging the Balance of Military Power? An Alternative Typology of Revisionist and Status-quo States”. Review of International Studies, 45(4), pp. 689–708.

Cox, R. (1981). “Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory”. Millennium, 10(2), pp. 126–155.

Dafoe, A., Renshon, J., Huth, P. (2014). “Reputation and Status as Motives for War”. Annual Review of Political Science, 17(1), pp. 371–393.

Davidson, J.W. (2006). The Origins of Revisionist and Status-quo States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dunne, T., Schmidt, B.C. (2014). “Realism”. In: J. Baylis, S. Smith, P. Owens (eds.). Globalisation of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Filary-Szczepanik, M. (2019). Anarchia i dyscyplina: Rzecz o realistycznych teoriach stosunków międzynarodowych Hansa Morgenthaua i Kennetha Waltza. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Akademii Ignatianum w Krakowie.

Gilpin, R. (1981). War and Change in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Guzzini, S. (1993). “Structural Power: The Limits of Neorealist Power Analysis”. International Organization, 47(3), pp. 443–478.

Hollis, M., Smith, S. (1990). Explaining and Understanding International Relations. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Jackson, P.T. (2011). The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations. Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for the Study of World Politics. New York: Routledge.

Kennedy, P. (1988). The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. London: Unwin Hyman.

Kissinger, H. (1994). Diplomacy. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Kozub-Karkut, M. (2020). Realizm neoklasyczny w perspektywie teorii stosunków międzynarodowych i polityki zagranicznej. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.

Kozub-Karkut, M., Filary-Szczepanik, M. (2022). “The Orchard of Neoclassical Realism –Weathered Three, a Graft or a Seedling?”. Politeja, 2(77), pp. 329–355.

Krasner, St. (1983). International Regimes. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Legro, J.W., Moravcsik, A. (1999). “Is Anybody Still a Realist?”. International Security, 24(2), pp. 5–55.

Lobell, St.E., Ripsman, N.M., Taliaferro, J.W. (2009). Neoclassical Realism, the State, and the Foreign Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mearsheimer, J.J. (2001). The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: Norton.

Moravcsik, A. (1997). “Taking P Seriously: A Liberal Theory of International Politics”. International Organization, 51(4), pp. 513–553.

Morgenthau, H.J. (2006 [1948]). Politics among Nations: Struggle for Power and Peace. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Narizny, K. (2017). “On Systemic Paradigm and Domestic Politics”. Security Studies, 42(2), pp. 155–190.

Paul, V.T, Welch-Larson, D., Wholeforth, W.C. (eds.) (2014). Status in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pugacewicz, T. (2015). „Wytyczne dla polskiej polityki zagranicznej: Spojrzenie z perspektywy teorii realizmu”. Knowledge and Politics blog, http://knowledgeandpolitics.pl(accessed: 29.03.2022).

Pugacewicz, T. (2017). Teorie polityki zagranicznej: Perspektywa amerykańskiej analizy polityki zagranicznej. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.

Quinn, A. (2013). “Kenneth Waltz, Adam Smith, and the Limits of Science: Hard Choices for Neoclassical Realism”. International Politics, 50(2), pp. 159–182.

Renshon, J. (2016). “Status Deficits and War”. International Organization, 70(3), pp. 513–550.

Ripsman, N.M., Taliaferro, J., Lobell, St.E. (2016). Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rose, G. (1998). “Neoclassical Realism and Theories of Foreign Policy”. World Politics, 51(1), pp. 144–172.

Rosenau, J.N. (1966). “Pre-theories and Theories and Foreign Policy”. In: R.B. Farrell (ed.). Approaches to Comparative and International Politics. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Schweller, R.L. (1998). Deadly Imbalances: Tripolarity and Hitler’s Strategy of World Conquest. New York: Columbia University Press.

Schweller, R.L. (2006). Unanswered Threats: Political Constraints on the Balance of Power. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Schweller, R.L. (2014). Maxwell’s Demon and the Golden Apple: Global Discord in the New Millennium. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Sears, N.A. (2017). “The Neoclassical Realist Research Program: Between Progressive Promise and Degenerative Dangers”. International Politics Reviews, 5, pp. 21–31.

Smith, S. (1986). “Theories of Foreign Policy: An Historical Overview”. Review of International Studies, 12(1), pp. 13–29.

Sun Lee, D. (2008). Power Shifts, Strategy and War: Declining States and International Conflict. New York: Routledge.

Taliaferro, J.W. (2004). Balancing Risk: Great Power Intervention in the Periphery. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Thucydides (2009). Peloponnesian War. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Toje, A. (2010), “The European Union as a Small Power”. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 49(1), pp. 43–60.

Walt, St.M. (1987). The Origins of Alliances. New York: Cornell University Press.

Waltz, K.N. (1959). Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press.

Waltz, K.N. (1979). Theory of International Politics. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Wandycz, P. (2003). Pax Europea: Dzieje systemów międzynarodowych w Europie 1815–1914. Kraków: Arcana.

Ward, S. (2017). Status and the Challenge of Rising Powers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wendt, A. (1999). Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wight, M. (1966). “Western Values in International Relations”. In: H. Butterfield, M. Wight (eds.). Diplomatic Investigations: Essays in the Theory of International Politics. London: Allen and Unwin.

Wodak, R. (2014). Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge.

Wohlforth, W.C. (1993). The Elusive Balance: Power and Perceptions during the Cold War. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Wojciuk, A. (2010). Dylemat potęgi. Praktyczna teoria stosunków międzynarodowych. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Zakaria, F. (1998). From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America’s World Role. Princeton: Princeton University Press.