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Appeared to change its historical unified situation with Egypt assessing the downstream benefits and risks of the GERD. This could be understandable for the great need of Sudan to the generated electricity from the Ethiopian dam, specially after the separation of South Sudan where most of oil resources exist, beside expanding its irrigated agriculture due to the dam’s regulation of river flows (Samaan, 2014).
During the impounding period of GERD, the water level of HAD will decrease. Decrease in the reservoir level has impact on the energy generation, that is, energy will decrease by 9.2 percent as compared to current situation. There will be no impacts of GERD on HAD in irrigation water demand requirements. Reservoirs in Sudan will not be affected during filling of GERD. Since these reservoirs have less storage capacity, they are minimally subject to shortages due to the high flows in the current scenario. Due to this, they release little water in the dry months and the energy production is less as compared to the future scenario where GERD is completed and fully operational. During the impounding of GERD, the amount of energy in the Eastern Nile will increase by 50 percent (Mulat, Moges & Ibrahim, 2014).
As this chapter will later discuss the theoretical perspective of realism in international relations it is useful to first clarify and understand what realism is and what its applications are. Doing this will add coherency to the analysis this study offers of realism’s application to the case study of GERD and the issues surrounding it.
Realism is a school of thought in international relations theory, Although a highly diverse body of thought, it can be thought of as unified by the belief that world politics ultimately is always and necessarily a field of conflict among actors pursuing power. Crudely, realists are of three kinds in what they take the source of ineliminable conflict to be. Classical realists believe that it follows from human nature, neorealists focus upon the structure of the anarchic state system, and neoclassical realists believe that it is a result of a combination of the two and certain domestic variables. Realists also disagree about what kind of action states ought to take to navigate world politics, dividing between, although most realists fall outside the two groups, defensive realism and offensive realism. Regardless of which definition is used, the theories of realism revolve around four central propositions (Goodin, 2010).
Firstly, The international system is anarchic. This means no actor exists above states, capable of regulating their interactions; states must arrive at relations with other states on their own, rather than it being dictated to them by some higher controlling entity. Therefore, the international system exists in a state of constant antagonism. Secondly, states are the most important actors. This is in comparison to international institutions such as the United Nations. Thirdly, all states within the system are unitary, rational actors. This means states tend to pursue self-interest. It also means groups strive to attain as many resources as possible. Finally, the primary concern of all states is survival. This leads to states building up military to survive. This may lead to a security dilemma (Donnelly, 2008).
Realism is often associated with Realpolitik as both are based on the management of the pursuit, possession, and application of power. Realpolitik, however, is an older prescriptive guideline limited to policy-making such as foreign policy, while realism is a particular paradigm, or wider theoretical and methodological framework, aimed at describing, explaining and, eventually, predicting events in the international relations domain. The theories of Realism are contrasted by the cooperative ideals of liberalism (Williams, 1989).
In summary, realists think that mankind is not inherently benevolent but rather self-centered and competitive. This perspective, which is shared by theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, views human nature as egocentric. This does not mean they are not necessarily selfish. Hobbes also believes humans are conflictual unless there exist conditions under which humans may coexist (Oldemeinen, 2010).
It is also disposed of the notion that an individual’s intuitive nature is made up of anarchy. In regards to self-interest, these individuals are self-reliant and are motivated in seeking more power. They are also believed to be fearful. The state emphasizes an interest in accumulating power to ensure security in an anarchic world. Power is a concept primarily thought of in terms of material resources necessary to induce harm or coerce other states such as to fight and win wars (Ashley 1981).
The use of power places an emphasis on coercive tactics being acceptable to either accomplish something in the national interest or avoid something inimical to the national interest. The state is the most important actor under realism. It is unitary and autonomous because it speaks and acts with one voice. The power of the state is usually understood in terms of its military capabilities (Goodin, 2010). A key concept under realism is the international distribution of power referred to as system polarity. Polarity refers to the number of blocs of states that exert power in an international system. A multipolar system is composed of three or more blocs, a bipolar system is composed of two blocs, and a unipolar system is dominated by a single power or hegemon. Under unipolarity realism predicts that states will band together to oppose the hegemon and restore a balance of power. Although all states seek hegemony under realism as the only way to ensure their own security, other states in the system are incentivised to prevent the emergence of a hegemon through balancing (Evans & Newnham, 1998).
States employ the rational model of decision making by obtaining and acting upon complete and accurate information. The state is sovereign and guided by a national interest defined in terms of power. Since the only constraint of the international system is anarchy, there is no international authority and states are left to their own devices to ensure their own security (Burchill & Linklater, 2013). Realists believe that sovereign state are the principal actors in the international system. International institutions, non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, individuals and other sub-state or trans-state actors are viewed as having little independent influence. States are inherently aggressive, this is offensive realism, or obsessed with security, this is defensive realism), and that territorial expansion is only constrained by opposing powers. This aggressive build-up, however, leads to a security dilemma whereby increasing one’s security may bring along even greater instability as an opposing power builds up its own arms in response, this is an arms race. Thus, security becomes a zero-sum game where only relative gains can be made (Evans & Newnham, 1998).
Realists believe that there are no universal principles with which all states may guide their actions. Instead, a state must always be aware of the actions of the states around it and must use a pragmatic approach to resolve problems as they arise (Donnelly, 2008). As realism is a very old political theory it has garnered substantial criticism over time. Democratic peace theory advocates also that realism is not applicable to democratic states’ relations with each another, as their studies claim that such states do not go to war with one another (Russett, 1994).
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