The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Scott Romaniuk, Manish Thapa, Péter Marton

State-Centric Paradigm

  • Suzette A. HaughtonEmail author
Living reference work entry


The state-centric realist paradigm is considered the most dominant theoretical tradition within the discipline of International Relations. Prior to the post-1980s, it dominated security studies and the execution of states’ international statecraft. It determined states’ priorities and national security interests and shaped their relationships with each other. States and state actors’ behaviors were guided by realist notions, and it was explicated by Barry Buzan as having a timeless wisdom as its relevance is ever present in governmental activities and the behaviors of state representatives. Despite the strengths of realism, its flaws in the era of globalization are multiple and overlapping. Given global forces, scholars have raised questions about the dominance of the state as the main actor in international affairs and about the centrality of the state-centric realist paradigm in contemporary security studies and practice. The weaknesses in the state-centric paradigm have...


Realism State State centric Neorealism Critical security studies 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of the West Indies, Mona CampusKingstonJamaica