Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 4. Power Politics Realists believe world politics is always and necessarily a field of conflict among nations pursuing wealth and power, and nations desire power to ensure self-preservation. Realists believe that there are no universal principles that can be used to guide the behaviors of all nations. Instead, a nation must be constantly aware of the acts of its neighboring countries and take a pragmatic approach to resolve problems as they emerge. A lack of trust in each other's motives leads to mistrust and competition between nations. Realism does not favor any particular moral philosophy, nor does it consider ideology to be a major factor in the behavior of nations. However, realists are generally critical of liberal foreign policy, which we will discuss later in this video. Some figures frequently cited as realists include Thucydides, Niccol Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Max Weber.