The Wartime struggle of Grigore Gafencu: Idealism vs. Realism
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Grigore Gafencu was born on 30 January 1892 and died on 30 January 1957, and is mostly remembered as being the most pro-Western Minister of Foreign Affairs in Romania around the period of the beginning of the Second World War. The change of political regimes that took place after 1989 undoubtedly brought about his rehabilitation and allowed the celebration of this personality from interwar Romania who had once been shunned and officially sentenced. The purpose of the present work is to explore the extent to which Grigore Gafencu can be considered either an idealist or a realist according to international relations theory. Due to his democratic convictions he has often been portrayed as an idealist. The author makes his argument by first briefly presenting the most common characteristics of idealism and realism as described by the most prominent international relations theorists. Realism and idealism (also called utopianism or liberal internationalism), represent the traditional schools of international relations theory, especially when referring to the interwar period. Realism holds the interest of the state as the strongest determinant in international relations, which are supposed to be characterised by anarchy and struggles for power. Idealism is generally based on the belief in a natural harmony between states that can be maintained by international laws and institutions (such as the League of Nations).
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