Date: 10 Rabbi al-Awwal 1444   Wednesday 05 October 2022

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Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber, late ruler of Kuwait, School of International Relations (2)

15:28 20 October 2020 Author :  

Realism & Idealism Approach

The approach of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, May Allah have mercy on him, is a new experiment that combined two schools of international relations. The "realist school" and "the ideal school", the ideal school established by the American president, "Woodrow Wilson" after the First World War, which established fourteen principles of international peace, and focused on the importance of promoting the positivity that the policy maker, wants locally in his country and having a reflective image towards other countries. For example, local peace requires a trend towards international and global peace in relations with other countries, and it is an extension of the moral idealism advocated by the Enlightenment thinkers, as the international struggle tends a lot against the principles of reason, and depends on the positive intentions of states.

As for the realistic approach in the international relations, it centers on the selfish interests of the state, in order not to make this interest subject to other states. This requires the enforcement of interests by force. Therefore, this accelerates the process of stimulation towards building military power and alliances to reap special interests. Thus, each country seeks to maximize its own strength or to re-center it with balanced forces that support it regionally and internationally, and this is what makes countries with comparative powers superior to others. Hence, the principle of balance of forces in the bipolar system was established. As for the existence of the unipolar system, it will make the world different in its interests and will increase the regional and international warfare. The most important theorists of this school are U S political thinkers, such as Edward Hallett, Hallett Carr, Hans Morgenthau, and Reinhold Niebuhr.

I believe that Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has established a theory of work in international relations that stems from the fact that the State of Kuwait is a small state. The state’s population does not exceed 4 million people residing on its land. Its geographical borders do not exceed 17,818 km². It depends on one source of income, which is oil production, which constitutes 80% of the state's revenue. The theory also relies on the fact that the State of Kuwait is of a flat nature, and there are no natural features to protect the state. It has closed marine borders at the end of the Strait of Hormuz, and there are no water sources such as rivers or lakes. Sheikh Sabah also based his theory on international relations on the basis that Kuwait is located between three major countries. These countries (Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia) have a population density and a strategic nature that has a strong geopolitical weight enables them to resolve any conflict by occupying the State of Kuwait in case of any strategic disagreement, as happened in past centuries. Iraq, as known, occupied Kuwait in 1990. Therefore, adopting a political approach in international relations achieves self-interests while promoting international and regional understanding towards ideal principles in the midst of changes and transformations of an international and regional conflict. The approach of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad's administration to international relations could aptly achieve this.

This blending of the realistic and the idealistic schools is the "realist-idealism" theory established by Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, may Allah have mercy on him, and which, if continued, Kuwait would remain an ideal center for international and regional relations. Kuwait will continue to pay attention to its interests, watch the regional and international reality carefully, and cautiously avoid the explosives of international politics without falling into its traps, and encourage the practice and application of ideal principles that achieve the interests of all.

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