Realism in International Relations: An Islamic Critique


  • Jiraroj Mamadkul The Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, Rangsit University


International Relations, Realism, Islam


Objective The study aims to shed light on similarities and differences between realism and Islam in terms of their epistemology, methodology, and relevant concepts such as human nature, state in the anarchic international system, and power.

Methodology This study utilizes a qualitative research approach. Data are mainly taken from relevant literature and books. The analysis is conducted by comparing realism and Islam on the related epistemological and methodological constructs.  

Research Finding This research argues that Islam and realism fundamentally differ on epistemological and methodological aspects. Realism is posited in line with the positivistic approach that rejects value as part of scientific inquiry. However, it has been argued by Muslim scholars that they are not value-free. Islam, on the contrary, accepts value as an essential part of knowledge and science taken from revelation sources (the Qur’an and Sunnah) and gives equal importance to rationality as a complementary method to comprehend the revelation and vice versa.

Application The study shows some relevance between realism and Islam. The study is useful for general readers and researchers who are interested in Islamization of social science in general and international relations in particular. The result demonstrates a clearer understanding of their similarities and differences.


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How to Cite

Mamadkul, J. (2022). Realism in International Relations: An Islamic Critique. Journal of Islamic Studies, Prince of Songkla University, 13(1), 151–169. Retrieved from



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