In his article “On Systemic Paradigms and Domestic Politics,” Kevin Narizny criticizes neoclassical realism for incorporating domestic variables that are inconsistent with realist assumptions.1 Below, I argue that Narizny's understanding of realism is flawed and that his recommendation that realists should either say little about state preferences or abandon realism altogether is misplaced (pp. 188–190).

To begin, Narizny claims that absence of functional differentiation means that states have the same preferences (p. 162). Absence of functional differentiation means that the international division of labor pales compared to the division of labor within states. Every state strives to perform the same functions: every state has an army, police, schools, and so on. Only in this limited sense are states “like...

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