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A usually expansionist national policy having as its sole principle advancement of the national interest.

[German : real, practical (from Late Latin reālis, real; see real1) + Politik, politics (from French politique, political, policy; see politic).]

re·al′po′li·tik′er n.


(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a ruthlessly realistic and opportunist approach to statesmanship, rather than a moralistic one, esp as exemplified by Bismarck
[C19: German: politics of realism]


(reɪˈɑlˌpoʊ lɪˌtik, ri-)

(often cap.) political realism or practical politics, esp. policy based on power rather than ideals.
[1910–15; < German, =real real1 + Politik politics, policy; see politic]


realism in politics, especially policies or actions based on considerations of power rather than ideals.
See also: Politics


1. A German word meaning politics of realism, used to mean a cynical policy of pursuing a state’s own interests.
2. An approach to politics that is not idealistic but ruthlessly opportunistic, especially in advancing the interests of a country.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.realpolitik - politics based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations
political science, politics, government - the study of government of states and other political units
References in periodicals archive ?
A weekly column for the Daily Telegraph on the life of an inmate might not be worth the Au275,000 annual stipend he now receives for his musings on the working of real politik in the UK.
One may disagree with his interpretations; he may also be found laying emphasis on events of lesser significance or attributing more to those which in fact are not of that importance, yet he remains in the world of real politik.
It was not a tolerance of diversity but celebration of diversity coming from rulers who were fascinating, multifaceted characters, highly educated, masters of real politik. They were also connoisseurs of all arts with an extraordinary talent to create great beauty.'
Para expertos como Edgardo Buscaglia, esta es una cuestion mas de "real politik", y no tanto de ideologia o cuestiones religiosas.
India had used real politik and the promise of economic deals to impose a virtual 'gag order' on key Western capitals from speaking out against the atrocities being committed by the Indian occupation forces in Kashmir, he added.
Sardar Patel has been recorded in history as a harsh and hard-core realist against lofty ideals, a man of real politik. Still he was an uncompromising Gandhian.
But after judge Chaudhry's exit, Mr Sharif got a fresh dose of real politik in Pakistan.
The Ukrainian crisis has since witnessed the arrival of "realists" of the "real politik" school who have undertaken the task of clarifying events in a country for which they are indifferently equipped.
However, here, too, "real politik" has put a dampener on development when economic land concessions were banned from May 2012.
Therefore, if the govt has withdrawn its invocation of Article 245, it is a real politik decision.
Last but not the least, the firm words from US President Barack Obama that the ISIS could pose a threat eventually to American interests as well has stirred an unending debate of new alliances on the stage of real politik.
La doctora Rodriguez reconoce el peso de la real politik, y nadie como ella sabe que Estados Unidos es un caso excepcional de exito como nacion pujante y poderosa, sobre todo en aquellos anos.