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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


someone who practises or believes in realpolitik
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet he was also a realist and Realpolitiker, with a capacity to weigh alternatives in the crisis of 1926 that distinguished him from many of those on his board, half of whom were clergy.
Morgenthau, The Concept of the Political 39-40 (Hartmut Behr & Felix Rosch eds., Maeva Vidal trans., Palgrave Macmillan 2012) (1933) (discussing the mistaken embrace of Morgenthau as a Realpolitiker based on a narrow slice of his writing).
However, ever the Realpolitiker, Kissinger tirelessly argued for a German role in the world that was in accordance with its economic, military, and political might.
Forty years later, despite their much-vaunted and self-proclaimed reputation as practitioners of realism, there were few Realpolitiker in the chancelleries and foreign ministries of the powers manipulated and played against each other by Milosevic.
Bratianu was considered a Realpolitiker. (20) He was dubbed as such by one of his political opponents, Alexandru Vaida-Voevod, the leader of the Romanian National Party of Transylvania (RNP) and a former close associate of Prime Minister Bratianu's at the Paris Peace Conference from 1919, as the country's second delegate to the peace talks.
While he seems disgusted with the social order of which he is a part and possesses a clear-eyed estimation of its failings (it is "diabolic," "satanic," a "collective madness" [8]), yet he also seems to critique the necessary failure of idealists from the viewpoint of a resigned realpolitiker. For now, though, let it suffice that the specter of Darwinian ethics is raised and set against concrete biopolitical issues.
Discussions of foreign policy always liven up a realpolitiker, even if he's not living.
Bruce the realpolitiker saw from the start that a 'non-universalist' League could not make sanctions work, but also that they had to be seen to be tried.
The Estonians, however, did not fall victim to the false promise of revolutionary socialism because "the Estonian is by nature conservative, a sober empiricist and a Realpolitiker," who would not let himself be seduced by the "fantastic utopia" of social democracy in contrast to the "fanciful" and easily "adaptable" Latvian.