Realpolitik (German: [ʁeˈaːlpoliˌtiːk]; from German real 'realistic, practical, actual', and Politik 'politics') is the approach of conducting diplomatic or political policies based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than strictly following explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism. It is often simply referred to as pragmatism in politics, e.g. "pursuing pragmatic policies" or "realistic policies".
While generally used as a neutral or positive term, Realpolitik is sometimes also used pejoratively to imply political policies that are perceived as being coercive, amoral, or Machiavellian. Prominent proponents of Realpolitik during the 20th century include Henry Kissinger, George F. Kennan, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, as well as politicians such as Charles De Gaulle and Lee Kuan Yew.