RealpolitikRealpolitik (literally meaning practical politics) is the practice of politics independent of moral or ethical considerations, usually for the advancement of the national interests of a country.
One of the most famous proponents was Niccolo Machiavelli, best known for his Il Principe (The Prince). Machiavelli held that the sole aim of a prince was to seek power, regardless of religious or ethical concerns.
In the "realist school" of Anglo-Saxon Political Science of the late 20th century this term is mostly used as a synonym of power politics. The policy of Realpolitik was introduced to the Nixon White House by Henry Kissinger. In this context, the policy meant dealing with other powerful nations in a practical manner, i.e. diplomacy with the People's Republic of China rather than containment.