HOME
        TheInfoList






In 2012 alone, the Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, hosted more than 10,000 intergovernmental meetings. The city hosts the highest number of International organizations in the world.[1]
The field of international relations dates from the time of the Greek historian Thucydides.

Normativity

IR theories can be categorised on the basis of normativity. In line with the is–ought problem, non-normative empirical theories seek to explain why certain events or trends exist in world politics (what the world is), whereas The history of international relations is generally traced back to the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 in Europe, a stepping stone in the development of the modern state system. During the preceding Middle Ages, European organization of political authority was based on a vaguely hierarchical religious order. Contrary to popular belief, Westphalia still embodied layered systems of sovereignty, especially within the Holy Roman Empire.[4] More than the Peace of Westphalia, the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 is thought to reflect an emerging norm that sovereigns had no internal equals within a defined territory and no external superiors as the ultimate authority within the territory's sovereign borders. These principles underpin the modern international legal and political order.

The period between roughly 1500 to 1789 saw the rise of independent, sovereign states and the institutionalization of diplomacy and the military. The French Revolution contributed the idea that the citizenry of a state, defined as the nation, that were sovereign, rather than a monarch or noble class. A state wherein the nation is sovereign would thence be termed a nation-state, as opposed to a monarchy or a religious state; the term republic increasingly became its synonym. An alternative model of the nation-state was developed in reaction to the French republican concept by the Germans and others, who instead of giving the citizenry sovereignty, kept the princes and nobility, but defined nation-statehood in ethnic-linguistic terms, establishing the rarely if ever fulfilled ideal that all people speaking one language should belong to one state only. The same claim to sovereignty was made for both forms of nation-state. In Europe today, few states conform to either definition of nation-state: many continue to have royal sovereigns, and hardly any are ethnically homogeneous.

The particular European system supposing

The period between roughly 1500 to 1789 saw the rise of independent, sovereign states and the institutionalization of diplomacy and the military. The French Revolution contributed the idea that the citizenry of a state, defined as the nation, that were sovereign, rather than a monarch or noble class. A state wherein the nation is sovereign would thence be termed a nation-state, as opposed to a monarchy or a religious state; the term republic increasingly became its synonym. An alternative model of the nation-state was developed in reaction to the French republican concept by the Germans and others, who instead of giving the citizenry sovereignty, kept the princes and nobility, but defined nation-statehood in ethnic-linguistic terms, establishing the rarely if ever fulfilled ideal that all people speaking one language should belong to one state only. The same claim to sovereignty was made for both forms of nation-state. In Europe today, few states conform to either definition of nation-state: many continue to have royal sovereigns, and hardly any are ethnically homogeneous.

The particular European system supposing the sovereign equality of states was exported to the Americas, Africa, and Asia via colonialism and the "standards of civilization". The contemporary international system was finally established through decolonization during the Cold War. However, this is somewhat over-simplified. While the nation-state system is considered "modern", many states have not incorporated the system and are termed "pre-modern".

Further, a handful of states have moved beyond insistence on full sovereignty, and can be considered "post-modern". The ability of contemporary IR discourse to explain the relations of these different types of states is disputed. "Levels of analysis" is a way of looking at the international system, which includes the individual level, the domestic state as a unit, the international level of transnational and intergovernmental affairs, and the global level.

What is explicitly recognized as international relations theory was not developed until after World War I, and is dealt with in more detail below. IR theory, however, has a long tradition of drawing on the work of other social sciences. The use of capitalizations of the "I" and "R" in international relations aims to distinguish the academic discipline of international relations from the phenomena of international relations. Many cite Sun Tzu's The Art of War (6th century BC), Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War (5th century BC), Chanakya's Arthashastra (4th century BC), as the inspiration for realist theory, with Hobbes' Leviathan and Machiavelli's The Prince providing further elaboration.

Similarly, liberalism draws upon the work of Kant and Rousseau, with the work of the former often being cited as the first elaboration of democratic peace theory.[5] Though contemporary human rights is considerably different from the type of rights envisioned under natural law, Francisco de Vitoria, Hugo Grotius and John Locke offered the first accounts of universal entitlement to certain rights on the basis of common humanity. In the 20th century, in addition to contemporary theories of liberal internationalism, Marxism has been a foundation of international relations.

IR theories can be categorised on the basis of normativity. In line with the is–ought problem, non-normative empirical theories seek to explain why certain events or trends exist in world politics (what the world is), whereas normative theories are concerned with the events or trends that should exist (what the world ought to be) and how to make ethical judgements accordingly.[6] Smith, Baylis & Owens (2008) make the case that the normative position is to make the world a better place, and that this theoretical worldview aims to do so by being aware of implicit assumptions and explicit assumptions that constitute a non-normative position and align or position the normative towards the loci of other key socio-political theories such as political liberalism, Marxism, political constructivism, political realism, political idealism and political globalization.[7]

Epistemology

IR theories are also roughly divided into one of two epistemological camps: "positivist" and "post-positivist". Positivist theories aim to replicate the methods of the natural sciences by analyzing the impact of material forces. They typically focus on features of international relations such as state interactions, size of military forces, and balance of powers. Post-positivist epistemology rejects the idea that the social world can be studied in an objective and value-free way. It rejects the central ideas of neo-realism/liberalism, such as rational choice theory, on the grounds that the scientific method cannot be applied to the social world and that a "science" of IR is impossible.[citation needed]

A key difference between the two positions is that while positivist theories, such as neo-realism, offer causal explanations (such as why and how power is exercised), post-positivist theories focus instead on constitutive questions, for instance what is meant by "power"; what makes it up, how it is experienced and how it is reproduced. Often, post-positivist theories explicitly promote a normative approach to IR, by considering ethics. This is something which has often been ignored under "traditional" IR as positivist theories make a

IR theories are also roughly divided into one of two epistemological camps: "positivist" and "post-positivist". Positivist theories aim to replicate the methods of the natural sciences by analyzing the impact of material forces. They typically focus on features of international relations such as state interactions, size of military forces, and balance of powers. Post-positivist epistemology rejects the idea that the social world can be studied in an objective and value-free way. It rejects the central ideas of neo-realism/liberalism, such as rational choice theory, on the grounds that the scientific method cannot be applied to the social world and that a "science" of IR is impossible.[citation needed]

A key difference between the two positions is that while positivist theories, such as neo-realism, offer causal explanations (such as why and how power is exercised), post-positivist theories focus instead on constitutive questions, for instance what is meant by "power"; what makes it up, how it is experienced and how it

A key difference between the two positions is that while positivist theories, such as neo-realism, offer causal explanations (such as why and how power is exercised), post-positivist theories focus instead on constitutive questions, for instance what is meant by "power"; what makes it up, how it is experienced and how it is reproduced. Often, post-positivist theories explicitly promote a normative approach to IR, by considering ethics. This is something which has often been ignored under "traditional" IR as positivist theories make a distinction between "facts" and normative judgments, or "values". During the late 1980s and the 1990s, debate between positivists and post-positivists became the dominant debate and has been described as constituting the Third "Great Debate" (Lapid 1989).

Realism focuses on state security and power above all else. Early realists such as E. H. Carr and Hans Morgenthau argued that states are self-interested, power-seeking rational actors, who seek to maximize their security and chances of survival.[8] Cooperation between states is a way to maximize each individual state's security (as opposed to more idealistic reasons). Similarly, any act of war must be based on self-interest, rather than on idealism. Many realists saw World War II as the vindication of their theory.

Realists argue that the need for survival requires state leaders to distance themselves from traditional morality. Realism taught American leaders to focus on interests rather than on ideology, to seek peace through strength, and to recognize that great powers can coexist even if they have antithetical values and beliefs.[9]

History of the Peloponnesian War, written by Thucydides, is considered a foundational text of the realist school of political philosophy.[10] There is debate over whether Thucydides himself was a realist; Ned Le

Realists argue that the need for survival requires state leaders to distance themselves from traditional morality. Realism taught American leaders to focus on interests rather than on ideology, to seek peace through strength, and to recognize that great powers can coexist even if they have antithetical values and beliefs.[9]

History of the Peloponnesian War, written by Thucydides, is considered a foundational text of the realist school of political philosophy.[10] There is debate over whether Thucydides himself was a realist; Ned Lebow has argued that seeing Thucydides as a realist is a misinterpretation of a more complex political message within his work.[11] Amongst others, philosophers like Machiavelli, Hobbes and Rousseau are considered to have contributed to the Realist philosophy.[12] However, while their work may support realist doctrine, it is not likely that they would have classified themselves as realists in this sense. Political realism believes that politics, like society, is governed by objective laws with roots in human nature. To improve society, it is first necessary to understand the laws by which society lives. The operation of these laws being impervious to our preferences, persons will challenge them only at the risk of failure. Realism, believing as it does in the objectivity of the laws of politics, must also believe in the possibility of developing a rational theory that reflects, however imperfectly and one-sidedly, these objective laws. It believes also, then, in the possibility of distinguishing in politics between truth and opinion—between what is true objectively and rationally, supported by evidence and illuminated by reason, and what is only a subjective judgment, divorced from the facts as they are and informed by prejudice and wishful thinking.

Placing realism under positivism is far from unproblematic, however. E. H. Carr's "What is History" was a deliberate critique of positivism, and Hans Morgenthau's aim in "Scientific Man vs Power Politics" was to demolish any conception that international politics/power politics can be studied scientifically. Morgenthau's belief in this regard is part of the reason he has been classified as a "classical realist" rather than a realist.

Major theorists include E. H. Carr, Robert Gilpin, Charles P. Kindleberger, Stephen D. Krasner, Hans Morgenthau, Samuel P. Huntington, Kenneth Waltz, Stephen Walt, and John Mearsheimer.

According to liberalism, individuals are basically good and capable of meaningful cooperation to promote positive change. Liberalism views states, nongovernmental organizations, and intergovernmental organizations as key actors in the international system. States have many interests and are not necessarily unitary and autonomous, although they are sovereign. Liberal theory stresses interdependence among states, multinational corporations, and international institutions. Theorists such as Hedley Bull have postulated an international society in which various actors communicate and recognize common rules, institutions, and interests. Liberals also view the international system as anarchic since there is no single overarching international authority and each individual state is left to act in its own self-interest. Liberalism is historically rooted in the liberal philosophical traditions associated with Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant that posit that human nature is basically good and that individual self-interest can be harnessed by society to promote aggregate social welfare. Individuals form groups and later, states; states are generally cooperative and tend to follow international norms.[13]

Liberal international relations theory arose after World War I in response to the inability of states to control and limit war in their international relations. Early adherents include Woodrow Wilson and Norman Angell, who argued that states mutually gained from cooperation and that war was so destructive as to be essentially futile.[14]

Liberalism was not recognized as a coherent

Liberal international relations theory arose after World War I in response to the inability of states to control and limit war in their international relations. Early adherents include Woodrow Wilson and Norman Angell, who argued that states mutually gained from cooperation and that war was so destructive as to be essentially futile.[14]

Liberalism was not recognized as a coherent theory as such until it was collectively and derisively termed idealism by E. H. Carr. A new version of "idealism" that focused on human rights as the basis of the legitimacy of international law was advanced by Hans Köchler.

Major theorists include Montesquieu, Immanuel Kant, Michael W. Doyle, Francis Fukuyama, and Helen Milner.[15]

Neoliberalism seeks to update liberalism by accepting the neorealist presumption that states are the key actors in international relations, but still maintains that non-state actors (NSAs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) matter. Proponents argue that states will cooperate irrespective of relative gains, and are thus concerned with absolute gains. This also means that nations are, in essence, free to make their own choices as to how they will go about conducting policy without any international organizations blocking a nation's right to sovereignty. Neoliberal institutionalism, an approach founded by Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, emphasize the important role of international institutions in maintaining an open global trading regime.

Prominent neoliberal institutionalists are John Ikenberry, Robert Keohane, and Joseph Nye.

Regime theory

Prominent neoliberal institutionalists are John Ikenberry, Robert Keohane, and Joseph Nye.

Regime theory is derived from the liberal tradition that argues that international institutions or regimes affect the behaviour of states (or other international actors). It assumes that cooperation is possible in the anarchic system of states, indeed, regimes are by definition, instances of international cooperation.

While realism predicts that conflict should be the norm in international relations, regime theorists say that there is cooperation despite anarchy. Often they cite cooperation in trade, human rights and collective security among other issues. These instances of cooperation are regimes. The most commonly cited

While realism predicts that conflict should be the norm in international relations, regime theorists say that there is cooperation despite anarchy. Often they cite cooperation in trade, human rights and collective security among other issues. These instances of cooperation are regimes. The most commonly cited definition of regimes comes from Stephen Krasner, who defines regimes as "principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actor expectations converge in a given issue-area".[16]

Not all approaches to regime theory, however, are liberal or neoliberal; some realist scholars like Joseph Grieco have developed hybrid theories which take a realist based approach to this fundamentally liberal theory. (Realists do not say cooperation never happens, just that it is not the norm; it is a difference of degree).

Social constructivism encompasses a broad range of theories that aim to address questions of ontology, such as the structure-and-agency debate, as well as questions of epistemology, such as the "material/ideational" debate that concerns the relative role of material forces versus ideas. Constructivism is not a theory of IR in the manner of neo-realism, but is instead a social theory which is used to better explain the actions taken by states and other major actors as well as the identities that guide these states and actors.

Constructivism in IR can be divided into what Ted Hopf (1998) calls "conventional" and "critical" constructivism. Common to all varieties of constructivism is an interest in the role that ideational forces play. The most famous constructivist scholar, Alexander Wendt, noted in a 1992 article in International Organization —and later in his 1999 book Social Theory of International Politics—that "anarchy is what states make of it". By this he means that the anarchic structure that neo-realists claim governs state interaction is in fact a phenomenon that is socially constructed and reproduced by states.

For example, if the system is dominated by states that see anarchy as

Constructivism in IR can be divided into what Ted Hopf (1998) calls "conventional" and "critical" constructivism. Common to all varieties of constructivism is an interest in the role that ideational forces play. The most famous constructivist scholar, Alexander Wendt, noted in a 1992 article in International Organization —and later in his 1999 book Social Theory of International Politics—that "anarchy is what states make of it". By this he means that the anarchic structure that neo-realists claim governs state interaction is in fact a phenomenon that is socially constructed and reproduced by states.

For example, if the system is dominated by states that see anarchy as a life or death situation (what Wendt terms a "Hobbesian" anarchy) then the system will be characterized by warfare. If on the other hand anarchy is seen as restricted (a "Lockean" anarchy) then a more peaceful system will exist. Anarchy in this view is constituted by state interaction, rather than accepted as a natural and immutable feature of international life as viewed by neo-realist IR scholars.

Prominent social constructivist IR scholars are Rawi Abdelal, Michael Barnett, Mark Blyth, Martha Finnemore, Ted Hopf, Kathryn Sikkink and Alexander Wendt.

Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories of IR reject the realist/liberal view of state conflict or cooperation; instead focusing on the economic and material aspects. It makes the assumption that the economy trumps other concerns, allowing for the elevation of class as the focus of study. Marxists view the international system as an integrated capitalist system in pursuit of capital accumulation. Thus, colonialism brought in sources for raw materials and captive markets for exports, while decolonialization brought new opportunities in the form of dependence.

A prominent derivative of Marxian thought is critical international relations theory which is the application of "critical theory" to interna

A prominent derivative of Marxian thought is critical international relations theory which is the application of "critical theory" to international relations. Early critical theorists were associated with the Frankfurt School, which followed Marx's concern with the conditions that allow for social change and the establishment of rational institutions. Their emphasis on the "critical" component of theory was derived significantly from their attempt to overcome the limits of positivism. Modern-day proponents such as Andrew Linklater, Robert W. Cox and Ken Booth focus on the need for human emancipation from the nation-state. Hence, it is "critical" of mainstream IR theories that tend to be both positivist and state-centric.

Further linked in with Marxist theories is dependency theory and the core–periphery model, which argue that developed countries, in their pursuit of power, appropriate developing states through international banking, security and trade agreements and unions on a formal level, and do so through the interaction of political and financial advisors, missionaries, relief aid workers, and MNCs on the informal level, in order to integrate them into the capitalist system, strategically appropriating undervalued natural resources and labor hours and fostering economic and political dependence.

Marxist theories receive little attention in the United States. It is more common in parts of Europe and is one of the more important theoretic contributions of Latin American academia to the study of global networks.[citation needed]

Feminist IR considers the ways that international politics affects and is affected by both men and women and also at how the core concepts that are employed within the discipline of IR (e.g. war, security, etc.) are themselves gendered. Feminist IR has not only concerned itself with the traditional focus of IR on states, wars, diplomacy and security, but feminist IR scholars have also emphasized the importance of looking at how gender shapes the current global political economy. In this sense, there is no clear cut division between feminists working in IR and those working in the area of International Political Economy (IPE). From its inception, feminist IR has also theorized extensively about men and, in particular, masculinities. Many IR feminists argue that the discipline is inherently masculine in nature. For example, in her article "Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals" Signs (1988), Carol Cohn claimed that a highly masculinized culture within the defence establishment contributed to the divorcing of war from human emotion.

Feminist IR emerged largely from the late 1980s onwards. The end of the Cold War and the re-evaluation of traditional IR theory during the 1990s opened up a space for gendering International Relations. Because feminist IR is linked broadly to the critical project in IR, by and large most feminist scholarship have sought to problematize the politics of knowledge construction within the discipline – often by adopting methodologies of deconstructivism associated with postmodernism/poststructuralism. However, the growing

Feminist IR emerged largely from the late 1980s onwards. The end of the Cold War and the re-evaluation of traditional IR theory during the 1990s opened up a space for gendering International Relations. Because feminist IR is linked broadly to the critical project in IR, by and large most feminist scholarship have sought to problematize the politics of knowledge construction within the discipline – often by adopting methodologies of deconstructivism associated with postmodernism/poststructuralism. However, the growing influence of feminist and women-centric approaches within the international policy communities (for example at the World Bank and the United Nations) is more reflective of the liberal feminist emphasis on equality of opportunity for women.

Prominent scholars include Carol Cohn, Cynthia Enloe, Sara Ruddick, and J. Ann Tickner.

International society theory, also called the English School, focuses on the shared norms and values of states and how they regulate international relations. Examples of such norms include diplomacy, order, and international law. Unlike neo-realism, it is not necessarily positivist. Theorists have focused particularly on humanitarian intervention, and are subdivided between solidarists, who tend to advocate it more, and pluralists, who place greater value in order and sovereignty. Nicholas Wheeler is a prominent solidarist, while Hedley Bull and Robert H. Jackson are perhaps the best known pluralists.

Post-structuralist theories

Post-structuralism theories of international relations developed in the 1980s from postmodernist studies in political science. Post-structuralism explores the deconstruction of concepts traditionally not problematic in IR (such as "power" and "agency") and examines how the constru

Post-structuralism theories of international relations developed in the 1980s from postmodernist studies in political science. Post-structuralism explores the deconstruction of concepts traditionally not problematic in IR (such as "power" and "agency") and examines how the construction of these concepts shapes international relations. The examination of "narratives" plays an important part in poststructuralist analysis; for example, feminist poststructuralist work has examined the role that "women" play in global society and how they are constructed in war as "innocent" and "civilians". (See also feminism in international relations.) Rosenberg's article "Why is there no International Historical Sociology"[17] was a key text in the evolution of this strand of international relations theory. Post-structuralism has garnered both significant praise and criticism, with its critics arguing that post-structuralist research often fails to address the real-world problems that international relations studies is supposed to contribute to solving.

Leadership theories

Interest group theory posits that the driving force behind state behaviour is sub-state interest groups. Examples of interest groups include political lobbyists, the military, and the corporate sector. Group theory argues that although these interest groups are constitutive of the state, they are also causal forces in the exercise of state power.

Strategic perspective

Strategic perspective is a theoretical approach that views individuals as choosing their actions by taking into account the anticipated actions and responses of others with the intention of maximizing their own welfare.[18]

[18]

Inherent bad faith modelThe "inherent bad faith model" of information processing is a theory in political psychology that was first put forth by Ole Holsti to explain the relationship between John Foster Dulles' beliefs and his model of information processing.[19] It is the most widely studied model of one's opponent.[20] A state is presumed to be implacably hostile, and contra-indicators of this are ignored. They are dismissed as propaganda ploys or signs of weakness. Examples are John Foster Dulles' position regarding the Soviet Union, or Israel's initial position on the Palestinian Liberation Organization.[21]

Levels of analysis

Systemic level concepts

Preceding the concepts of interdependence and dependence, international relations relies on the idea of sovereignty. Described in Jean Bodin's "Six

Preceding the concepts of interdependence and dependence, international relations relies on the idea of sovereignty. Described in Jean Bodin's "Six Books of the Commonwealth" in 1576, the three pivotal points derived from the book describe sovereignty as being a state, that the sovereign power(s) have absolute power over their territories, and that such a power is only limited by the sovereign's "own obligations towards other sovereigns and individuals".[22] Such a foundation of sovereignty is indicated by a sovereign's obligation to other sovereigns, interdependence and dependence to take place. While throughout world history there have been instances of groups lacking or losing sovereignty, such as African nations prior to decolonization or the occupation of Iraq during the Iraq War, there is still a need for sovereignty in terms of assessing international relations.

Power