MEANING, NATURE, SCOPE AND APPROACHES TO INTERNATIONAL POLITICSMeaning______________________________________________________________________
The study of relations among nations has fascinated scholars for several centuries. However, theterm
was first used by Jeremy Bantham in the latter part of the eighteenth century,although its Latin equivalent
was used a century earlier by Rijchare Zouche. Both of them had used this term in respect
that branch of law which was called law of nations, whichlater became 'International Law'. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, internationalrelations have grown rapidly. Today nation-states have become far too interdependent; andrelations among them whether political or those related to trade and commerce, have developedinto an essential area of knowledge. In this unit, we are mainly concerned with the politicalrelations among sovereign societies called nations, or nation-states. No nation is an island. Because domestic policies are constantly affected by developmentsoutside, nations are compelled to (rather than sit on the fence or out-rightly isolate themselves)enter into dialogue with target or initiating entities or form alliance(s) for the purpose of enhancing theirstatus quo, or increasing their power or prestige and survival in' the internationalsystem. Because international relations is in transition following emerging realities in theinternational system, it has become complex and even more difficult arriving at a moreuniversally acceptable definition of the subject. But this is not peculiar to international relationsas there are more intense disagreements over the definition of political sciences itself. Nevertheless scholars have persisted in their attempt to defineinternational relations.
International Relations and International politics___________________________________
In most cases international relations and international relations are interchangeably found to have been used. The first Chair in
was established at the university of Wales. (U.K) in 1919. The first two occupants of the chair were eminent historians, ProfessorsAlfred Zin~merna nd C.K. Webster. At that time, International Relations as a subject was littlemore than diplomatic history. During the next seven decades thissubject has changed in natureand content. Today the analytical study of politics has
replaced descriptive diplomatic history.The term
is now used
for the new discipline that has been emerging sincethe second world war. It is more scientific, yet narrow, as compared to
The two terms are even now sometimes used as synonyms. But, they have two distinctareas, or content, of study.
believes that "the core of international relations isinternational politics", but a clear distinction between the two is to be made. InternationalRelations, according to him, is much wider in scope than International Politics. Whereas politicsamong nations is, as Morgenthau says, struggle for power, international relations includes political, economic and cultural relations.
Harold and Margaret Sprout
opine that internationalrelations include all human behaviour on one s~d eof a national boundary affecting the human