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Theories in International Relations

Theories in International Relations



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Theories in International Relations

Edited from 'A Brief Guide to Theories in International Relations',
copyright Roni Linser , Department of Political Science University of


The principle actors are states, personified unitary rational actors whose behaviour is determined by the structure of international anarchy. World politics is a self-help system involves a struggle for power between states in the pursuit of their national interests. Diplomacy is one instrument for gaining a state's objectives, but ultimately the key instrument is military force.

There are traditional realist theories (see Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations), neo-realist theories
(Waltz, Theory of International Politics), and soft (institutionalist) realist theories (Bull,The
Anarchical Society)

Liberalism covers a fairly broad perspective ranging from Wilsonian Idealism through to contemporary neo-liberal theories and the democratic peace thesis. Here states are but one actor in world politics, and even states can cooperate together through institutional mechanisms and bargaining that undermine the propensity to base interests simply in military terms. States are interdependent and other actors such as Transnational Corporations, the IMF and the United Nations play a role.

Some texts: Relevant chapters in David A. Baldwin (ed), Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The
Contemporary Debate, and C. Kegley (ed) Controversies in International Relations: Realism and
the Neoliberal Challenge.

Critical theory posits that all theories are for someone and for some purpose. Critical theorists seek to demonstrate the connection between knowledge and practice, fact and value, and make connections between the knower and the known. Recognising knowledge is not neutral but constitutive of interests the objective is to provide a critique of traditional problem-solving positivism with a commitment to emancipation and new forms of international community conducive to freedom, cooperation, and peace.

See the works of Andrew Linklater (e.g., 'The Achievements of Critical Theory', in Steve Smith,
Ken Booth, and Marysia Zalewski (eds), International Theory: Positivism and Beyond).

One of the main assumptions of a constructivist approach is that identities, norms, and culture play important roles in world politics. Identities and interests of states are not simply structurally determined, but are rather produced by interactions, institutions, norms, cultures. It is process, not structure, which determines the manner in which states interact.

See Alexander Wendt, 'Anarchy is What States Make of It', International Organisation, 46/2, 1992.

There is a number of feminist approaches to World Politics, but all share the assumption that gender is important and it makes a difference that men, not women, have written the main theories and been in control of policy-making. Realism, for example, is seen as a gendered theory, written by men to describe an aggressive world of states controlled by men. Most feminist theories of world politics share the assumption that the world would be a less competitive and less violent place if women gained dominance in positions of power (state power and relating to knowledge).

See A. Tickner, Gender in International Relations, Columbia UP, 1992, and M. Zalewski, 'Feminist
Theory and IR', in M. Bowker and R. Brown (eds), From Cold War to Collapse: Theory and World
Politics in the 1980s, CUP, 1993.

Edited from 'A Brief Guide to Theories in International Relations',
copyright Roni Linser , Department of Political Science University of

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International relations(IR) is anacade mic An academic \u2013 a member of academia \u2013 is a person who

works as a researcher (and usually teacher) at a university or similar institution. In the United States, the term is approximately synonymous with professor. In the United Kingdom, varius titles are used, typically fellow, lecturer, reader and professor. In other parts of the world, the term scholar is probably closer.

..... Click the link for more information.and public policy
General Definition

According to an academic-type definition, public policy is the study of effective policy making by
governments. This raises the question of what "effective" means in this context. Of course, people of
different political persuasions have varying ideas about the proper purpose of government. Some
would say that the goal of public policy is to identify and act upon the behavior of groups of human
beings; and that usually the actor is a government, and its usual goals are to increase the wealth and
power of the rulers and wealthy, hopefully by also increasing the health and well-being of the general

..... Click the link for more information.field, a branch of political science Political science is the

study of politics. It involves the study of structure and process in government - or any equivalent
system that attempts to assure safety, fairness, and closure across a broad range of risks and access
to a broad range of commons for its human charges. Accordingly, political scientists may study social
institutions such as corporations, unions, and churches.

The term "political science" was first coined in 1880 by Herbert Baxter Adams, a
professor of history at Johns Hopkins University.
..... Click the link for more information. , dealing with the foreign policy
Aforeign policy
is a set of political goals that seeks to outline how a particular
country will interact with the other countries of the world.

Foreign policies generally are designed to help protect a country's national interests,
national security, ideological goals, and economic prosperity. This can occur as a
result of peaceful co-operation with other nations, or through aggression, war, and

..... Click the link for more information.ofstates
This article discussesstates as sovereign political entities. For other meanings,
see state (disambiguation).
In international law and international relations, astate is a political entity possessing
sovereignty, i.e. not being subject to any higher political authority.

The definition of "state" in the meaning of a political subdivisions of some countries, is
related as it emphasizes the intention of a confederation where these state
governments are seen as possessing some powers independently of the federal
government. Often these states existed before their creation of a federal r\u00e9gime.

..... Click the link for more information.within the international system, including the
roles of international organizationsAn
international organization is an organization

of international scope or character. There are two main types of international
organizations: international intergovernmental organizations, whose members are
sovereign states; and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which are private
organizations. Generally the term international organization is used to mean
international governmental organizations only. It is in this sense that the term is used
in the remainder of this article.

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