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International Politics and Domestic Politics (Similarities and

Dissimilarities)
Similarities:
Politics or Domestic politics and International Politics are closely related and interdependent
areas. Both have autonomous spheres but at the same time important linkages between the two
are present. Basically the two have a similar nature.
Struggle for power characterizes both. Both have similar variables. Nations as international
actors are similar to groups as political actors in Politics. Conflict of national interests among
nations is the condition of International Politics and conflict of interests among groups is a
condition of Politics. Power characterizes both Politics and International Politics. In both, power
is a means as well as an end. Both use the instrument of coercion for accomplishing their
declared objectives. Both involve struggle for power and continuous conflict-resolution. Hence
there are several similarities between Politics and International Politics

Dissimilarities:
1. Non-Sovereign Actors of Politics and Sovereign Actors of International
Politics:
In the sphere of politics, groups are the actors. Groups act and interact within the
environment of the state. These are non-sovereign actors. In International Politics
sovereign-nation-states are the main actors. Since the actors are sovereign, no law or
rule, except the one which is voluntarily accepted and followed by nations, applies to
their behaviours.

2. Difference in respect of the Role of Force:


In the sphere of Politics, role of force is limited. Power is used only in certain
circumstances. It is the ultimate means of conflict- resolution. As against it, the role of
power\force in international relations is direct, more frequent and more intense. Nations
do not hesitate to impose their interests and decisions upon others by means of power,
even by the use of military power. Disputes and disagreements are more widespread in
International Politics than in Politics.

Civil wars and internal violence really fall within the sphere of Politics but wars,
aggressions, interventions, coercive interferences, and reprisals form part of
international relations. In fact, in international relations the means which nations can use
for exercising power over other nations are more coercive in nature than the means
available to groups in politics.
3. Difference in Legal Basis:
The basis of Politics is the Municipal Law and Constitution of the state. As against it, the
legal basis of International Politics is International Law, which is not a definite and
strong law.

4. Difference in respect of Definiteness:


Since Municipal Law is definite and authoritative, relations and interactions in the
sphere of Politics are quite set, organised and constitutional. Struggle for power in a
state is governed y several set laws, rules and regulations. The reverse is true of
International Politics. Nations do not hesitate to twist, use and even violate rules of
International Law for satisfying their respective interests and goals.

5. Presence of Government vs. Absence of Government:


Political interactions within every state are always conditioned by the policies and power
of a duly constituted and legitimate government. The sphere of International Relations
lacks the presence of a government. The United Nations and several other international
agencies and associations are there but these are only organisations of sovereign
nation-states and their role in respect of regulating relations among nations is quite
limited. The UNO cannot be described as a world government. It is only an international
organisation.

6. Boundaries of the Two:


Politics is always limited to the environment of the state as such it can be described as
politics within a state. As against this. International Politics is politics among nations and
the nature of international environment is indefinite and highly dynamic. It operates in
the global environment.

As such along with several similarities, there are several marked dissimilarities between
Politics and International Politics. That is why the two are two autonomous disciplines.

Domestic and International Politics are but two different manifestations of the same
phenomenon, the struggle for power. Its manifestations differ in two different spheres
because different moral, political and social conditions prevail in each. H.J.
Morgenthau

International Politics and domestic politics are not necessarily separate entities, but inter-related levels of
political activity, each of which affects the other. In a world of increasing interdependency and
interpenetration, domestic and international variables fuse so closely that the political analyst separates
them only on his or her peril. Coloumbis and Wolfe

Politics and International Politics are two related but autonomous areas of activities and disciplines