Major Theories of International Relations

“The nature of things is, I admit, a sturdy adversary.”
― Edmund Burke, Select Works of Edmund Burke: The Letters on a Regicide Peace

“The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible.”
― Bertrand Russell

” ― Chuck Palahniuk. Fight Club .“Maybe we should always assume the worst.

“Face reality as it is. not as it was or as you wish it to be.” ― Jack Welch .

“We need realism to deal with reality.” ― Slick Rick .

. REALISM Early realism can be characterized as a reaction against interwar idealist thinking.Realism or political realism has been the dominant theory of international relations since the conception of the discipline.

Realism makes several key assumptions. geographically-based actors in an anarchic internati onal system with no authority above capable of regulating interactions between states as no true authoritative world government exists. Secondly. that sovereign states. Realism holds that in pursuit of their interests. . states will attempt to amass resources. and that relations between states are determined by their relative levels of power. or NGOs. are the primary actors in international affairs. rather than IGOs. it assumes It assumes that nation-states are unitary.

A D V O C A T E S George Bellows Robert Henri .

Style and philosophy Classical Realism is a state level theory that argues that all states seek power. .

A D V O C A T E S Hans Morgenthau Carl Von Clausewitz .

Neoclassical realism holds that the actions of a state in the international system can be explained by systemic variables – such as the distribution of power capabilities among states – as well as cognitive variables – such as the perception and misperception of systemic pressures. or threats – and domestic variables – such as state institutions. .NEOCLASSICAL REALISM It is a combination of classical realist and neorealist – particularly defensive realist – theories. other states' intentions. and societal actors within society – affecting the power and freedom of action of the decisionmakers in foreign policy. elites.

bandwagoning. This causes an imbalance. Underbalancing occurs when a state fails to balance. or other escapes. Inappropriate balancing or overbalancing occurs when a state incorrectly perceives another state as threatening. Nonbalancing occurs when a state avoids balancing through buck passing. This causes an imbalance. . including an inability to balance. out of either inefficiency or incorrectly perceiving a state as less of threat than it actually is.Appropriate balancing occurs when a state correctly perceives another state's intentions and balances accordingly. A state may choose to do this for a number of reasons. and uses too many resources than it needs to in order to balance.

Christensen .A D V O C A T E S William Wohlforth Thomas J.

.STRATEGIC REALISM Focuses centrally on foreign policy decisionmaking.

There are two types of games: •Zero-sum game/situation can be identified as the game of pure conflict. In these games. the assumption is pure conflict is dropped and the players face outcomes where they can both lose or both win if they coordinate and cooperate. A gain by another party is seen as a loss by the opponent. . A classical mixed motive game is known as the Prisoners’ Dilemma and another one is called the Chicken game. There is no cooperation at all. •Mixed motive games/situations use psychological criteria.

A D V O C A T E S Thomas Schelling Niccolo Machiavelli .

Stability Theory Hegemonic stability theory is a subset of realism. the balance of power is said to be unipolar . A hegemon is a country that is much more powerful than all of the nations in the international system. . Only hegemons can afford to create international organizations because only they can finance them. When a hegemon exists.

The world leader uses force to maintain its domination. . Deconcentration. the hegemon begins to lose power and rising states challenge its authority to lead.In this phase. the winner of the war establishes international organizations Deligitimation.Global war does not have to be a war in the traditional sense--it could also be a trade war large enough to significantly change the world's economy.There are four distinct phases during its leadership: Global War.During this phase. Establishes international organizations. World Leadership.

measured by the number of great powers within the international system. seeks to reformulate the classical realist tra dition .NEOREALISM Largely within the American political science tradition. and by the distribution of capabilities. Shuns classical realism's use of often essentialist concepts such as "human nature" to explain international politics. Holds that the international structure is defined by its ordering principle. . is a theory of international relations. which is anarchy.

Art Joseph Grieco .A D V O C A T E S Robert J.

“A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.” .

but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” .“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views.

“Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.” .

It is a mere critique. not a living idea.” .“Liberalism can only be defined negatively.

“Of all the varieties of virtues.” . liberalism is the most beloved.

.LIBERALISM is one of the main schools of international relations theory. and the various methods that could contribute to their achievement. The central issues that it seeks to address are the problems of achieving lasting peace and cooperation in international relations. Its roots lie in the broader liberal thought originating in the Enlightenment.

ADVOCATE John Locke .

. groups and organizations in different countries. Sociological liberals see international relations in terms of relationships between people. It is critical of realist theory which it sees as too state-centric.SOCIOLOGICAL LIBERALISM is an international relations theory.

A D V O C A T E S John Bordley Rawls Guido De Ruggiero .

.INSTITUTIONAL LIBERALISM is modern theory of international relations which claims that international institutions such as the United Nations. The theory can be compared to idealism. NATO and the European Union can increase and aid cooperation between states. the international relations theory which emerged after the First World War when the League of Nations was founded.

economic cooperation and interdependence. . common moral values. This is explained as a result of the existence of similar domestic political cultures.REPUBLICAN LIBERALISM is an international relations theory which claims that liberal democracies are more peaceful than other states.

A D V O C A T E S Richard Rosecrance Colin Powell .

economic cooperation and interdependence. This is explained as a result of the existence of similar domestic political cultures. .REPUBLICAN LIBERALISM is an international relations theory which claims that liberal democracies are more peaceful than other states. common moral values.

ADVOCATE Marcus Tullius Cicero .

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