International Relations/Approaches to International Relations/Theories of I.R.

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Theories of International Relations edit

Introduction edit

In actual fact, the commonly used term/title "Theories of International Relations" is somewhat of a misnomer because in practice, most books or articles on this topic do not present theories OF international relations, but theories IN/WITHIN international relations (insofar as international relations is an identifiable field of inquiry). The heading theories OF international relations might be more appropriate in epistemological discussions where the object of inquiry would be theories about the field of international relations, rather than disparate theories that are within the field and focus on different aspects of the international relations world.

Realism edit

Realism is the traditional school of international relations theory. It developed as a method of analysis of international relations when political actors consisted almost exclusively of states. Thus, it is a state-centred view of international relations and discounts the importance of other actors such as international organisations, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), terrorist organisations, etc. It is assumed that all states act for their own interest, and that all states, in a given situation, will act the same way.

Survival, Territorial Integrity, Population edit

It has been posited that a state requires three main elements to survive. The top three priorities for a state (the "national self-interest") have been posited to be survival, territorial integrity, and population, in that order:

  • Survival its existence as a state, with sovereign boundaries, administration, and control within its boundaries (threat of force).
  • Territorial Integrity considered breached if another state launches an invasion; a breach of territorial integrity does not necessarily mean that a state is defeated (for example, the invaded state may choose to launch a counter-attack), but rather, may sometimes be compromised to ensure a state's survival
  • Population can sometimes be compromised (e.g. conscription in the army)

Critical Theory edit

Marxist International Theory edit

Green Theory edit

Green Theory in International Relations: Sustainable Environment

Dramaturgical Theory edit

Dramaturgical theory is based heavily on Erving Goffman's sociological work, especially his description of impression management. Nations and other international actors are treated as trying not only to advance their own interests in the short-term, but create long-lasting impressions of their cultures, habits, etc. that foreigners (and possibly their own citizens) will take as true. Gregory Adams did the most work in developing it.

Feminist Theory edit

Feminist theory in international relations considers the effects of male domination in international relations and its related fields.

The Clash of Civilisations Thesis edit

The Clash of Civilizations thesis is a theory developed by Samuel P. Huntington to explain conflict in the post-cold war world. Huntington predicted that post cold war conflict would take place between civilizations defined along broad ethnic and religious lines. The civilizations he predicted were the Western, orthodox, Islamic, African, Latin American, Sinic, Buddhist, Hindu and Japanese.

References edit

This page also draws heavily upon the following Wikipedia resources:

External links edit