International relations

International relations

Overview
International relations (IR) (occasionally referred to as international studies (IS)) is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

, inter-governmental organizations
International organization
An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

 (IGOs), international nongovernmental organization
International nongovernmental organization
The World Bank defines a non-governmental organization as "private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development"...

s (INGOs), non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s (NGOs) and multinational corporation
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

s (MNCs). It is both an academic and public policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 field, and can be either positive or normative
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

 as it both seeks to analyze as well as formulate the foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 of particular states.
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Encyclopedia
International relations (IR) (occasionally referred to as international studies (IS)) is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

, inter-governmental organizations
International organization
An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

 (IGOs), international nongovernmental organization
International nongovernmental organization
The World Bank defines a non-governmental organization as "private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development"...

s (INGOs), non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s (NGOs) and multinational corporation
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

s (MNCs). It is both an academic and public policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 field, and can be either positive or normative
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

 as it both seeks to analyze as well as formulate the foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 of particular states. It is often considered a branch of political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 (especially after 1988 UNESCO nomenclature
4-digit UNESCO Nomenclature
UNESCO Nomenclature is a system developed by UNESCO for classification of research papers and doctoral dissertations. There are three versions of the system, offering different levels of refinement through 2-, 4-, and 6-digit codes. This article describes the 4-digit nomenclature.-4-digit...

), but an important sector of academia
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

 prefer to treat it as an interdisciplinary field of study. Aspects of international relations have been studied for thousands of years, since the time of Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

, but IR became a separate and definable discipline in the early 20th century.

Apart from political science, IR draws upon such diverse fields as economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, geography
Area studies
Area studies are interdisciplinary fields of research and scholarship pertaining to particular geographical, national/federal, or cultural regions. The term exists primarily as a general description for what are, in the practice of scholarship, many heterogeneous fields of research, encompassing...

, social work
Social work
Social Work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, women's studies
Women's studies
Women's studies, also known as feminist studies, is an interdisciplinary academic field which explores politics, society and history from an intersectional, multicultural women's perspective...

/gender studies
Gender studies
Gender studies is a field of interdisciplinary study which analyses race, ethnicity, sexuality and location.Gender study has many different forms. One view exposed by the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir said: "One is not born a woman, one becomes one"...

, and cultural studies
Cultural studies
Cultural studies is an academic field grounded in critical theory and literary criticism. It generally concerns the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It is, to this extent, largely distinguished from cultural...

 / culturology
Culturology
Culturology is the branch of Social Sciences concerned with the scientific understanding, description, analysis and prediction of cultural activities, cultural systems and culture broadly-construed.-History of the term in Russia:...

. It involves a diverse range of issues including but not limited to: globalization
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

, state sovereignty
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

, international security
International security
International security consists of the measures taken by nations and international organizations, such as the United Nations, to ensure mutual survival and safety. These measures include military action and diplomatic agreements such as treaties and conventions. International and national security...

, ecological sustainability
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

, nuclear proliferation
Nuclear proliferation
Nuclear proliferation is a term now used to describe the spread of nuclear weapons, fissile material, and weapons-applicable nuclear technology and information, to nations which are not recognized as "Nuclear Weapon States" by the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also known as the...

, nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

, economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

, global finance, terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

, organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

, human security
Human security
Human security is an emerging paradigm for understanding global vulnerabilities whose proponents challenge the traditional notion of national security by arguing that the proper referent for security should be the individual rather than the state...

, foreign interventionism and human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

.

History


The history of international relations can be traced thousands of years ago; Barry Buzan and Richard Little, for example, consider the interaction of ancient Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ian city-states, starting in 3,500 BC
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

, as the first fully-fledged international system.

The history of international relations based on nation-states is often traced back to the Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October of 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the...

 of 1648, where the modern state system was developed. Prior to this, the European medieval organization of political authority was based on a vaguely hierarchical religious order. Westphalia instituted the legal concept of sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

, that didn't exist in classical and medieval times, which essentially meant that rulers, or the legitimate sovereigns, had no internal equals within a defined territory and no external superiors as the ultimate authority within the territory's sovereign borders. A simple way to view this is that sovereignty says, "I'm not allowed to tell you what to do and you are not allowed to tell me what to do."

Westphalia encouraged the rise of the independent nation-state, the institutionalization of diplomacy
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 and armies. This particular European system was exported to the Americas, Africa, and Asia via colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 and the "standards of civilization". The contemporary international system was finally established through decolonization
Decolonization
Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the unequal relation of polities whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent Territory over another...

 during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. However, this is somewhat over-simplified. While the nation-state system is considered "modern", many states have not incorporated the system and are termed "pre-modern".

Further, a handful of states have moved beyond the nation-state system and can be considered "post-modern". The ability of contemporary IR discourse to explain the relations of these different types of states is disputed. "Levels of analysis" is a way of looking at the international system, which includes the individual level, the domestic nation-state as a unit, the international level of transnational and intergovernmental affairs, and the global level.

What is explicitly recognized as International Relations theory was not developed until after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, and is dealt with in more detail below. IR theory, however, has a long tradition of drawing on the work of other social sciences. The use of capitalizations of the "I" and "R" in International Relations aims to distinguish the academic discipline of International Relations from the phenomena of international relations. Many cite Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu
Sun Wu , style name Changqing , better known as Sun Tzu or Sunzi , was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed, and who is most likely, to have authored The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy...

's The Art of War
The Art of War
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu , a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period...

(6th century BC), Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

' History of the Peloponnesian War
History of the Peloponnesian War
The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League and the Delian League . It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the...

(5th century BC), Chanakya
Chanakya
Chānakya was a teacher to the first Maurya Emperor Chandragupta , and the first Indian emperor generally considered to be the architect of his rise to power. Traditionally, Chanakya is also identified by the names Kautilya and VishnuGupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise...

's Arthashastra
Arthashastra
The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and , who are traditionally identified with The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and...

(4th century BC), as the inspiration for realist theory, with Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

' Leviathan
Leviathan (book)
Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil — commonly called simply Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan...

and Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

's The Prince
The Prince
The Prince is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus . But the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after...

providing further elaboration.

Similarly, liberalism
Liberal international relations theory
Unlike realism where the state is seen as a unitary actor, liberalism allows for plurality in state actors. Thus, preferences will vary from state to state, depending on factors such as culture, economic system or government type...

 draws upon the work of Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 and Rousseau, with the work of the former often being cited as the first elaboration of democratic peace theory
Democratic peace theory
Democratic peace theory is the theory that democracies don't go to war with each other. How well the theory matches reality depends a great deal on one's definition of "democracy" and "war"...

. Though contemporary human rights is considerably different than the type of rights envisioned under natural law
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

, Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria, OP was a Spanish Renaissance Roman Catholic philosopher, theologian and jurist, founder of the tradition in philosophy known as the School of Salamanca, noted especially for his contributions to the theory of just war and international law...

, Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

 and John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

 offered the first accounts of universal entitlement to certain rights on the basis of common humanity. In the twentieth century, in addition to contemporary theories of liberal internationalism, Marxism has been a foundation of international relations.

Study of IR



Initially, international relations as a distinct field of study was almost entirely British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

-centered. IR only emerged as a formal academic ‘discipline’ in 1918 with the founding of the first ‘chair’ (professorship) in IR - the Woodrow Wilson Chair at Aberystwyth, University of Wales (now Aberystwyth University), from an endowment given by David Davies
David Davies, 1st Baron Davies
David Davies, 1st Baron Davies , was a politician and public benefactor, the grandson of the famous industrialist, David Davies "Llandinam"....

, became the first academic position dedicated to IR. This was rapidly followed by establishment of IR at US universities and Geneva, Switzerland. In the early 1920s, the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

' department of International Relations was founded at the behest of Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 winner Philip Noel-Baker.

The first university entirely dedicated to the study of IR was the Graduate Institute of International Studies
Graduate Institute of International Studies
The Graduate Institute of International Studies, best known as HEI , was founded in 1927 as one of the first institutions in the world dedicated to the study of international relations...

 (now the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies is a highly selective postgraduate educational and research institute situated in Geneva, Switzerland...

), which was founded in 1927 to form diplomats associated to the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, established in Geneva some years before. The Graduate Institute of International Studies offered one of the first Ph.D.
Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 degrees in international relations. Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service is a school within Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., United States. Jesuit priest Edmund A...

 is the oldest international relations faculty in the United States, founded in 1919. The Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 was the first to offer a graduate degree, in 1928.

Epistemology and IR theory



IR theories can be roughly divided into one of two epistemological camps: "positivist" and "post-positivist". Positivist theories aim to replicate the methods of the natural sciences by analysing the impact of material forces. They typically focus on features of international relations such as state interactions, size of military forces, balance of powers etc. Post-positivist epistemology rejects the idea that the social world can be studied in an objective and value-free way. It rejects the central ideas of neo-realism/liberalism, such as rational choice theory
Rational choice theory
Rational choice theory, also known as choice theory or rational action theory, is a framework for understanding and often formally modeling social and economic behavior. It is the main theoretical paradigm in the currently-dominant school of microeconomics...

, on the grounds that the scientific method cannot be applied to the social world and that a 'science' of IR is impossible.

A key difference between the two positions is that while positivist theories, such as neo-realism, offer causal explanations (such as why and how power is exercised), post-positivist theories focus instead on constitutive questions, for instance what is meant by 'power'; what makes it up, how it is experienced and how it is reproduced. Often, post-positivist theories explicitly promote a normative approach to IR, by considering ethics. This is something which has often been ignored under 'traditional' IR as positivist theories make a distinction between 'facts' and normative judgments, or 'values'.

During the late 1980s/1990 debate between positivists and post-positivists became the dominant debate and has been described as constituting the Third "Great Debate" (Lapid 1989).

Realism


Realism
Realism (international relations)
In the study of international relations, Realism or political realism prioritizes national interest and security over ideology, moral concerns and social reconstructions...

focuses on state security and power above all else. Early realists such as E.H. Carr and Hans Morgenthau
Hans Morgenthau
Hans Joachim Morgenthau was one of the leading twentieth-century figures in the study of international politics...

 argued that states are self-interested, power-seeking rational actors, who seek to maximize their security and chances of survival. Cooperation between states is a way to maximize each individual state's security (as opposed to more idealistic reasons). Similarly, any act of war must be based on self-interest, rather than on idealism. Many realists saw World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 as the vindication of their theory.

It should be noted that classical writers such as Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

, Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

, Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

 and Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, are often cited as "founding fathers" of realism by contemporary self-described realists. However, while their work may support realist doctrine, it is not likely that they would have classified themselves as realists (in this sense of the term). Realists are often split up into two groups: Classical or Human Nature Realists (as described here) and Structural or Neorealists (below).

Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature. To improve society, it is first necessary to understand the laws by which society lives. The operation of these laws being impervious to our preferences, men will challenge them only at the risk of failure.
Realism, believing as it does in the objectivity of the laws of politics, must also believe in the possibility of developing a rational theory that reflects, however imperfectly and one-sidedly, these objective laws. It believes also, then, in the possibility of distinguishing in politics between truth and opinion-between what is true objectively and rationally, supported by evidence and illuminated by reason, and what is only a subjective judgment, divorced from the facts as they are and informed by prejudice and wishful thinking.

The placement of Realism under positivism is far from unproblematic however. E.H. Carr's 'What is History' was a deliberate critique of positivism, and Hans Morgenthau's aim in 'Scientific Man vs Power Politics' - as the title implies - was to demolish any conception that international politics/power politics can be studied scientifically.

Liberalism/idealism/Liberal Internationalism


Liberal international relations theory
Liberal international relations theory
Unlike realism where the state is seen as a unitary actor, liberalism allows for plurality in state actors. Thus, preferences will vary from state to state, depending on factors such as culture, economic system or government type...

arose after World War I in response to the inability of states to control and limit war in their international relations. Early adherents include Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 and Norman Angell
Norman Angell
Sir Ralph Norman Angell was an English lecturer, journalist, author, and Member of Parliament for the Labour Party.Angell was one of the principal founders of the Union of Democratic Control...

, who argued vigorously that states mutually gained from cooperation and that war was so destructive to be essentially futile.

Liberalism was not recognized as a coherent theory as such until it was collectively and derisively termed idealism by E. H. Carr. A new version of "idealism" that focused on human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 as the basis of the legitimacy of international law was advanced by Hans Köchler
Hans Köchler
Hans Köchler is a professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and president of the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations...

.

Neoliberalism


Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism in international relations
In the study of international relations, neoliberalism refers to a school of thought which believes that nation-states are, or at least should be, concerned first and foremost with absolute gains rather than relative gains to other nation-states...

seeks to update liberalism by accepting the neorealist presumption that states are the key actors in international relations, but still maintains that non-state actors (NSAs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) matter. Proponents such as Maria Chattha argue that states will cooperate irrespective of relative gains, and are thus concerned with absolute gains. This also means that nations are, in essence, free to make their own choices as to how they will go about conducting policy without any international organizations blocking a nation's right to sovereignty.

Neoliberalism also contains an economic theory that is based on the use of open and free markets with little, if any, government intervention to prevent monopolies and other conglomerates from forming. The growing interdependence throughout and after the Cold War through international institutions led to neo-liberalism being defined as institutionalism
Institutionalism
Institutionalism can refer to:* Old Institutionalism: An approach to the study of politics that focuses on formal institutions of government* New institutionalism: a social theory that focuses on developing a sociological view of institutions, the way they interact and the effects of institutions...

, this new part of the theory being fronted by Robert Keohane
Robert Keohane
Robert O. Keohane is an American academic, who, following the publication of his influential book After Hegemony , became widely associated with the theory of neoliberal institutionalism in international relations...

 and also Joseph Nye
Joseph Nye
Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. is the co-founder, along with Robert Keohane, of the international relations theory neoliberalism, developed in their 1977 book Power and Interdependence. Together with Keohane, he developed the concepts of asymmetrical and complex interdependence...

.

Regime Theory


Regime theory
Regime theory
Regime theory is a theory within international relations derived from the liberal tradition that argues that international institutions or regimes affect the behavior of states...

is derived from the liberal tradition that argues that international institutions or regimes affect the behavior of states (or other international actors). It assumes that cooperation is possible in the anarchic system of states, indeed, regimes are by definition, instances of international cooperation.

While realism
Realism (international relations)
In the study of international relations, Realism or political realism prioritizes national interest and security over ideology, moral concerns and social reconstructions...

 predicts that conflict should be the norm in international relations, regime theorists say that there is cooperation despite anarchy. Often they cite cooperation in trade, human rights and collective security among other issues. These instances of cooperation are regimes. The most commonly cited definition of regimes comes from Stephen Krasner. Krasner defines regimes as "institutions possessing norms, decision rules, and procedures which facilitate a convergence of expectations."

Not all approaches to regime theory, however are liberal or neoliberal; some realist
Realism (international relations)
In the study of international relations, Realism or political realism prioritizes national interest and security over ideology, moral concerns and social reconstructions...

 scholars like Joseph Greico have developed hybrid theories which take a realist based approach to this fundamentally liberal theory. (Realists do not say cooperation never happens, just that it is not the norm; it is a difference of degree).

International society theory (the English school)


International society theory, also called the English School, focuses on the shared norms and values of states and how they regulate international relations. Examples of such norms include diplomacy, order, and international law. Unlike neo-realism, it is not necessarily positivist. Theorists have focused particularly on humanitarian intervention, and are subdivided between solidarists, who tend to advocate it more, and pluralists, who place greater value in order and sovereignty. Nicholas Wheeler is a prominent solidarist, while Hedley Bull
Hedley Bull
Hedley Bull, FBA was Professor of International Relations at the Australian National University, the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford until his death from cancer in 1985...

 and Robert H. Jackson are perhaps the best known pluralists.

Social Constructivism


Social Constructivism encompasses a broad range of theories that aim to address questions of ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

, such as the Structure and agency
Structure and agency
The question over the primacy of either structure or agency in human behavior is a central debate in the social sciences. In this context, "agency" refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. "Structure", by contrast, refers to the recurrent...

 debate, as well as questions of epistemology, such as the "material/ideational" debate that concerns the relative role of material forces versus ideas. Constructivism is not a theory of IR in the manner of neo-realism, but is instead a social theory
Social theory
Social theories are theoretical frameworks which are used to study and interpret social phenomena within a particular school of thought. An essential tool used by social scientists, theories relate to historical debates over the most valid and reliable methodologies , as well as the primacy of...

 which is used to better explain the actions taken by states and other major actors as well as the identities that guide these states and actors.

Constructivism in IR
Constructivism in international relations
In the discipline of international relations, constructivism is the claim that significant aspects of international relations are historically and socially contingent, rather than inevitable consequences of human nature or other essential characteristics of world politics.-Development:Nicholas Onuf...

 can be divided into what Hopf (1998) calls 'conventional' and 'critical' constructivism. Common to all varieties of constructivism is an interest in the role that ideational forces play. The most famous constructivist scholar, Alexander Wendt
Alexander Wendt
Alexander Wendt is one of the core social constructivist scholars in the field of international relations. Wendt and scholars such as Nicholas Onuf, Peter J...

 noted in a 1992 article in International Organization
International Organization
International Organization is a peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international affairs. Subject areas include: foreign policies, international relations, international and comparative political economy, security policies, environmental disputes and resolutions,...

 (later followed up by a book, Social Theory of International Politics (1999)), that "anarchy is what states make of it". By this he means that the anarchical structure that neo-realists claim governs state interaction is in fact a phenomenon that is socially constructed and reproduced by states.

For example, if the system is dominated by states that see anarchy as a life or death situation (what Wendt terms a "Hobbesian" anarchy) then the system will be characterised by warfare. If on the other hand anarchy is seen as restricted (a "Lockean" anarchy) then a more peaceful system will exist. Anarchy in this view is constituted by state interaction, rather than accepted as a natural and immutable feature of international life as viewed by neo-realist IR scholars.

Critical Theory


Critical international relations theory
Critical international relations theory
Critical international relations theory is a diverse set of schools of thought in International Relations that have criticized the theoretical, meta-theoretical and/or political status quo, both in IR theory and in international politics more broadly — from positivist as well as postpositivist...

is the application of 'critical theory
Critical theory
Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

' to international relations. Proponents such as Andrew Linklater
Andrew Linklater
Andrew Linklater is a renowned international relations academic, and is the current Woodrow Wilson Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University...

, Robert W. Cox
Robert W. Cox
Robert Cox is a former political science professor and United Nations officer. He is cited as one of the intellectual leaders, along with Susan Strange, of the British School of International Political Economy and is still active as a scholar after his formal retirement, writing and giving...

 and Ken Booth focus on the need for human emancipation
Freedom (political)
Political freedom is a central philosophy in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important features of democratic societies...

 from States. Hence, it is "critical" of mainstream IR theories that tend to be state-centric.

Marxism


Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 and Neo-Marxist theories of IR reject the realist/liberal view of state conflict or cooperation; instead focusing on the economic and material aspects. It makes the assumption that the economy trumps other concerns; allowing for the elevation of class as the focus of study. Marxists view the international system as an integrated capitalist system in pursuit of capital accumulation. Thus, the period of colonialism brought in sources for raw materials and captive markets for exports, while decolonialization brought new opportunities in the form of dependence.

Linked in with Marxist theories is dependency theory
Dependency theory
Dependency theory or dependencia theory is a body of social science theories predicated on the notion that resources flow from a "periphery" of poor and underdeveloped states to a "core" of wealthy states, enriching the latter at the expense of the former...

 which argues that developed countries, in their pursuit of power, penetrate developing states through political advisors, missionaries, experts, and MNCs to integrate them into the capitalist system in order to appropriate natural resources and foster dependence.

Marxist theories receive scant attention in the United States where no significant socialist party ever existed. It is more common in parts of Europe and is one of the most important theoretic contributions of Latin American academia, for example through Liberation theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

.

Interest Group perspective


Interest Group theory posits that the driving force behind state behavior is sub-state interest groups. Examples of interest groups include political lobbyists, the military, and the corporate sector. Group theory argues that although these interest groups are constitutive of the state, they are also causal forces in the exercise of state power.

Strategic Perspective


Strategic Perspective is a theoretical approach that views individuals as choosing their actions by taking into account the anticipated actions and responses of others with the intention of maximizing their own welfare.

Inherent bad faith model in international relations and political psychology



The "inherent bad faith model
Inherent bad faith model
The inherent bad faith model of information processing is a theory in political psychology that was first put forth by Ole Holsti to explain the relationship between John Foster Dulles’ beliefs and his model of information processing....

" of information processing is a theory in political psychology that was first put forth by Ole Holsti
Ole Holsti
Ole Rudolf Holsti is an American political scientist and academic. He currently holds the position of George V. Allen Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Duke University...

 to explain the relationship between John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

’ beliefs and his model of information processing. It is the most widely studied model of one's opponent. A state is presumed to be implacably hostile, and contra-indicators of this are ignored. They are dismissed as propaganda ploys or signs of weakness. Examples are John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

’ position regarding the Soviet Union, or Israel’s initial position on the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Poststructuralist theories


Poststructuralist theories of IR developed in the 1980s from postmodernist studies in political science. Post-structuralism explores the deconstruction of concepts traditionally not problematic in IR, such as 'power' and 'agency' and examines how the construction of these concepts shapes international relations. The examination of 'narratives' plays an important part in poststructuralist analysis, for example feminist poststructuralist work has examined the role that 'women' play in global society and how they are constructed in war as 'innocent' and 'civilians'.

Examples of post-positivist research include:
  • Feminism
    Feminism in international relations
    Feminism in international relations is a broad term given to works of those scholars who have sought to bring gender concerns into the academic study of international politics....

    s ("gendering" war)
  • Postcolonialism
    Postcolonialism
    Post-colonialism is a specifically post-modern intellectual discourse that consists of reactions to, and analysis of, the cultural legacy of colonialism...

     (challenges the euro-centrism of IR)
  • Post-realism
    Post-realism
    Post-realism is a theoretical perspective on international relations. According to post-realism, global actors are joined in a global network of thoughts, actions, and talk. Post-realism focuses particularly on the talk, on discourse and debate in the conduct and study of international relations...

     (focuses on IR theory as scientific and political rhetoric)

Conjuncture


In decision making in international relations, the concept of Conjuncture (international relations)
Conjuncture (International Relations)
- Conjuncture in International Relations:Relations between countries can follow a curve. This curve can be shaped by the domestic conditions and policies of the countries and international conditions...

, together with freedom of action and equality are important elements. Decision makers must take into account the set of international conditions in taking initiatives that would create different types of responses.

Systemic level concepts


International relations is often viewed in terms of levels of analysis. The systemic level concepts are those broad concepts that define and shape an international milieu, characterised by Anarchy
Anarchy in international relations
Anarchy in International Relations is a concept in International Relations theory holding that the world system is leaderless: there is no universal sovereign or worldwide government. There is thus no hierarchically superior, coercive power that can resolve disputes, enforce law, or order the...

.

Power


The concept of power in international relations
Power in international relations
Power in international relations is defined in several different ways. Political scientists, historians, and practitioners of international relations have used the following concepts of political power:...

can be described as the degree of resources, capabilities, and influence in international affairs. It is often divided up into the concepts of hard power
Hard power
Hard power is a term describing political power obtained from the use of military and/or economic coercion to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies...

 and soft power
Soft power
Soft power is the ability to obtain what one wants through co-option and attraction. It can be contrasted with 'hard power', that is the use of coercion and payment...

, hard power relating primarily to coercive power, such as the use of force, and soft power commonly covering economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, diplomacy
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 and cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 influence. However, there is no clear dividing line between the two forms of power.
Polarity

Polarity in International Relations refers to the arrangement of power within the international system. The concept arose from bipolarity during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, with the international system dominated by the conflict between two superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

s, and has been applied retrospectively by theorists. However, the term bipolar was notably used by Stalin who said he saw the international system as a bipolar one with two opposing powerbases and ideologies. Consequently, the international system prior to 1945 can be described as multi-polar, with power being shared among Great powers.

The collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in 1991 had led to what some would call unipolarity, with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as a sole superpower. However, due to China's
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 continued rapid economic growth (in 2010 it became the world's second largest economy), combined with the respectable international position they hold within political spheres and the power that the Chinese Government exerts over their people (consisting of the largest population in the world), there is debate over whether China is now a superpower or a possible candidate in the future.

Several theories of international relations draw upon the idea of polarity.

The balance of power
Balance of power in international relations
In international relations, a balance of power exists when there is parity or stability between competing forces. The concept describes a state of affairs in the international system and explains the behavior of states in that system...

was a concept prevalent in Europe prior to the First World War, the thought being that by balancing power blocs it would create stability and prevent war. Theories of the balance of power gained prominence again during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, being a central mechanism of Kenneth Waltz's
Kenneth Waltz
Kenneth Neal Waltz is a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University and one of the most prominent scholars of international relations alive today...

 Neorealism. Here, the concepts of balancing (rising in power to counter another) and bandwagonning (siding with another) are developed.

Hegemonic stability theory
Hegemonic stability theory
Hegemonic Stability Theory is a theory of international relations. Rooted in research from the fields of political science, economics, and history, HST indicates that the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the dominant world power, or hegemon...

(developed by Robert Gilpin) also draws upon the idea of Polarity, specifically the state of unipolarity. Hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 is the preponderance of power at one pole in the international system, and the theory argues this is a stable configuration because of mutual gains by both the dominant power and others in the international system. This is contrary to many Neorealist arguments, particularly made by Kenneth Waltz
Kenneth Waltz
Kenneth Neal Waltz is a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University and one of the most prominent scholars of international relations alive today...

, stating that the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and the state of unipolarity is an unstable configuration that will inevitably change.

This can be expressed in Power transition theory
Power Transition theory
The Power transition theory is a theory about the cyclical nature of war, in relation to the power in international relations.Created by A.F.K. Organski, and originally published in his textbook, World Politics , power transition theory today describes international politics as a hierarchy, with 4...

, which states that it is likely that a great power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

 would challenge a hegemon after a certain period, resulting in a major war. It suggests that while hegemony can control the occurrence of wars, it also results in the creation of one. Its main proponent, A.F.K. Organski
A.F.K. Organski
Abramo Fimo Kenneth Organski was Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, the founder of Power transition theory and a co-founder of Decision Insights, Inc. His pioneering work spanned several decades, and focused on specific aspects of world politics, including: political...

, argued this based on the occurrence of previous wars during British, Portuguese and Dutch hegemony.

Interdependence


Many advocate that the current international system is characterized by growing interdependence; the mutual responsibility and dependency on others. Advocates of this point to growing globalization
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

, particularly with international economic interaction. The role of international institutions, and widespread acceptance of a number of operating principles in the international system, reinforces ideas that relations are characterized by interdependence.

Dependency


Dependency theory
Dependency theory
Dependency theory or dependencia theory is a body of social science theories predicated on the notion that resources flow from a "periphery" of poor and underdeveloped states to a "core" of wealthy states, enriching the latter at the expense of the former...

is a theory most commonly associated with Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, stating that a set of Core states exploit a set of weaker Periphery states for their prosperity. Various versions of the theory suggest that this is either an inevitability (standard dependency theory), or use the theory to highlight the necessity for change (Neo-Marxist).

Systemic tools of international relations

  • Diplomacy
    Diplomacy
    Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

    is the practice of communication and negotiation between representatives of states. To some extent, all other tools of international relations can be considered the failure of diplomacy. Keeping in mind, the use of other tools are part of the communication and negotiation inherent within diplomacy. Sanctions, force, and adjusting trade regulations, while not typically considered part of diplomacy, are actually valuable tools in the interest of leverage and placement in negotiations.
  • Sanctions
    International sanctions
    International sanctions are actions taken by countries against others for political reasons, either unilaterally or multilaterally.There are several types of sanctions....

    are usually a first resort after the failure of diplomacy, and are one of the main tools used to enforce treaties. They can take the form of diplomatic or economic sanctions and involve the cutting of ties and imposition of barriers to communication or trade.
  • War
    War
    War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

    , the use of force, is often thought of as the ultimate tool of international relations. A widely accepted definition is that given by Clausewitz, with war being "the continuation of politics by other means". There is a growing study into 'new wars' involving actors other than states. The study of war in International Relations is covered by the disciplines of 'War Studies
    War studies
    War studies is the multi-disciplinary study of war. It is distinct from military history in that it encompasses a variety of fields:*Laws of war*Philosophy of war**Ethics of war***Just War Theory**Deterrence theory*Psychology of war...

    ' and 'Strategic studies
    Strategic studies
    Strategic studies is an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to topics concerning the relationship between politics, geography and natural resources, economics, and military power, such as the role of intelligence, diplomacy and threats in the preparation and use of force...

    '.
  • The mobilization of international shame can also be thought of as a tool of International Relations. This is attempting to alter states' actions through 'naming and shaming' at the international level. This is mostly done by the large human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International (for instance when it called Guantanamo Bay a "Gulag"), or Human Rights Watch. A prominent use of was the UN Commission on Human Rights 1235 procedure, which publicly exposes state's human rights violations. The current Human Rights Council has yet to use this Mechanism
  • The allotment of economic and/or diplomatic benefits. An example of this is the European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

    's enlargement policy. Candidate countries are allowed entry into the EU only after the fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria
    Copenhagen criteria
    The Copenhagen criteria are the rules that define whether a country is eligible to join the European Union. The criteria require that a state has the institutions to preserve democratic governance and human rights, has a functioning market economy, and accepts the obligations and intent of the EU...

    .

Unit-level concepts in international relations


As a level of analysis the unit level is often referred to as the state level, as it locates its explanation at the level of the state, rather than the international system.

Regime type


It is often considered that a state's form of government can dictate the way that a state interacts with others in the international system.

Democratic Peace Theory
Democratic peace theory
Democratic peace theory is the theory that democracies don't go to war with each other. How well the theory matches reality depends a great deal on one's definition of "democracy" and "war"...

is a theory that suggests that the nature of democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 means that democratic countries will not go to war with each other. The justifications for this are that democracies externalise their norms and only go to war for just causes, and that democracy encourages mutual trust and respect.

Communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

justifies a world revolution, which similarly would lead to peaceful coexistence, based on a proletarian global society.

Revisionism/Status quo


States can be classified by whether they accept the international status quo, or are revisionist, i.e. want change. Revisionist states seek to fundamentally change the rules and practices of international relations, feeling disadvantaged by the status quo. They see the international system as a largely western creation which serves to reinforce current realities. Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 is an example of a state that has gone from being a revisionist state to one that is satisfied with the status quo, because the status quo is now beneficial to it.

Religion


It is often considered that religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 can have an effect on the way a state acts within the international system. Religion is visible as an organising principle particularly for Islamic states, whereas secularism sits at the other end of the spectrum, with the separation of state and religion being responsible for the Liberal international relations theory
Liberal international relations theory
Unlike realism where the state is seen as a unitary actor, liberalism allows for plurality in state actors. Thus, preferences will vary from state to state, depending on factors such as culture, economic system or government type...

.

Individual or sub-unit level concepts


The level beneath the unit (state) level can be useful both for explaining factors in International Relations that other theories fail to explain, and for moving away from a state-centric view of international relations.
  • Psychological factors in International Relations - Evaluating psychological factors in international relations comes from the understanding that a state is not a 'black box' as proposed by Realism
    Realism (international relations)
    In the study of international relations, Realism or political realism prioritizes national interest and security over ideology, moral concerns and social reconstructions...

    , and that there may be other influences on foreign policy decisions. Examining the role of personalities in the decision making process can have some explanatory power
    Explanatory power
    Explanatory power is the ability of a theory to effectively explain the subject matter it pertains to. One theory is sometimes said to have more explanatory power than another theory about the same subject matter if it offers greater predictive power...

    , as can the role of misperception between various actors. A prominent application of sub-unit level psychological factors in international relations is the concept of Groupthink
    Groupthink
    Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people. It is the mode of thinking that happens when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without...

    , another is the propensity of policymakers to think in terms of analogies.
  • Bureaucratic politics - Looks at the role of the bureaucracy
    Bureaucracy
    A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

     in decision making, and sees decisions as a result of bureaucratic in-fighting, and as having been shaped by various constraints.
  • Religious, Ethnic, and secessionist groups - Viewing these aspects of the sub-unit level has explanatory power with regards to ethnic conflicts, religious wars, transnational diaspora
    Diaspora
    A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

     (diaspora politics
    Diaspora politics
    Diaspora politics is the political behavior of transnational ethnic diasporas, their relationship with their ethnic homelands and their host states, as well as their prominent role in ethnic conflicts...

    ) and other actors which do not consider themselves to fit with the defined state boundaries. This is particularly useful in the context of the pre-modern world of weak states.
  • Science, Technology and International Relations- How science and technology impact the global health, business, environment, technology, and development.
  • International political economy
    International political economy
    International political economy , also known as global political economy, is an academic discipline within the social sciences that analyzes international relations in combination with political economy. As an interdisciplinary field it draws on many distinct academic schools, most notably ...

    , and economic factors in international relations.
  • International political culturology – Looks at how culture and cultural variables impact in international relations.

Institutions in international relations


International institutions form a vital part of contemporary International Relations. Much interaction at the system level is governed by them, and they outlaw some traditional institutions and practices of International Relations, such as the use of war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

 (except in self-defence).

As humanity enters the Planetary phase of civilization
Planetary Phase of Civilization
The Planetary Phase of Civilization is a concept defined by the Global Scenario Group , an environmental organization that specializes in scenario analysis and forecasting...

, some scientists and political theorists see a global hierarchy of institutions replacing the existing system of sovereign nation-states as the primary political community. They argue that nations are an imagined community that cannot resolve such modern challenges as the “Dogville
Dogville
Dogville is a 2003 drama written and directed by Lars von Trier, and starring Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Chloë Sevigny, Paul Bettany, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier, and James Caan...

” effect (strangers in a homogeneous community), the legal and political status of stateless people and refugees, and the need to address worldwide concerns like climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 and pandemics.

Futurist Paul Raskin
Paul Raskin
Paul Raskin is the Founding Director of the Tellus Institute which has conducted over 3,500 research and policy projects throughout the world on environmental issues, resource planning, and sustainable development...

 has hypothesized that a new, more legitimate form of global politics
Global politics
Global politics is the discipline that studies the political and economical patterns of the world. It studies the relationships between cities, nation-states, shell-states, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.It has been argued that global...

 could be based on “constrained pluralism.” This principle guides the formation of institutions based on three characteristics: irreducibility, where some issues must be adjudicated at the global level; subsidiarity
Subsidiarity
Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which...

, which limits the scope of global authority to truly global issues while smaller-scope issues are regulated at lower levels; and heterogeneity, which allows for diverse forms of local and regional institutions as long as they meet global obligations.

Generalist Inter-State Organizations

  • United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...



The United Nations (UN) is an international organization
International organization
An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

 that describes itself as a "global association of governments facilitating co-operation in international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, international security
International security
International security consists of the measures taken by nations and international organizations, such as the United Nations, to ensure mutual survival and safety. These measures include military action and diplomatic agreements such as treaties and conventions. International and national security...

, economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

, and social equity"; It is the most prominent international institution. Many of the legal institutions follow the same organizational structure as the UN.
  • African Union
    African Union
    The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

  • ASEAN
    Association of Southeast Asian Nations
    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, commonly abbreviated ASEAN rarely ), is a geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has...

  • Arab League
    Arab League
    The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

  • CIS
    Commonwealth of Independent States
    The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

  • European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

  • G8
    G8
    The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8...

  • G20
  • League of Nations
    League of Nations
    The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

  • Organization of American States
    Organization of American States
    The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...


Economic institutions



  • Asian Development Bank
    Asian Development Bank
    The Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia...

  • African Development Bank
    African Development Bank
    The African Development Bank Group is a development bank established in 1964 with the intention of promoting economic and social development in Africa...

  • Inter-American Development Bank
    Inter-American Development Bank
    The Inter-American Development Bank is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean...

  • International Monetary Fund
    International Monetary Fund
    The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

  • World Bank
    World Bank
    The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

  • World Trade Organization
    World Trade Organization
    The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...


Human rights

  • European Court of Human Rights
    European Court of Human Rights
    The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

  • Human Rights Committee
    Human Rights Committee
    The United Nations Human Rights Committee is a United Nations body of 18 experts that meets three times a year for four-week sessions to consider the five-yearly reports submitted by 162 UN member states on their compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,...

  • Inter-American Court of Human Rights
    Inter-American Court of Human Rights
    The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution based in the city of San José, Costa Rica. Together with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, it makes up the human rights protection system of the Organization of American States , which serves to uphold and...

  • International Criminal Court
    International Criminal Court
    The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

  • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
    International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
    The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan...

  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
    International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
    The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

  • United Nations Human Rights Council
    United Nations Human Rights Council
    The United Nations Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations System. The UNHRC is the successor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights , and is a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly...


Legal

  • African Court of Justice
    African Court of Justice
    The African Court of Justice was originally intended to be the “principal judicial organ of the Union” with authority to rule on disputes over interpretation of AU treaties....

  • European Court of Justice
    European Court of Justice
    The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

  • International Court of Justice
    International Court of Justice
    The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

  • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
    International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
    The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an intergovernmental organization created by the mandate of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. It was established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on December 10, 1982...


Regional security arrangements




  • CSCAP
  • GUAM
    Guam
    Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

  • Maritime security regime
  • NATO
  • SCO
  • SAARC
  • UNASUR

See also


  • Ahidnâme
  • Branding National Myths and Symbols
    Branding national myths and symbols
    Branding national myths and symbols, or BNMS, is a field of research focusing on branding and marketing of a nation's myths and symbols. The research blends the theories of marketing, cultural communications, sociology, public relations, and semiotics...

  • Capitulation (treaty)
    Capitulation (treaty)
    A capitulation , or ahidnâme, is a treaty or unilateral contract by which a sovereign state relinquishes jurisdiction within its borders over the subjects of a foreign state...

  • Center for Global Public Relations
    Center for Global Public Relations
    -Center for Global Public Relations:The Center for Global Public Relations is a nonprofit unit located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. Directed by Dr...

     (in North Carolina in the US)
  • Democracy promotion
    Democracy promotion
    Democracy promotion, which can also be referred to as democracy assistance, or democracy building, is a strand of foreign policy adopted by governments and international organizations that seek to support the spread of democracy as a political system around the world.-Introduction:The precise...

  • Development criticism
    Development criticism
    Development criticism refers to criticisms of technological development.-Notable development critics:*Edward Abbey*John Africa*Stafford Beer *Charles A...

  • Diplomacy Monitor
    Diplomacy Monitor
    Diplomacy Monitor was a free Internet-based tool created in 2003 to monitor diplomacy documents published in various diplomacy-related websites, including official sources from governments all over the world.Diplomacy Monitor addressed the emerging Internet-based...

    , a tool for tracking Internet-based public diplomacy
    Public diplomacy
    In international relations, public diplomacy or people's diplomacy, broadly speaking, is the communication with foreign publics to establish a dialogue designed to inform and influence. There is no one definition of Public Diplomacy, and may be easier described than easily defined as definitions...

  • Diplomatic history
    Diplomatic history
    Diplomatic history deals with the history of international relations between states. Diplomatic history can be different from international relations in that the former can concern itself with the foreign policy of one state while the latter deals with relations between two or more states...

  • e-International Relations
    E-International Relations
    e-International Relations is a free to access e-magazine covering international relations and international politics. The site was launched in November 2007 by graduates from the universities of Oxford, Leicester, and Aberystwyth and is currently run by a network of young academics and former...

    , leading student-run website on global governance, International Relations and diplomacy
  • Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations
  • Global Relations Forum
  • Global Studies
    Global Studies
    Global studies, in its broadest definition is the academic study of political, economic, social and cultural relationships of the world. Furthermore, it can also include the study of political and cultural processes, the impacts of globalisation, markets and communications. Global Studies...

  • Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
    Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
    The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies is a highly selective postgraduate educational and research institute situated in Geneva, Switzerland...

    , MA and PhD programmes in International Relations
  • History of ideas
    History of ideas
    The history of ideas is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. The history of ideas is a sister-discipline to, or a particular approach within, intellectual history...

  • Human condition
    Human condition
    The human condition encompasses the experiences of being human in a social, cultural, and personal context. It can be described as the irreducible part of humanity that is inherent and not connected to gender, race, class, etc. — a search for purpose, sense of curiosity, the inevitability of...

  • Human history
  • Human nature
    Human nature
    Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally....

  • Human security
    Human security
    Human security is an emerging paradigm for understanding global vulnerabilities whose proponents challenge the traditional notion of national security by arguing that the proper referent for security should be the individual rather than the state...

  • Intercultural competence
    Intercultural competence
    Intercultural competence is the ability of successful communication with people of other cultures.A person who is interculturally competent captures and understands, in interaction with people from foreign cultures, their specific concepts in perception, thinking, feeling and acting...

  • List of IR institutes and organisations
  • List of IR schools
  • List of scholarly journals in international relations
  • Moral syncretism
    Moral syncretism
    Moral syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory moral beliefs, often while melding the ethical practices of various schools of thought.-The role of moral syncretism:...

  • Phronetic social science
    Phronetic social science
    Phronetic social science is an approach to the study of social – including political and economic – phenomena based on a contemporary interpretation of the Aristotelian concept phronesis, variously translated as practical judgment, common sense, or prudence. Phronesis is the intellectual virtue...

  • Political Realism
  • Confidence-building measures
  • Confidence-building measures in South America
    Confidence-building measures in South America
    The South American experience with confidence-building measures has been markedly different from the Central American one for the obvious reason that South America did not live through the protracted conflict and peacemaking process which dominated Central America in the 1980s and early 1990s...

  • Continental union
    Continental union
    A continental union is an inter-governmental, supra-national, or a federation of member states located in the same continent, or close to it. Continental unions are a relatively new type of political entity in the history of human government. Throughout most of human history, political...


Theory

  • Norman Angell
    Norman Angell
    Sir Ralph Norman Angell was an English lecturer, journalist, author, and Member of Parliament for the Labour Party.Angell was one of the principal founders of the Union of Democratic Control...

     The Great Illusion (London: Heinemann, 1910)
  • Hedley Bull
    Hedley Bull
    Hedley Bull, FBA was Professor of International Relations at the Australian National University, the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford until his death from cancer in 1985...

     Anarchical Society (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977)
  • Robert Cooper
    Robert Cooper (diplomat)
    Robert Francis Cooper, CMG, MVO is a British diplomat and advisor currently serving as a Counsellor in the European External Action Service...

     The Post-Modern State
  • Goodin, Robert E., and Hans-Dieter Klingemann, eds. A New Handbook of Political Science (1998) ch 16-19 pp 401–78 excerpt and text search
  • Robert Keohane
    Robert Keohane
    Robert O. Keohane is an American academic, who, following the publication of his influential book After Hegemony , became widely associated with the theory of neoliberal institutionalism in international relations...

     After Hegemony
  • Hans Köchler
    Hans Köchler
    Hans Köchler is a professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and president of the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations...

    , Democracy and the International Rule of Law. Vienna/New York: Springer, 1995
  • Andrew Linklater
    Andrew Linklater
    Andrew Linklater is a renowned international relations academic, and is the current Woodrow Wilson Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University...

     Men and citizens in the theory of international relations
  • Reinhold Niebuhr
    Reinhold Niebuhr
    Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr was an American theologian and commentator on public affairs. Starting as a leftist minister in the 1920s indebted to theological liberalism, he shifted to the new Neo-Orthodox theology in the 1930s, explaining how the sin of pride created evil in the world...

     Moral Man and Immoral Society 1932
  • Joseph Nye
    Joseph Nye
    Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. is the co-founder, along with Robert Keohane, of the international relations theory neoliberalism, developed in their 1977 book Power and Interdependence. Together with Keohane, he developed the concepts of asymmetrical and complex interdependence...

     Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, Public Affairs Ltd 2004
  • Paul Raskin
    Paul Raskin
    Paul Raskin is the Founding Director of the Tellus Institute which has conducted over 3,500 research and policy projects throughout the world on environmental issues, resource planning, and sustainable development...

     The Great Transition Today: A Report from the Future
  • J. Ann Tickner
    J. Ann Tickner
    J. Ann Tickner is a feminist international relations theorist. She is a professor at the School of International Relations, University of Southern California, Los Angeles...

     Gender in International Relations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992)
  • Kenneth Waltz
    Kenneth Waltz
    Kenneth Neal Waltz is a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University and one of the most prominent scholars of international relations alive today...

     Man, the State, and War
  • Kenneth Waltz
    Kenneth Waltz
    Kenneth Neal Waltz is a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University and one of the most prominent scholars of international relations alive today...

     Theory of International Politics (1979), examines the foundation of By Bar
  • Michael Walzer
    Michael Walzer
    Michael Walzer is a prominent American political philosopher and public intellectual. A professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, he is co-editor of Dissent, an intellectual magazine that he has been affiliated with since his years as an undergraduate at...

     Just and Unjust Wars 1977
  • Alexander Wendt
    Alexander Wendt
    Alexander Wendt is one of the core social constructivist scholars in the field of international relations. Wendt and scholars such as Nicholas Onuf, Peter J...

     Social Theory of International Politics 1999
  • J. Martin Rochester Fundamental Principles of International Relations (Westview Press, 2010)

Textbooks

  • Baylis, John, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (2011)
  • Mingst, Karen A., and Ivan M. Arreguín-Toft. Essentials of International Relations (5tyh ed. 2010)
  • Nau, Henry R. Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, Ideas (2008)
  • Roskin, Michael G., and Nicholas O. Berry. IR: The New World of International Relations (8th ed. 2009)

History of international relations

  • New Cambridge Modern History (13 vol 1957-79), thorough coverage from 1500 to 1900
  • Black, Jeremy. A History of Diplomacy (2010)
  • Calvocoressi, Peter. World Politics since 1945 (9th Edition, 2008) 956pp excerpt and text search
  • E. H. Carr Twenty Years Crisis (1940), 1919–39
  • Kennedy, Paul
    Paul Kennedy
    Paul Michael Kennedy CBE, FBA , is a British historian at Yale University specialising in the history of international relations, economic power and grand strategy. He has published prominent books on the history of British foreign policy and Great Power struggles...

    . The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500-2000
    The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
    The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500 to 2000, by Paul Kennedy, first published in 1987, explores the politics and economics of the Great Powers from 1500 to 1980 and the reason for their decline...

    (1987), stress on economic and military factors
  • Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy (1995), not a memoir but an interpretive history of international diplomacy since the late 18th century
  • Schroeder, Paul W. The Transformation of European Politics 1763-1848 (Oxford History of Modern Europe) (1994) 920pp; history and analysis of major diplomacy
  • Taylor, A.J.P. The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848–1918 (1954) (Oxford History of Modern Europe) 638pp; history and analysis of major diplomacy