HOME

TheInfoList




International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activities between states—such as war, diplomacy, trade, and
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Poli ...
—and relations with and among other international actors, such as
intergovernmental organisations An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other intergovernmental organizations. IGOs are established by a treaty that ...
( IGOs), international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), international legal bodies, and
multinational corporations A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Nat ...
(MNCs). International relations is widely considered a subdiscipline of
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as ...
. However, IR draws considerably upon
international economics International economics is concerned with the effects upon economic activity from international differences in productive resources and consumer preferences and the international institutions that affect them. It seeks to explain the patterns and ...
,
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
,
world history World history or global history as a field of historiography, historical study examines history from a global perspective. It emerged centuries ago; leading practitioners have included Voltaire (1694–1778), Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Hegel ...

world history
, and
cultural anthropology Cultural anthropology is a branch of focused on the study of among humans. It is in contrast to , which perceives cultural variation as a subset of a posited anthropological constant. The portmanteau term includes both cultural and social anth ...
. In the US, IR is frequently one of the sub-fields within political science departments, but some academic institutions characterize it as an independent or multidisciplinary. While international politics has been analyzed throughout much of history, IR did not emerge as a discrete field until the turn of the 20th century, initially as an extension of political science; it was first distinguished as its own discipline in 1919, when it was offered as an undergraduate major by
Aberystwyth University , mottoeng = A world without knowledge is no world at all , established = 1872 (as ''The University College of Wales'') , former_names = University of Wales, Aberystwyth , type = Public In public relatio ...

Aberystwyth University
in
the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
. Over the next decade, similar studies were established at the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
and
London School of Economics , mottoeng = To understand the causes of things , established = 1895 , type = Public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of s ...
, which led the field to develop its independence and prominence. After the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, international relations burgeoned in both importance and scholarship—particularly in North America and Western Europe—partly in response to the geostrategic concerns of the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
. The
collapse of the Soviet Union The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskovo Sojúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. (1988–1991) was the process of internal balkanization, ...
and subsequent rise of
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which ha ...

globalization
in the late 20th century presaged new theories and evaluations of the rapidly changing international system. Into the 21st century, as connections between states become progressively more complex and multifaceted, international relations has been incorporated into other fields, such as economics, law, and history, leading to a convergent,
interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields like sociology, anthropology, psychology, ...
field.


Terminology

International relations ''International relations'' or ''international affairs'' is, dependent on the academic institution, either a subdiscipline of political science, or a broader
multidisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields like sociology, anthropology, psychology, ...
field of global politics, law, economics and world history. As a subdiscipline of political science, the focus of IR studies lie on political, diplomatic and security connections between states, as well as the study of modern political world history. In many academic institutions, studies of IR are thus situated in the department of politics/social sciences. This is for example the case in Scandinavia, where international relations are often simply referred to as ''international politics (IP).'' In institutions where ''international relations'' refers to the broader multidisciplinary field of global politics, law, economics and history, the subject may be studied across multiple departments, or be situated in its own department, as is the case at for example the London School of Economics. An undergraduate degree in multidisciplinary international relations may lead to a more specialised master's degree of either international politics, economics, or international law. International studies ''International studies'' is in all cases referring to the broader multidisciplinary IR field, where also global economics, law, and world history form central components of scholarship. The use of international ''studies'' instead of international ''relations'' is used to distinguish multidisciplinary IR from IR as a political science discipline. The use of the term ''international studies'' has become the norm in many universities where IR is traditionally studied as a branch of political science, to denote its independence as an academic field. Global studies While often confused with the study of international relations, ''global studies'' or ''global affairs'' is distinguished by a broader analytical scope where the term ''global'' instead of ''international'' relations signifies a comparatively lesser focus on the nation state as a fundamental unit of analysis. Global studies focuses more generally on issues of global scope; specifically macro-processes in
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
,
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, ...
,
ethnography Ethnography (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ap ...

ethnography
,
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

communication
,
migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries and stay in the host state for some minimum len ...
, and the general processes of
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling diff ...
and
economic globalisation An economy (from Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services by different agents. In general, it is defined 'as a so ...
.


History of International Relations

Studies of international relations start thousands of years ago;
Barry Buzan Barry Gordon Buzan (born 28 April 1946) is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics , mottoeng = To understand the causes of things , established = 1895 , type = Public In public relations and ...
and Richard Little consider the interaction of ancient
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian city-states, starting in 3,500 BC, as the first fully-fledged international system. Analyses of the foreign policies of sovereign city states have been done in ancient times, as in Thycydides' analysis of the causes of the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
between
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
and
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as well as in , , , , , some islands in the southern and some cities on the south east coast of ...

Sparta
, as well as by
Niccolò Machiavelli Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (; ; rarely rendered Nicholas Machiavel (see below See or SEE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Music: ** See (album), ''See'' (album), studio album by rock band The Rascals *** "See", song by ...
in his work ''
The Prince ''The Prince'' ( it, Il Principe ; la, De Principatibus) is a 16th-century political treatise A treatise is a formal Formal, formality, informal or informality imply the complying with, or not complying with, some set theory, set of requirem ...
,'' where he analyses the foreign policy of the renaissance city state of
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
. The contemporary field of international relations, however, analyses the connections existing between sovereign nation states. This makes the establishment of the modern state system the natural starting point of international relations history. The establishment of modern sovereign states as fundamental political units traces back to the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in the ...
of 1648 in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
. During the preceding
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, European organization of political authority was based on a vaguely hierarchical religious order. Contrary to popular belief, Westphalia still embodied layered systems of sovereignty, especially within the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
. More than the Peace of Westphalia, the
Treaty of Utrecht The Peace of Utrecht was a series of peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized commun ...

Treaty of Utrecht
of 1713 is thought to reflect an emerging norm that sovereigns had no internal equals within a defined territory and no external superiors as the ultimate authority within the territory's sovereign borders. These principles underpin the modern international legal and political order. The period between roughly 1500 to 1789 saw the rise of independent, sovereign
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
,
multilateralism In international relations, multilateralism refers to an alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal. Definitions Multilateralism, in the form of membership in international institutions, serves to bind powerful nations, discourage ...
, and the institutionalization of
diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means. Diplomacy usually refers to international relations carried out through the inte ...

diplomacy
and the military. The
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
contributed the idea that the citizenry of a state, defined as the nation, that were sovereign, rather than a monarch or noble class. A state wherein the nation is sovereign would thence be termed a
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
, as opposed to a monarchy or a religious state; the term
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
increasingly became its synonym. An alternative model of the nation-state was developed in reaction to the French republican concept by the Germans and others, who instead of giving the citizenry sovereignty, kept the princes and nobility, but defined nation-statehood in ethnic-linguistic terms, establishing the rarely if ever fulfilled ideal that all people speaking one language should belong to one state only. The same claim to sovereignty was made for both forms of nation-state. In Europe today, few states conform to either definition of nation-state: many continue to have royal sovereigns, and hardly any are ethnically homogeneous. The particular European system supposing the sovereign equality of states was exported to the Americas, Africa, and Asia via
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
and the "standards of civilization". The contemporary international system was finally established through
decolonization Decolonization (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States ( ...
during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
. 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 insistence on full sovereignty, 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 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, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, and is dealt with in more detail below. IR theory, however, has a long tradition of drawing on the work of other
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
s. 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 ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, military strategist A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially a ...
's ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient List of Chinese military texts, Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 5th century BC). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Su ...
'' (6th century BC),
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
' ''
History of the Peloponnesian War The ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Classical Athens, Athens). It was written by ...
'' (5th century BC),
Chanakya Chanakya (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit and related Indic languages. It is bas ...

Chanakya
's ''
Arthashastra The ''Arthaśāstra'' ( sa, अर्थशास्त्र, ) is an ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 ye ...

Arthashastra
'' (4th century BC), as the inspiration for realist theory, with
Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; sometimes known as Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first sp ...
' ''
Leviathan Leviathan (; , ) is a sea serpent A sea serpent or sea dragon is a type of dragon A dragon is a large, snake, serpentine, legendary creature that appears in the folklore of many cultures worldwide. Beliefs about dragons vary consid ...
'' and Machiavelli's ''
The Prince ''The Prince'' ( it, Il Principe ; la, De Principatibus) is a 16th-century political treatise A treatise is a formal Formal, formality, informal or informality imply the complying with, or not complying with, some set theory, set of requirem ...
'' providing further elaboration. Similarly,
liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals ...
draws upon the work of
Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Kant
and
Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...
, with the work of the former often being cited as the first elaboration of
democratic peace theory The democratic peace theory posits that democracy, democracies are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other identified democracies. Among proponents of the democratic peace theory, several factors are held as motivating peace between dem ...
. Though contemporary human rights is considerably different from the type of rights envisioned under
natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or ...
,
Francisco de Vitoria Francisco de Vitoria ( – 12 August 1546; also known as Francisco de Victoria) was a Spanish Roman Catholic philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental q ...

Francisco de Vitoria
,
Hugo Grotius Hugo Grotius (; 10 April 1583 – 28 August 1645), also known as Huig de Groot () and in Dutch as Hugo de Groot (), was a Dutch humanist, diplomat, lawyer, theologian, jurist, poet and playwright. A teenage intellectual prodigy, he was bor ...

Hugo Grotius
and
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * ...

John Locke
offered the first accounts of universal entitlement to certain rights on the basis of common humanity. In the 20th century, in addition to contemporary theories of
liberal internationalism Liberal internationalism is a foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and i ...
,
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
has been a foundation of international relations.


Emergence as academic discipline

International relations as a distinct field of study began in
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
. IR emerged as a formal
academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a statement of fact is ...
in 1919 with the founding of the first IR professorship: the Woodrow Wilson Chair at
Aberystwyth Aberystwyth () is a university town and community (Wales), community in Ceredigion, Wales. Historically in the Historic counties of Wales, historic county of Cardiganshire, the literal meaning of the cy, Aberystwyth is the mouth of the River Ys ...

Aberystwyth
,
University of Wales , latin_name = , image = , motto = cy, Goreu Awen Gwirionedd , mottoeng = The Best Inspiration is Truth , established = , , type = Confederal A confederation (also known as a confeder ...

University of Wales
(now
Aberystwyth University , mottoeng = A world without knowledge is no world at all , established = 1872 (as ''The University College of Wales'') , former_names = University of Wales, Aberystwyth , type = Public In public relatio ...

Aberystwyth University
), held by
Alfred Eckhard Zimmern Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern (1879–1957) was an English classical scholar, historian, and political scientist writing on international relations. His book ''The Third British Empire'' was among the first to apply the expression "Commonwealth of N ...
and endowed by David Davies.
Georgetown University Georgetown University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly ...

Georgetown University
's
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, or simply the SFS, is the school of international relations The field of international relations dates from the time of the Ancient Greece, Greek historian Thucydides. International relati ...
is the oldest international relations faculty in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, founded in 1919. In the early 1920s, the
London School of Economics , mottoeng = To understand the causes of things , established = 1895 , type = Public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of s ...
' department of international relations was founded at the behest of
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 Decemb ...
winner
Philip Noel-Baker Philip John Noel-Baker, Baron Noel-Baker, (1 November 1889 – 8 October 1982), born Philip John Baker, was a British politician, diplomat, academic, amateur athlete, and renowned campaigner for disarmament Disarmament is the act of reducing, l ...
: this was the first institute to offer a wide range of degrees in the field. This was rapidly followed by establishment of IR at universities in the US and in
Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge Carouge () is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. History Carouge is first mentioned in the Early Middle Ages as ''Quadruvium'' and ''Quatruvio''. In 124 ...

Geneva
,
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
. The creation of the posts of
Montague Burton Professor of International Relations The Montague Burton Professorship of International Relations is a named chair at the University of Oxford , mottoeng = Psalm 27, The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (as of 31 July 201 ...
at LSE and at Oxford gave further impetus to the academic study of international relations. Furthermore, the International History department at LSE developed a focus on the history of IR in the
early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of 's past. It is understood through , , , and , and since the , from and s. Humanity's written history was preceded by its , beginning with ...
,
colonial Colonial or The Colonial may refer to: * Colonial, of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony or colony (biology) Architecture * American colonial architecture * French Colonial * Spanish Colonial architecture Automobiles * Colonial (1920 auto ...
and
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
periods. The first university entirely dedicated to the study of IR was the
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, or the Graduate Institute (french: Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement, previously known as ''Institut des hautes études internationales''), abbreviat ...
, which was founded in 1927 to form diplomats associated to the
League of Nations The League of Nations (french: Société des Nations ), was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member state ...
. The Committee on International Relations at the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an abse ...
was the first to offer a
graduate degree Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, u ...
, in 1928.
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (doing business as The Fletcher School at Tufts University and The Fletcher School) is the graduate school of international affairs of Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts. The Fletcher School is o ...
, a collaboration between
Tufts University Tufts University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two de ...
and
Harvard Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard
, opened its doors in 1933 as the first graduate-only school of international affairs in the United States. In 1965,
Glendon College Glendon College is a public liberal arts college A liberal arts college or liberal arts institution of higher education is a college A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University system, constituent part of ...
and the
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA ( )) is a professional school of international affairs at Carleton University that was founded in 1965. The school is housed in Richcraft Hall, on Carleton's campus in Ottawa Otta ...
were the first institutions in Canada to offer an undergraduate and a graduate program in international studies and affairs, respectively. The lines between IR and other political science subfields is sometimes blurred, in particular when it comes to the study of conflict, institutions, political economy and political behavior. The division between comparative politics and international relations is artificial, as processes within nations shape international processes, and international processes shape processes within states. Some scholars have called for an integration of the fields. Comparative politics does not have similar "isms" as international relations scholarship.


Theory

Within the study of international relations, there exists multiple theories seeking to explain how states operate within the international system. These can generally be divided into the three main strands of realism, liberalism, and constructivism.


Realism

The realist framework of international relations rests on the fundamental assumption that the international state system is an
anarchy Anarchy is the state of a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – ...
, with no overarching power restricting the behaviour of sovereign states. As a consequence, states are engaged in a continuous power struggle, where they seek to augment their own military capabilities, economic power, and diplomacy relative to other states; this in order to ensure the protection of their political system, citizens, and vital interests. The realist framework further assumes that states act as unitary, rational actors, where central decision makers in the state apparatus ultimately stand for most of the state's foreign policy decisions. International organisations are in consequence merely seen as tools for individual states used to further their own interests, and are thought to have little power in shaping states' foreign policies on their own. The realist framework is traditionally associated with the analysis of power-politics, and has been used to analyse the conflicts between states in the early European state-system; the causes of the
first First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...

first
and
second world wars World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for two major internationa ...
, as well as the behaviour of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
. In settings such as these the realist framework carries great interpretative insights in explaining how the military and economic power struggles of states lead to larger armed conflicts.


History of realism

''
History of the Peloponnesian War The ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Classical Athens, Athens). It was written by ...
'', written by
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
, is considered a foundational text of the realist school of political philosophy. There is debate over whether Thucydides himself was a realist; Ned Lebow has argued that seeing Thucydides as a realist is a misinterpretation of a more complex political message within his work. Amongst others, philosophers like ,
Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; sometimes known as Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first sp ...
and
Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Rousseau
are considered to have contributed to the Realist philosophy. However, while their work may support realist doctrine, it is not likely that they would have classified themselves as realists in this sense.
Political realism The_Prince.html"_;"title="Niccolò_Machiavelli's_work_''The_Prince">Niccolò_Machiavelli's_work_''The_Prince''_of_1532_was_a_major_stimulus_to_realist_thinking. Realism_is_one_of_the_dominant_school_of_thought.html" "title="The Prince">Niccolò ...
believes that politics, like society, is governed by objective laws with roots in
human nature Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British ...

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, persons 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. Major theorists include E. H. Carr,
Robert Gilpin Robert Gilpin (; July 2, 1930 – June 20, 2018) was a scholar of international political economy and the Professor of Politics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University ...
, Charles P. Kindleberger, Stephen D. Krasner,
Hans Morgenthau Hans Joachim Morgenthau (February 17, 1904 – July 19, 1980) was one of the major twentieth-century figures in the study of international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) ...
,
Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a century at Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy ...
,
Kenneth Waltz Kenneth Neal Waltz (; June 8, 1924 – May 12, 2013) was an American political scientist who was a member of the faculty at both the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or ...
,
Stephen Walt Stephen Martin Walt (born July 2, 1955) is an American professor of international relations, international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He belongs to the realism (international relations), realist school of i ...
, and
John Mearsheimer John Joseph Mearsheimer (; born December 14, 1947) is an American political scientist Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in gro ...

John Mearsheimer
.


Liberalism

In contrast to realism, the liberal framework emphasises that states, although they are sovereign, do not exist in a purely anarchical system. Rather, liberal theory assumes that states are institutionally constrained by the power of international organisations, and mutually dependent on one another through economic and diplomatic ties. Institutions such as the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the
International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice (ICJ; french: Cour internationale de justice, links=no; ), sometimes known as the World Court, is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmenta ...

International Court of Justice
are taken to, over time, have developed power and influence to shape the foreign policies of individual states. Furthermore, the existence of the globalised
world economy The world economy or the global economy is the economy of all humans of the world, referring to the global economic system which includes all economic activities which are conducted both within and between nations, including production (economics ...
makes continuous military power struggle irrational, as states are dependent on participation in the global trade system to ensure their own survival. As such, the liberal framework stresses cooperation between states as a fundamental part of the international system. States are not seen as unitary actors, but pluralistic arenas where interest groups, non-governmental organisations, and economic actors also shapes the creation of foreign policy.Mingst, Karen A., & Arreguín-Toft, Ivan M. (2011). Essentials of International Relations (5th ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. The liberal framework is associated with analysis of the globalised world as it emerged in the aftermath of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Increased political cooperation through organisations such as the , as well as economic cooperation through institutions such as the WTO, the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The ...

International Monetary Fund
, was thought to have made the realist analysis of power and conflict inadequate in explaining the workings of the international system.


History of liberalism

The intellectual basis of liberalist theory is often cited as essay ''Perpetual Peace'' from 1795. In it, he postulates that states, over time, through increased political and economic cooperation, will come to resemble an international federation—a
world government World government or global government, sometimes called one-worldism or cosmocracy, is the concept of a single authority for all humanity. It generally entails some form of through a single or with jurisdiction over the entire . Such a gover ...

world government
; which will be characterised by continual peace and cooperation. In modern times,
liberal international relations theory Liberalism is a school of thought within international relations theory International relations theory is the study of international relations (IR) from a theoretical perspective. It seeks to explain Causality, causal and constitutive effects ...
arose after
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
in response to the ability of states to control and limit war in their international relations. Early adherents include
Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of gove ...

Woodrow Wilson
and
Norman Angell Sir Ralph Norman Angell (26 December 1872 – 7 October 1967) was an English Nobel Peace Prize winner. He was a lecturer, journalist, author and Member of Parliament for the The Labour Party (UK), Labour Party. Angell was one of the principal ...
, who argued that states mutually gained from cooperation and that war was so destructive as 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 are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
as the basis of the legitimacy of
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
was advanced by Hans Köchler. Major theorists include
Montesquieu Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, Lot-et-Garonne, Montesquieu (; ; 18 January 168910 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, intellectual, man of letters, historian, and po ...

Montesquieu
,
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Immanuel Kant
,
Michael W. Doyle Michael W. Doyle is an American international relations scholar who is a theorist of the liberal " democratic peace" and author of ''Liberalism and World Politics''. He has also written on the comparative history of empires and the evaluation of ...
,
Francis Fukuyama Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (, ; born October 27, 1952) is an American Political science, political scientist, Political economy, political economist, and writer. Fukuyama is known for his book ''The End of History and the Last Man'' (1992), which ...

Francis Fukuyama
, and
Helen Milner Helen V. Milner (born 1958) is an American political scientist Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – wheth ...
.


''Neoliberalism''

Neoliberalism Neoliberalism, or neo-liberalism, is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with valu ...
seeks to update liberalism by accepting the neorealist presumption that states are the key actors in international relations, but still maintains that
non-state actorNon-state actors include organizations and individuals that are not affiliated with, directed by, or funded through the government. The interests, structure, and influence of NSAs vary widely. For example, among NSAs are corporations, media organi ...
s (NSAs) and
intergovernmental organizations An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other intergovernmental organizations. IGOs are established by a treaty that ...
(IGOs) matter. Proponents 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 organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system. Organizations ...
s blocking a nation's right to
sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
. Neoliberal institutionalism, an approach founded by Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, emphasize the important role of international institutions in maintaining an open global trading regime. Prominent neoliberal institutionalists are
John Ikenberry Gilford John Ikenberry (October 5, 1954) is a theorist of international relations and Foreign relations of the United States, United States foreign policy, and the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton Unive ...
,
Robert Keohane Robert Owen Keohane (; born October 3, 1941) is an American academic An academy ( Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary or tertiary higher learning, research, or honorary membership. ...
, and
Joseph Nye Joseph Samuel Nye Jr. (born January 19, 1937) is an American political scientist Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, ...
.


= ''Regime theory''

=
Regime theory Regime theory is a theory within international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it con ...
is derived from the liberal tradition that argues that international institutions or regimes affect the behaviour 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, Realistic, or Realists may refer to: In the arts *Realism (arts), the general attempt to depict subjects truthfully in different forms of the arts Arts movements related to realism include: *Classical Realism *Literary realism, a movem ...
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 Collective security can be understood as a security treaty, arrangement, political, regional, or global, in which each state in the system accepts that the security of one is the concern of all, and therefore commits to a collective response to ...
among other issues. These instances of cooperation are regimes. The most commonly cited definition of regimes comes from
Stephen Krasner Stephen David Krasner (born February 15, 1942) is an American academic and former diplomat. Krasner has been a professor of international relations at Stanford University , mottoeng = "The wind of freedom blows" , type = Private university, P ...
, who defines regimes as "principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actor expectations converge in a given issue-area". Not all approaches to regime theory, however, are liberal or neoliberal; some realist scholars like
Joseph Grieco Joseph M. Grieco is professor of political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relatio ...
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).


Constructivism

The constructivist framework rests on the fundamental assumption that the international system is built on social constructs; such as
idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosoph ...

idea
s,
norms Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised mineral content of a rock * Norm (philosophy), a standard in normative ethics that is prescriptive rather than a descriptive or explanato ...
, and identities. Various political actors, such as state leaders,
policy makers A policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by a governance body within an organ ...

policy makers
, and the leaders of international organisations, are socialised into different roles and systems of norms, which define how the international system operates. The constructivist scholar
Alexander Wendt Alexander Wendt (born 12 June 1958) is an American political scientist who is one of the core social constructivist researchers in the field of international relations, and a key contributor to quantum social science. Wendt and academics such as ...
, in a 1992 article in ''
International Organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system. Organizations ...
,'' noted in response to realism that "anarchy is what states make of it". By this he means that the anarchic structure that realists claim governs state interaction is in fact a phenomenon that is socially constructed and reproduced by states. Constructivism is part of critical theory, and as such seeks to criticise the assumptions underlying traditional IR theory. Constructivist theory would for example claim that the state leaders of the United States and Soviet Union were socialised into different roles and norms, which can provide theoretical insights to how the conflict between the nations was conducted during the Cold War. E.g., prominent US policy makers frequently spoke of the USSR as an 'evil empire', and thus socialised the US population and state apparatus into an anti-communist sentiment, which defined the norms conducted in US foreign policy. Other constructivist analyses include the discourses on European integration; senior policy-making circles were socialised into ideas of Europe as an historical and cultural community, and therefore sought to construct institutions to integrate European nations into a single political body. Constructivism is also present in the analysis of
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
, where norms of conduct such as the prohibition of
chemical weapon A chemical weapon (CW) is a specialized munition Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the in ...
s,
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
, and the protection of civilians in war, are socialised into international organisations, and stipulated into rules. Prominent constructivist IR scholars include Michael Barnett,
Martha FinnemoreMartha Finnemore (born 1959) is an American constructivist scholar of international relations, and University Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She is considered among the most influential in ...
, Ted Hopf, Peter J. Katzenstein, Peter Katzenstein, Kathryn Sikkink and
Alexander Wendt Alexander Wendt (born 12 June 1958) is an American political scientist who is one of the core social constructivist researchers in the field of international relations, and a key contributor to quantum social science. Wendt and academics such as ...
.


Critical theory/post-structuralism

Post-structuralism theories of international relations (also called ''critical theories'' due to being inherently critical of traditional IR frameworks) developed in the 1980s from Postmodernism (international relations), 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, Post-structural feminism, feminist poststructuralist work has examined the role that "women" play in global society and how they are constructed in war as "innocent" and "civilians". Rosenberg's article "Why is there no International Historical Sociology" was a key text in the evolution of this strand of international relations theory. Post-structuralism has garnered both significant praise and criticism, with its critics arguing that post-structuralist research often fails to address the real-world problems that international relations studies is supposed to contribute to solving. Constructivist theory (see above) is the most prominent strand of post-structuralism. Other prominent post-structuralist theories are marxism, dependency theory, feminism, and the theories of the English school. See also ''Critical international relations theory.''


''Marxism''

Marxism, Marxist 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, making Social class, economic class the fundamental level of analysis. Marxists view the international system as an integrated capitalist system in pursuit of capital accumulation. Thus,
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
brought in sources for raw materials and captive markets for exports, while decolonialization brought new opportunities in the form of dependence. A prominent derivative of Marxian thought is critical international relations theory which is the application of "critical theory" to international relations. Early critical theorists were associated with the Frankfurt School, which followed Marx's concern with the conditions that allow for social change and the establishment of rational institutions. Their emphasis on the "critical" component of theory was derived significantly from their attempt to overcome the limits of positivism. Modern-day proponents such as Andrew Linklater, Robert W. Cox and Ken Booth (academic), Ken Booth focus on the need for human freedom (political), emancipation from the nation-state. Hence, it is "critical" of mainstream IR theories that tend to be both positivist and state-centric.


''Dependency theory''

Further linked in with Marxist theories is dependency theory and the Core-periphery, core–periphery model, which argue that developed countries, in their pursuit of power, appropriate developing states through international banking, security and trade agreements and unions on a formal level, and do so through the interaction of political and financial advisors, missionaries, relief aid workers, and MNCs on the informal level, in order to integrate them into the capitalist system, strategically appropriating undervalued natural resources and labor hours and fostering economic and political dependence.


''Feminism''

Feminist IR considers the ways that international politics affects and is affected by both men and women and also at how the core concepts that are employed within the discipline of IR (e.g. war, security, etc.) are themselves gendered. Feminist IR has not only concerned itself with the traditional focus of IR on states, wars, diplomacy and security, but feminist IR scholars have also emphasized the importance of looking at how gender shapes the current global political economy. In this sense, there is no clear cut division between feminists working in IR and those working in the area of International Political Economy (IPE). From its inception, feminist IR has also theorized extensively about men and, in particular, masculinities. Many IR feminists argue that the discipline is inherently masculine in nature. For example, in her article "Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals" Signs (1988), Carol Cohn claimed that a highly masculinized culture within the defence establishment contributed to the divorcing of war from human emotion. Feminist IR emerged largely from the late 1980s onwards. The end of the Cold War and the re-evaluation of traditional IR theory during the 1990s opened up a space for gendering International Relations. Because feminist IR is linked broadly to the critical project in IR, by and large most feminist scholarship have sought to problematize the politics of knowledge construction within the discipline—often by adopting methodologies of deconstructivism associated with postmodernism/poststructuralism. However, the growing influence of feminist and women-centric approaches within the international policy communities (for example at the World Bank and the United Nations) is more reflective of the liberal feminist emphasis on equality of opportunity for women. Prominent scholars include Carol Cohn, Cynthia Enloe, Sara Ruddick, and J. Ann Tickner.


''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 public international law, international law. 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 and Robert H. Jackson are perhaps the best known pluralists. Some English School theoreticians have used historical cases in order to show the influence that normative frameworks have on the evolution of the international political order at various critical junctures.


Levels of analysis


Systemic level concepts

International relations are often viewed in terms of ''levels of analysis''. The ''systemic level'' concepts are those broad concepts that define and shape an international milieu, characterized by Anarchy in international relations, anarchy. Focusing on the systemic level of international relations is often, but not always, the preferred method for neo-realists and other structuralist IR analysts.


Sovereignty

Preceding the concepts of interdependence and dependence, international relations relies on the idea of sovereignty. Described in Jean Bodin's ''Six Books of the Commonwealth'' in 1576, the three pivotal points derived from the book describe sovereignty as being a state, that the sovereign power(s) have absolute power over their territories, and that such a power is only limited by the sovereign's "own obligations towards other sovereigns and individuals". Such a foundation of sovereignty is indicated by a sovereign's obligation to other sovereigns, interdependence and dependence to take place. While throughout world history there have been instances of groups lacking or losing sovereignty, such as African nations prior to decolonization or the occupation of Iraq during the Iraq War, there is still a need for sovereignty in terms of assessing international relations.


Power

The concept of power in international relations 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 and soft power, hard power relating primarily to coercive power, such as the use of force, and soft power commonly covering economics,
diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means. Diplomacy usually refers to international relations carried out through the inte ...

diplomacy
and culture, cultural influence. However, there is no clear dividing line between the two forms of power.


National interest

Perhaps the most significant concept behind that of power and sovereignty, national interest is a state's action in relation to other states where it seeks to gain advantage or benefits to itself. National interest, whether aspirational or operational, is divided by core/vital and peripheral/non-vital interests. Core or vital interests constitute the things which a country is willing to defend or expand with conflict such as territory, ideology (religious, political, economic), or its citizens. Peripheral or non-vital are interests which a state is willing to compromise. For example, in Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938 (a part of Czechoslovakia) under the Munich Agreement, Czechoslovakia was willing to relinquish territory which was considered ethnically German in order to preserve its own integrity and sovereignty.


Non-state actors

In the 21st century, the status-quo of the international system is no longer monopolized by states alone. Rather, it is the presence of non-state actors, who autonomously act to implement unpredictable behaviour to the international system. Whether it is transnational corporations, liberation movements, non-governmental agencies, or international organizations, these entities have the potential to significantly influence the outcome of any international transaction. Additionally, this also includes the individual person as while the individual is what constitutes the states collective entity, the individual does have the potential to also create unpredicted behaviours. Al-Qaeda, as an example of a non-state actor, has significantly influenced the way states (and non-state actors) conduct international affairs.


Power blocs

The existence of power blocs in international relations is a significant factor related to Polarity (international relations), polarity. During the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
, the alignment of several nations to one side or another based on ideological differences or national interests has become an endemic feature of international relations. Unlike prior, shorter-term blocs, the Western and Soviet blocs sought to spread their national ideological differences to other nations. Leaders like US President Harry S. Truman under the Truman Doctrine believed it was necessary to spread democracy whereas the Warsaw Pact under Soviet policy sought to spread communism. After the Cold War, and the dissolution of the ideologically homogeneous Eastern bloc still gave rise to others such as the South-South Cooperation movement.


=Polarity

= Polarity in international relations refers to the arrangement of power within the international system. The concept arose from bipolarity during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
, with the international system dominated by the conflict between two superpowers, 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 multipolar, with power being shared among Great powers. The
collapse of the Soviet Union The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskovo Sojúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. (1988–1991) was the process of internal balkanization, ...
in 1991 had led to unipolarity, with the United States as a sole superpower, although many refuse to acknowledge the fact. People's Republic of China, China's continued rapid economic growth—it became the world's second-largest economy in 2010—respectable international position, and the power the Chinese Government exerts over its people (consisting of the largest population in the world), resulted in debate over whether China is now a superpower or a possible candidate in the future. However, China's strategic force unable of projecting power beyond its region and its nuclear arsenal of 250 warheads (compared to 7,700 of the United States) mean that the unipolarity will persist in the policy-relevant future. Several theories of international relations draw upon the idea of polarity (power), polarity. The Balance of power in international relations, balance of power 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 The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
, being a central mechanism of
Kenneth Waltz Kenneth Neal Waltz (; June 8, 1924 – May 12, 2013) was an American political scientist who was a member of the faculty at both the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or ...
's Neorealism. Here, the concepts of balancing (rising in power to counter another) and bandwagonning (siding with another) are developed.
Robert Gilpin Robert Gilpin (; July 2, 1930 – June 20, 2018) was a scholar of international political economy and the Professor of Politics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University ...
's hegemonic stability theory also draws upon the idea of polarity, specifically the state of unipolarity. Hegemony 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 Neal Waltz (; June 8, 1924 – May 12, 2013) was an American political scientist who was a member of the faculty at both the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or ...
, stating that the end of the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
and the state of unipolarity is an unstable configuration that will inevitably change. The case of Gilpin proved to be correct and Waltz's article titled "The Stability of a Bipolar World" was followed in 1999 by William Wohlforth's article titled "The Stability of a Unipolar World". Waltz's thesis can be expressed in power transition theory, which states that it is likely that a great power 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, 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, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which ha ...

globalization
, 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 is a theory most commonly associated with
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
, 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 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. * International sanctions, 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, the use of force, is often thought of as the ultimate tool of international relations. A popular definition is that given by Carl von 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" and "strategic studies". * The mobilization of international shame can also be thought of as a tool of international relations. This is attempting to alter states' actions through 'name and shame, 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 United Nations Human Rights Council, UN Human Rights Council has yet to use this mechanism. * The allotment of economic and/or diplomatic benefits such as the European Union's Enlargement of the European Union, enlargement policy; candidate countries are only allowed to join if they meet the Copenhagen criteria. * The mutual exchange of ideas, information, art, music and language among nations through cultural diplomacy has also been recognized by governments as an important tool in the development of international relations.


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 relation. Democratic peace theory is a theory that suggests that the nature of democracy means that democratic countries will not go to war with each other. The justifications for this are that democracies externalize their norms and only go to war for just causes, and that democracy encourages mutual trust and respect. Communism 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 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

Religion can have an effect on the way a state acts within the international system, and different theoretical perspectives treat it in somewhat different fashion. One dramatic example is the Thirty Years' War (1618–48) that ravaged much of Europe, which was at least partly motivated by theological differences within Christianity. Religion is a major organizing 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 Liberalism is a school of thought within international relations theory International relations theory is the study of international relations (IR) from a theoretical perspective. It seeks to explain Causality, causal and constitutive effects ...
. The September 11 attacks in the United States, the role of Islam in terrorism, and religious strife in the Middle East have made the role of religion in international relations a major topic. China's reemergence as a major international power is believed by some scholars to be shaped by Confucianism.


Individual or sub-unit level concepts

The level beneath that of the unit (state) 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 relationsUnderstanding a state is not a "black box" as proposed by Realism (international relations), realism, 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, 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, another is the propensity of policymakers to think in terms of analogies. * Bureaucratic politicsLooks at the role of the bureaucracy in decision-making, and sees decisions as a result of bureaucratic infighting, and as having been shaped by various constraints. * Religious, ethnic, and secessionist groupsViewing these aspects of the sub-unit level has explanatory power with regards to ethnic conflicts, religious wars, transnational diaspora (diaspora politics) 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 relationsHow science and technology impact global health, business, environment, technology, and development. * International political economy, and economic factors in international relations * International political culturologyLooks at how culture and cultural variables impact in international relations * Personal relations between leaders


Institutions in international relations

International organization, 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 (except in self-defence).


Generalist inter-state organizations


United Nations

The
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
(UN) is an
international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system. Organizations ...
that describes itself as a "global association of governments facilitating co-operation in
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
, international security, economic development, and social equity"; It is the most prominent international institution. Many of the legal institutions follow the same organizational structure as the UN.


Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an
international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system. Organizations ...
consisting of 57 member states. The organisation attempts to be the collective voice of the Muslim world (Ummah) and attempts to safeguard the interests and ensure the progress and well-being of Muslims.


Other

Other generalist inter-state organizations include:


Economic institutions


International legal bodies


Human rights


Legal


Regional security arrangements


See also

* Comparative politics * Diplomatic history * Global studies * List of international relations journals * List of international relations institutes and organisations, List of international relations institutes and organizations * Multilateralism * Peace and conflict studies * Peace economics * Political geography * The European Institute for International Law and International Relations * International relations, 1648–1814 * International relations of the Great Powers (1814–1919) * Diplomatic history of World War I * International relations (1919–1939) * Diplomatic history of World War II *
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
, 1947 to 1991 * International relations since 1989


References


Bibliography

* * Dyvik, Synne L., Jan Selby and Rorden Wilkinson, eds. ''What's the Point of International Relations'' (2017) * Reus-Smit, Christian, and Duncan Snidal, eds. ''The Oxford Handbook of International Relations'' (2010)


Theory

*
Norman Angell Sir Ralph Norman Angell (26 December 1872 – 7 October 1967) was an English Nobel Peace Prize winner. He was a lecturer, journalist, author and Member of Parliament for the The Labour Party (UK), Labour Party. Angell was one of the principal ...
''The Great Illusion'' (London: Heinemann, 1910) * Hedley Bull ''Anarchical Society'' (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977) * E. H. Carr ''The Twenty Years' Crisis'' (2001) [1939] (New York: Perennial) * Robert Cooper (diplomat), Robert Cooper ''The Post-Modern State'' * Cynthia Enloe, Enloe, Cynthia. "'Gender' Is Not Enough: The Need for a Feminist Consciousness". ''International Affairs'' 80.1 (2004): 95–97. Web. 17 Sept. 2013. * Goodin, Robert E., and Hans-Dieter Klingemann, eds. ''A New Handbook of Political Science'' (1998) ch 16–19 pp 401–78 * Charlotte Hooper "Masculinities, IR and the 'Gender Variable': A Cost-Benefit Analysis for (Sympathetic) Gender Sceptics." ''International Studies'' 25.3 (1999): 475–491. * Andrew Hurrell ''On Global Order: Power, Values, and the Constitution of International Society'' (Oxford University Press, 2008)
On Global Order: Power, Values, and the Constitution of International Society
*
Robert Keohane Robert Owen Keohane (; born October 3, 1941) is an American academic An academy ( Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary or tertiary higher learning, research, or honorary membership. ...
''After Hegemony'' * Hans Köchler, ''Democracy and the International Rule of Law''. Vienna/New York: Springer, 1995 * Andrew Linklater ''Men and citizens in the theory of international relations'' * Donald Markwell ''John Maynard Keynes and International Relations: Economic Paths to War and Peace'' (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). * Hans J. Morgenthau ''Scientific Man versus Power Politics, Scientific Man Vs. Power Politics'' (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946) * Reinhold Niebuhr ''Moral Man and Immoral Society'' 1932 *
Joseph Nye Joseph Samuel Nye Jr. (born January 19, 1937) is an American political scientist Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, ...
''Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics'', Public Affairs Ltd 2004 * Paul Raskin ''The Great Transition Today: A Report from the Future'' * Benno Teschke The Myth of 1648 (New York: Verso Press, 2003). * J. Ann Tickner ''Gender in International Relations'' (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992). *
Kenneth Waltz Kenneth Neal Waltz (; June 8, 1924 – May 12, 2013) was an American political scientist who was a member of the faculty at both the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or ...
''Man, the State, and War'' *
Kenneth Waltz Kenneth Neal Waltz (; June 8, 1924 – May 12, 2013) was an American political scientist who was a member of the faculty at both the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or ...
''Theory of International Politics'' (1979), examines the foundation of By Bar * Michael Walzer ''Just and Unjust Wars'' 1977 *
Alexander Wendt Alexander Wendt (born 12 June 1958) is an American political scientist who is one of the core social constructivist researchers in the field of international relations, and a key contributor to quantum social science. Wendt and academics such as ...
''Social Theory of International Politics'' 1999 * J. Martin Rochester ''Fundamental Principles of International Relations'' (Westview Press, 2010) * ''An Introduction to International Relations Theory'' * James C. Hsiang ''Anarchy & Order: The Interplay of Politics and Law in International Relations'' 1555875718, 9781555875718 Lynne Rienner Pub 1997


Textbooks


History of international relations


External links

*
The European Institute for International Law and International Relations
{{DEFAULTSORT:International Relations International relations, Politics International relations education,