The Theory of International Relations is one of the central and most important disciplines in all the humanities. The importance of International Relations Theory is explained by the fact that the main question at the very heart of our discipline is the question of peace and war.
Every international situation represents a choice between conflict or cooperation. In other words, again, peace and war. Every practical decision of politicians is a choice between conflict and cooperation, in other words, between peace and war. And every academic advice is a choice between conflict and cooperation.
One way of writing our academic or analytical papers is to always address a certain audience and advise this audience based on our theoretical approaches. We advise these audiences to make a choice that is always about peace and war, conflict, and cooperation.
This makes our discipline one of the most important among all the humanities. The other reason why International Relations Theory is important is that it deals with the highest units of the human organization, the social organization, and the states.
There is nothing bigger than a state in the modern world, and International Relations Theory analyzes correlations trips between those unions that are on the very top of social organization. But we also call International Relations Theory a science.
Why is International Relations Theory Called a Science?
It is widely known that, in the broadest sense, science is any systematic knowledge capable of resulting in the correct prediction or reliable outcome.
International Relations Science focuses on a certain field of social relationships, as they have said, the highest field of social relationships, relationships between nations and states.
A scientific method seeks to explain the events of nature in a reproducible way and to use these findings to make useful predictions that policymakers and other practitioners can implement and use later. Scientific thinking is one of the ways to find answers, besides, of course, practical thinking, professional thinking, religious thinking, and ideological thinking.
Scientific thinking represents a very special approach, and it revolves around creating a grand concept to explain general patterns of social activities and theory. In a scientific sense, theory means a general set of propositions.
These propositions allow us to generalize, thus providing an explanation, establishing a causal relationship between the variable, serving as a sort of explanatory concept or a source of evaluating the point we use well-meaning of such concepts – Austin Harrington, Modern Social Theory: An Introduction.
International Relations Theory aims to find special patterns and explain the highest level of social interaction and relationships between sovereign states.
International Relations Theory: An Overview
International Relations (IR) is a discipline that has been studied for over a century. Despite its long history, there is still much debate about how to define the subject of International Relations Theory. In this section, we will examine the different ways of defining IR, the theoretical paradigms that exist within the field, and the two general traditions that have formed the basis of IR theory.
Defining International Relations Theory
International Relations Theory can be defined in two ways: a narrow definition and an inclusive definition. Those who take a narrow view of IR define it as simply the relations between units and states in the international system. In contrast, those who take an inclusive view of IR define it as the study of relations between a variety of actors, including states, other actors, and inter-state, inter-society, and state-society relations.
Throughout the course of the discipline, various theoretical paradigms have emerged, each focusing on the most important actors and forms of relations. Some of the most prominent theoretical paradigms include Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism, as well as other theories that incorporate the relationships between states, international organizations, and economic relations.
- Realist Theory: Realist Theory, for example, focuses on the relations between states and sees this as the most important aspect of IR.
- Liberal Theory: Liberal Theory of IR views the most important relations as those between society and states, as internal politics directly influences a country’s foreign policy.
- Marxist Theory: Marxist Theory, on the other hand, views the most important relations as those between social classes.
- Other theories: Relations between states, international organizations, and economic relations
Traditions within the Theory of International Relations
There are two general traditions within the theory of International Relations because there is no general or joint International Relations Theory. The two traditions are finding their roots in human civilization’s very beginnings. These traditions are Ancient and Christian Tradition.
- Ancient tradition is a classical tradition derived from the ideas, theories, and philosophy of the Ancient Greeks.
- This tradition believes that the logic of international politics is driven by human nature and that human nature is unchangeable.
- According to the ancient tradition, human nature is not good and individuals try to maximize their benefits at the expense of others.
- This results in a conflict between normal state operations and relationships between states.
- Those who adhere to the ancient tradition believe that it is not possible to fundamentally advance the nature of global politics or achieve eternal peace.
- and Christian philosophy, as well as other monotheistic religions.
- This tradition is focused on achieving perfection.
- When perfection is reached, the tradition believes that relationships between individuals and states will be peaceful and calm.