World Politics: Theories of International Relations

World Politics

The study and practice of International relations creates a cohesive environment for human coexistence. Our world is interconnected with rich cultural differences. However, it is also threatened by different conditions like pandemics, terrorism, hunger, economic issues, and many others that require skilled professionals to handle. But they can only work well where nations are in good terms, and there are clear channels for communication. Apart from this, there are environmental issues like global warming that require combined efforts. Hence, international relations, an interdisciplinary study, is necessary; it blends the fields of economics, global poverty, human rights, and many others, trying to create a stable political environment.

The contemporary twenty-first-century International relations is quite complicated due to specific economic integrations, potential threats to peace and security, and global focus on human rights and protection of the natural environment. As such, the goal of international relations studies should be on interdisciplinary research that solves, anticipates, and addresses issues about global policies. Today, IR has taken a completely new approach and significance. However, we cannot say it is a new concept since there are pieces of evidence in historical establishments where treaties existed between nations and kingdoms. These served well as international relations for such times.

International relations, in general, is an offshoot of political science. But it is studied on its own because of the exceptional in-depth rights it contains. The global society is continuously evolving, developing, and expanding; along with it is international relations that seek to find new and exciting ways to link our diverse world. For instance, the primary approach of IR for global peace and prosperity covers topics such as international diplomacy, arms of control, and alliance politics. Modern studies, on the other hand, covers areas such political-economy, environmental politics, refugee and migration issues, and human rights.

Stages of State Behavior Analysis

Professionals in international relations seek to understand why a specific state may take a particular decision to stand concerning a specific issue. They often start by determining the level sat what they will analyze such behaviors. The stages include:

System-Level Analysis

At this point, the expert will concentrate on the global system. Realize that the contemporary world is highly interconnected through trades and technological advancement. Hence, it is vital to study how the international system impacts a single state of a nation’s behavior. The critical point here is that the global system carries the power of each country; it is not independent of them. In other words, what international laws and requirements apply to the said state of things? And once this is determined, it is easier to move lower to different levels of either reconciliation or just relations establishment.

State-Level Analysis

From the international perspective, one moves down to the state level that examines the state’s characteristics concerning foreign policy behavior. This level focuses on the state’s religious and social traditions. It also refers to its historical legacies, including the analysis of economic and geographic factors. In other words, international relations must consider what a specific nation is what makes them different from the international community. As stated above, we are a diverse society with different believes in our communities. International relation seeks to understand and bring together these differences into and tolerant global community.

Organization Level

This stage looks at the impact of different organizations within a state on the state’s foreign policy behavior. In other words, these levels consider the views that organizations determine a state’s foreign policy. They come together to decide which systems should be included in international affairs, and in the process create a more acceptable environment for their operations

Individual Level Analysis

Every foreign policy goes through the hands of state leaders. No matter how big the policy is, state leader is the most significant influencers. Therefore, they must consider the possibilities, as well, and the negative effects of foreign policy before its implementation. The individual-level analysis views them as such.

Theories of international relations

Every subject of study requires substantial evidence for its approaches, so does the study of international relations. Theories, in this case, are a set of ideas focused on explaining the operation of international relations. There are many theories, but the major ones are realism and liberalism.

Realism Theory

This theory focuses on the assumption that a nation works to become more powerful concerning other nations. Realism identifies “power” as the only certainty in the world; hence the most potent state rules the weaker ones. And power in this scenario comes from the military process (the essential power), and today, technological advancement. A nation with these powers will always defeat the weaker competition. Realism focuses on self-preservation and the main them – states must always seek more power to stay ahead and protect themselves.

In this case, the international system compels nations to apply military force. Leaders must be guided by morality, but they should not allow morality to take charge of policies concerning foreign affairs. At the same time, realism theory point that global organizations and laws are powerless unless accepted in select states; hence they exist only because the rules say so.


Liberalism or Idealism acknowledges deep ties shared by states; hence defining singular interests for a specific nation becomes a difficulty. In other words, it focuses on the fact that we are all tied somehow in everything that we do; thus, it involves a reduced use of military power. This theory was introduced to the world in the 1970s when globalization through communication technology and international trade become eminent. It made some scholars argue that realism was outdated.

In the study of international relations, liberal ideas, or theories of complex interdependence state, the results of military power are more substantial that benefits. Also, the global corporation serves the best interests of every nation. Besides, liberalism says that applying economic power is more effective than military approaches. This theory was dominant in World War I, where President Woodrow Wilson abolished wars by promoting League of Nations and several other treaties. It was again seen in the Second World WarWorld Politics, stretching into the Cold War. 


1008 Words


Apr 30, 2020


3 Pages

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