Approaches to IR

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International relations discussion

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Approaches to IR

  1. 1. Approaches to International Relations
  2. 2. Firs t, de finitio n o f Inte rnatio nal Re latio ns :  It is the study of the interactions among the various actors that participate in international politics including states, international organizations, non- governmental organizations, subnational organizations, and individuals.
  3. 3. 3 Major Approaches….  Traditional Approaches: Diplomatic History and Philosophy - History provides a crucial background for the study IR - Philosophy ( classic and modern ) focuses on state and leaders which are the building blocks of IR
  4. 4. Contributions of Philosophers to International Relations  Plato – a Greek political philosopher who argues that life force in man is intelligent. Only a few can have an insight into what is good; society should admit to the authority of these philosopher-kings. Many of these ideas developed in The Republic.
  5. 5.  Aristotle- Greek philosopher who addresses the problem of order in individual greek city- states. The first to use the comparative method of research, observing multiple points in time suggesting explanations for the patterns found.
  6. 6.  St. Thomas Aquainas- an Italian theorist who wrote during the height of feudal Europe. In Treatise of the Laws, develops the framework of natural law-a fusion of classical philosophy, Christian theology, and Roman law. Natural law is followed by man instinctively and releases man’s good tendencies.
  7. 7.  Thomas Hobbes- an English philosopher who in Leviathan describes life in a state of nature as solitary, selfish, and brutish. Individuals and society can escape from the state of nature through a unitary state, the leviathan.
  8. 8.  Jean Jacques Rousseau – a French philosopher whose ideas were tested by French revolution. In Discourse on the origin of Inequality, describes the state of nature in both national and international society. Argues that the solution to the state of nature is the social contract…where general will is realized.
  9. 9.  Immanuel Kant- a German philosopher key to the idealist or utopian school of thought. In Idea for a universal History and Perpetual Peace, advocates a world federation of republics bound by rule of law.
  10. 10.  Behavioralism - Proposes that individuals, both alone and in groups, act in patterned ways. - The task of behavioral scientists is to suggest plausible hypotheses regarding those patterned actions, and to systematically and empirically test them.
  11. 11.  Alternative “ Critical” Approaches - Postmodernism; Feminism - Believes there is no objective reality; deconstructs major concepts; shows multiple realities

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