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International Relations
An Introduction and its Theories
Dr. Wa Than Lin
B.D.S, DIR
The rise of state system
What is IR?
 The branch of political science that is concerned with
the foreign affairs of and relations among countries.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition)
 International Relations (IR), or International affairs is
a field of Political Science. International Relations is
the study of relationships among countries, the roles
of sovereign states, inter-governmental organizations
(IGO), international non-governmental organizations
(INGO), non-governmental organizations (NGO), and
multinational corporations (MNC)
 Political: States, IGOs, and NGOs
• Traditional (states only): War, diplomacy, sanctions, foreign
aid, military alliances, intergovernmental organizations
(IGOs)
• Non-traditional (including non-state actors): Non-
governmental organizations (NGOs), terrorism, drug trade
 Economic: Multinational corporations (MNCs)
• Trade in goods, financial services, remittances, sanctions,
drug trade
 Social/Cultural: Ideas and individuals
• Migration, tourism, professional organizations, human
rights, adoptions, religion, etc.
Theory
• Theories are generalizable accounts of how world
works that go beyond the specific details of one
unique case
E.g., globalization increases disparities / increases global
wealth
• describe, explain and predict– positive idea of
theorizing
 No single theory can always explain
everything
Purpose of theories in international
relations
• Positivism: Explain and predict by reducing the
complexity of reality (examples: Neorealism,
Institutionalism).
• Normativism: Challenge reality with reference to
normative standpoints/values and develop
strategies of fundamental global change
(examples: Feminism and gender equality;
Marxism and class struggle; Idealism and human
rights).
Theories of IR
 Realism,
 Liberalism,
 Marxism ,
 Constructivism,
 Feminism,
 Rtionalism,
 Post-modernism,
 Post-colonialism
Realism
developed theories concerning the
use of power to improve their
positions
each person will use others to reach
his/her goals
Realism
• Focus on states and their relations in relation
with power. (military and political power)
• State need to maximize their security and
chances of survival.
• Quest for military and/or economic security;
Balance of Power
• Based on self-interest
( World War II as the vindication of their theory)
Realism: Policy Prescriptions
I) Balance Power:
Ignore culture, moral considerations in foreign
policy; obey only dictates of maximizing your power
relative to others. Human rights, etc. of other
countries = none of our business.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”
Problems with balance of power
Dissuade another from taking an action by threat of
punishment
E.g., China to Taiwan: don’t declare independence
II) Deterrence and Compellence: Threat /
Use of Military Force
• Deterrence = “DON’T!” Dissuade another from taking
an action by threat of punishment (don’t attack)
• Compellence = “DO!” Force another to stop something
they are doing, or do something they otherwise
wouldn’t do, by threat or use of force
 E.g,Truman and atomic bomb threat to Japan, 1945:surrender
 Non-proliferation - US 2003 to Saddam Hussein: disarm or be
attacked
POWER?
Liberalism
state must establish and protect the rule
of law and must respect its citizens’
rights to life, liberty, and property
believed that constitutional states must
respect each other and constitutional
and mutually respectful states could at
the end establish “perpetual (lasting)
peace” in the world.
Liberalism/Idealism
• focus on the creation of a peaceful world by
integration
• Based on the assumption of the innate goodness of
the individual and the value of political institutions in
promoting social progress
• states, nongovernmental organizations, and
intergovernmental organizations as key actors
IOs (UN, WTO, ICC)
NGOs (Medecins Sans Frontiers, Greenpeace, Amnesty
International)
Individuals / Moral Entrepreneurs: Henri Dunant
• interdependent global society with international
institutions facilitating cooperation
Liberalism: Policy Prescriptions
• Multilateralism: IOs & International Law
• “Enlargement”: Encourage democracies
Liberal Democratic peace theory
• Cosmopolitanism: Common humanity and foreign
policy
Foreign Aid / Human Rights,Humanitarian Intervention
Stability requires justice : Criminal Tribunals / ICC
Reassurance & Bargaining Incentives (vs deterrence)
Iran / North Korea
After World War II
• Liberalism may be divided into these
categories:
1) Sociological Realism;
2) Interdependence Liberalism;
3) Institutional Liberalism;
4) Republican Liberalism.
• Realist focus on the preservation of order in
the international system
 emphasise on the preservation of the existing
system
 can be categorised as Conservatives.
• Idealists or Liberals focus on the increase of
freedoms
 evolution to a better condition which is beneficiary
for all states and organisations
 They are therefore Idealists.
Gap Between Rich and Poor
Consequences of Inequalities &
Poverty
Per capita public spending on health:
 Least developed countries: $6
 High-income countries: $1356
10 million children < 5 die annually from
preventable causes: 30,000 a day
Diarrhea killed more children in 1990s than all
people killed in armed conflict since WWII
42 million living with HIV/AIDS, 39 million in
developing world
Marxism
‘Men make their own history, but they do not
make it just as they please, they do not make it
under circumstances chosen by themselves, but
under circumstances directly encountered,
given and transmitted from the past’
Capitalism produced internal tensions which
would lead to its self-destruction
revolutionary action to topple capitalism and
bring about socio-economic change
father of Marxist theory, together with Karl
Marx
Marxism
• Reject the realist/liberal view of state conflict
or cooperation
• Marxists view the international system as an
integrated capitalist system in pursuit of
capital accumulation
• Capitalists (owners) exploit workers
(proletariat)
• Prophesized rise of working class socialist
societies
• The capitalists' interests lie in securing their
power and expanding profits. Workers, on the
other hand, have interests in higher wages, safe
working conditions, shorter hours, job security
• The revolution would emerge a socialist society
which would fully utilize and develop much
further the productive potential
• The final goal, toward which socialist society
would constantly build, is the human one of
abolishing alienation. Marx called the attainment
of this goal "communism".
The role of the state in Marxism
• ‘Instrumental’ Marxism: State as “Executive
Committee of the Ruling (Corporate) Class,”
doing the bidding of corporations
•
• ‘Structural Marxism’: Role of state is to ensure
overall stability of global capitalist economy
Constructivism
• states and other major actors as well as the
identities that guide these states and actors
• Nation-states are not all alike
• Political culture shapes foreign policy
• Form of government shapes foreign policy
• History shapes foreign policy
• Domestic political trends and debates shape
foreign policy
• States have identity
• State identity influences the way states
interact with each other
Examples:
 China sensitivity to any policies of other states that threaten
its unity and sovereignty
 US desire to transform the world
Perspective Consequences of Different
I.R.Theories
References;
1:What is and why do we study international theory ?
Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Reinhard Meyers, WWU Münster
2:Theories of International Relations by Professor Jeffrey A. Hart,
Department of Political Science, Indiana University
3:www.politics.ubc.ca/fileadmin/user.../3-Theories_of_IR
International relations(Introduction and its Theories)

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International relations(Introduction and its Theories)

  • 1. International Relations An Introduction and its Theories Dr. Wa Than Lin B.D.S, DIR
  • 2. The rise of state system
  • 3. What is IR?  The branch of political science that is concerned with the foreign affairs of and relations among countries. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition)  International Relations (IR), or International affairs is a field of Political Science. International Relations is the study of relationships among countries, the roles of sovereign states, inter-governmental organizations (IGO), international non-governmental organizations (INGO), non-governmental organizations (NGO), and multinational corporations (MNC)
  • 4.  Political: States, IGOs, and NGOs • Traditional (states only): War, diplomacy, sanctions, foreign aid, military alliances, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) • Non-traditional (including non-state actors): Non- governmental organizations (NGOs), terrorism, drug trade  Economic: Multinational corporations (MNCs) • Trade in goods, financial services, remittances, sanctions, drug trade  Social/Cultural: Ideas and individuals • Migration, tourism, professional organizations, human rights, adoptions, religion, etc.
  • 5. Theory • Theories are generalizable accounts of how world works that go beyond the specific details of one unique case E.g., globalization increases disparities / increases global wealth • describe, explain and predict– positive idea of theorizing  No single theory can always explain everything
  • 6. Purpose of theories in international relations • Positivism: Explain and predict by reducing the complexity of reality (examples: Neorealism, Institutionalism). • Normativism: Challenge reality with reference to normative standpoints/values and develop strategies of fundamental global change (examples: Feminism and gender equality; Marxism and class struggle; Idealism and human rights).
  • 7. Theories of IR  Realism,  Liberalism,  Marxism ,  Constructivism,  Feminism,  Rtionalism,  Post-modernism,  Post-colonialism
  • 8. Realism developed theories concerning the use of power to improve their positions each person will use others to reach his/her goals
  • 9. Realism • Focus on states and their relations in relation with power. (military and political power) • State need to maximize their security and chances of survival. • Quest for military and/or economic security; Balance of Power • Based on self-interest ( World War II as the vindication of their theory)
  • 10. Realism: Policy Prescriptions I) Balance Power: Ignore culture, moral considerations in foreign policy; obey only dictates of maximizing your power relative to others. Human rights, etc. of other countries = none of our business. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” Problems with balance of power Dissuade another from taking an action by threat of punishment E.g., China to Taiwan: don’t declare independence
  • 11. II) Deterrence and Compellence: Threat / Use of Military Force • Deterrence = “DON’T!” Dissuade another from taking an action by threat of punishment (don’t attack) • Compellence = “DO!” Force another to stop something they are doing, or do something they otherwise wouldn’t do, by threat or use of force  E.g,Truman and atomic bomb threat to Japan, 1945:surrender  Non-proliferation - US 2003 to Saddam Hussein: disarm or be attacked
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  • 14. Liberalism state must establish and protect the rule of law and must respect its citizens’ rights to life, liberty, and property believed that constitutional states must respect each other and constitutional and mutually respectful states could at the end establish “perpetual (lasting) peace” in the world.
  • 15. Liberalism/Idealism • focus on the creation of a peaceful world by integration • Based on the assumption of the innate goodness of the individual and the value of political institutions in promoting social progress • states, nongovernmental organizations, and intergovernmental organizations as key actors IOs (UN, WTO, ICC) NGOs (Medecins Sans Frontiers, Greenpeace, Amnesty International) Individuals / Moral Entrepreneurs: Henri Dunant • interdependent global society with international institutions facilitating cooperation
  • 16. Liberalism: Policy Prescriptions • Multilateralism: IOs & International Law • “Enlargement”: Encourage democracies Liberal Democratic peace theory • Cosmopolitanism: Common humanity and foreign policy Foreign Aid / Human Rights,Humanitarian Intervention Stability requires justice : Criminal Tribunals / ICC Reassurance & Bargaining Incentives (vs deterrence) Iran / North Korea
  • 17. After World War II • Liberalism may be divided into these categories: 1) Sociological Realism; 2) Interdependence Liberalism; 3) Institutional Liberalism; 4) Republican Liberalism.
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  • 20. • Realist focus on the preservation of order in the international system  emphasise on the preservation of the existing system  can be categorised as Conservatives. • Idealists or Liberals focus on the increase of freedoms  evolution to a better condition which is beneficiary for all states and organisations  They are therefore Idealists.
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  • 22. Gap Between Rich and Poor
  • 23. Consequences of Inequalities & Poverty Per capita public spending on health:  Least developed countries: $6  High-income countries: $1356 10 million children < 5 die annually from preventable causes: 30,000 a day Diarrhea killed more children in 1990s than all people killed in armed conflict since WWII 42 million living with HIV/AIDS, 39 million in developing world
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  • 27. Marxism ‘Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please, they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past’ Capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change father of Marxist theory, together with Karl Marx
  • 28. Marxism • Reject the realist/liberal view of state conflict or cooperation • Marxists view the international system as an integrated capitalist system in pursuit of capital accumulation • Capitalists (owners) exploit workers (proletariat) • Prophesized rise of working class socialist societies
  • 29. • The capitalists' interests lie in securing their power and expanding profits. Workers, on the other hand, have interests in higher wages, safe working conditions, shorter hours, job security • The revolution would emerge a socialist society which would fully utilize and develop much further the productive potential • The final goal, toward which socialist society would constantly build, is the human one of abolishing alienation. Marx called the attainment of this goal "communism".
  • 30. The role of the state in Marxism • ‘Instrumental’ Marxism: State as “Executive Committee of the Ruling (Corporate) Class,” doing the bidding of corporations • • ‘Structural Marxism’: Role of state is to ensure overall stability of global capitalist economy
  • 31. Constructivism • states and other major actors as well as the identities that guide these states and actors • Nation-states are not all alike • Political culture shapes foreign policy • Form of government shapes foreign policy • History shapes foreign policy • Domestic political trends and debates shape foreign policy
  • 32. • States have identity • State identity influences the way states interact with each other Examples:  China sensitivity to any policies of other states that threaten its unity and sovereignty  US desire to transform the world
  • 33. Perspective Consequences of Different I.R.Theories
  • 34. References; 1:What is and why do we study international theory ? Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Reinhard Meyers, WWU Münster 2:Theories of International Relations by Professor Jeffrey A. Hart, Department of Political Science, Indiana University 3:www.politics.ubc.ca/fileadmin/user.../3-Theories_of_IR