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International Relations and Foreign Policy - Essay Example

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Running Head: International Relations and Foreign Policy International Relations and Foreign Policy International Relations and Foreign Policy ‘International relations’ refers to the behavior and exchanges conducted by countries collectively throughout the international arena…
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International Relations and Foreign Policy

Download file to see previous pages... 89-91). However, it is arguable that international relations theories are not self-explanatory of the behavior of all countries and cannot be applied to all circumstances. While the theories are general in nature, they do seek to explain the behavior of nations in general during some of the most important events in history such as the World Wars and other economic treaties (Dougherty and Pfaltzgraff, 2001, pp.95-96). Foreign policy regards the policy or the set of norms that a country adopts regarding its personal behavior with other nations. These norms may govern aspects such as trade, alliances, aid, peace treaties, military support, coalitions, and other matters. Foreign policy is arguably a determinant of a country’s personal circumstances and their own relative power in the international arena. Critics (Janis, 1972, pp. 45-46) may argue that foreign policy is not set according to the activities conducted in the international arena, but is set according to the individual domestic factors of a country itself and the preferences and prejudices of its leader. Therefore, if this is the case, this suggests that international theories, which generalize the behavior of countries throughout the world, are not relevant when it comes to devising theories of foreign policy. Being a neo-realist, Kenneth Waltz claims that international theories do not consider enough variables specific to countries; hence, they cannot be used to predict foreign policy and are not applicable in this regard. However, if international relations theory cannot be applied to predict or analyze the behavior of countries and are not explanatory of their foreign policy, then what is their use? This paper aims to explore the difference between theories of international relations and theories of foreign policy, while explaining the main two international theories prevalent in the international arena. The main emphasis of this paper will be upon the neo-realist school of thought and Kenneth Waltz’ considerations of why the neo-realist theory is inadequate to predict the behavior of individual states and therefore is not applicable as a theory of foreign policy. The aim of this paper will be to refute Kenneth Waltz argument that international relations theories cannot be used as theories of foreign policy through the aid of academic articles. International Relations theories are highly popular when it comes to finding explanations regarding the behavior of countries collectively and in general terms. The theories consider the behavior of all countries to be alike while accounting for variables such as their military strength, economic prosperity, power in the international arena, and their motives (Janis, 1972, pp. 88-89). These theories are supposedly used as indicators of the behavior of countries in different circumstances and as predictive measures. The most popular theories of international relations include realism and liberalism. The two schools of thought, realism, and liberalism are quite divergent from one another and are complete opposite theories. Hence, here has been a longstanding debate between the supporters of both schools of thought. The liberalists believe that morals, international organizations, and legislation or law governs the world. For liberalists, the power ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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