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Theories & Methods - Thesis Example

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This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part will focus on the theoretical framework to test hypotheses and the second part will discuss all aspects of the research methodology including possible hurdles and difficulties that may affect the outcome of this academic endeavour…
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Theories & Methods
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The criteria for good or sound theory are evident enough: it should be conceptually clear and rigorous, historically aware, able to yield substantive analysis and research agenda, and, where appropriate, able to engage with ethical issues. Theory is a necessary part of all human understanding, from the numbers of mathematics or divisions into colours we use in everyday life to the abstractions of Hegel, or of the sociologist Talcott Parsons.
International Relations as a field emerged after the First World War with the aim of studying the reasons for the history's first major conflict and means of avoiding it in future. It borrowed theories and ideas from other disciplines such as political science, economics, and to some extent sociology and anthropology but according to Halliday it sought most inspiration from international law when Woodrow Wilson's liberalism attempted to bind state actors into a legal relationship backed by the League of Nations and the incumbent study named "International Relations" was introduced in the academia (Aberystwyth, Oxford and London School of Economics) in Britain and contemporaneously in the American universities.
When International Relations took shape as a subject in the later 1...
from international law when Woodrow Wilson's liberalism attempted to bind state actors into a legal relationship backed by the League of Nations and the incumbent study named "International Relations" was introduced in the academia (Aberystwyth, Oxford and London School of Economics) in Britain and contemporaneously in the American universities.
When International Relations took shape as a subject in the later 1920s and early 1930s and began to influence policy makers, it was more or less, based on "idealism" with a normative approach, that is, researchers and writers of that era laid down norms for states to behave with each other. But a similar thought was expressed as early as 1795 by Kant, for instance, in his tract, Perpetual Peace, he "prescribed" an international authority to assert an international rule of law and so ensure peace between nations. IR was based on the presumption that states were naturally benign and did not wish to enter a conflict unless forced upon. Kant (1795) again: "We ordinarily assume that no one may act inimically toward another except when he has been actively injured by the other. This is quite correct if both are under civil law, for, by entering into such a state, they afford each other the requisite security through the sovereign which has power over both."
Idealist school of thought in international relations which harkens back to the eighteenth century Kantianism essentially holds that a state should make its foreign policy reflect its internal political philosophy. But soon "realist" school of thought contested idealism as a non-workable theory and advocated that instead of setting norms for the states' behaviour or international rule of law, states should be left alone and relations between them should be dictated by the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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