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What is IR Theory - Essay Example

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The actions and politics of different nations are determined by internal processes whose outcomes vary depending on the presence of other nations and interactions with them. No one state can exist in isolation. At the end of the Second World War, a good number of political…
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What is IR Theory? The actions and politics of different nations are determined by internal processes whose outcomes vary depending on the presence of other nations and interactions with them. No one state can exist in isolation. At the end of the Second World War, a good number of political scientists have indulged in debating about the relation between the state and war (Waltz 38). Realism has widely dominated the political sphere, as an explanation for the interaction between states. However, other ‘isms’ such as Liberalism and Constructivism are gradually gaining the support of political scientists. International Relation theory raises fundamentally empirical issues which can only be settled by analyzing the facts.
Professor Martin Wight, in the 1960 April issue of international Relations, published a paper titled “Why Is There No International Theory?” The Professor believes that the sovereign state has, since the Reformation, been the focal point of Western political thought and experience (Morgenthau 63). The international theory is true to diplomatic experience, and is augmented when belief in progress is prevalent. According to this school of thought, if things remain as they were in the past, man would become desperate. This theory he referred to as “the argument from desperation”.
International relations is widely involves recurrence and repetition as international reality and international theory collide. International theory becomes a sort of philosophy of history as it involves the ultimate experience of national existence and national extinction. For national existence, every individual requires the protection of the state that represents them in the international community (Wight 38). This view considers a sovereign State to be the end of a political experience and activity. This juristic expression considers international politics to be an untidy extension of domestic politics. It is a systematic and continued balance of power between different players.
International Relations is a transient subject with the modern society being in a state of transition. The past occurrences in one state relating with other states influences the future interactions that are likely to occur. Therefore, the theorizing of international relations is likened to a system of abstract propositions with a predictive function. In the view of this system, nations become stereotyped participators in stereotyped symmetric or asymmetric relations (Morgenthau 65). The modern society has emerged from a medieval society and is destined for world State.
In the view of international relations, commonwealths are moral essences whose fortunes are determined by internal causes. These causes sometimes overwhelm a community leading to depression. Conviction precedes evidence and in order to change this state of affairs, those governing states need to be convinced that there is need for safeguarding its people before it can seek concrete evidence of the needed change.
Political activity and political theory are in a direct relation but international law follows an inverse movement to international politics. International law thrives in legal positivism, bringing out an agreeable irony. International theory has been marred by paucity, and moral and intellectual poverty (Wight 38). The heart of the international theory brings about tension between international theory and diplomatic practice. In any state where the politics flourish, a certain nature of relations exists where it is every man for himself. Intelligence and morality lack from public opinion and the limits of duty as people continually do wrong.
Despite the discordant thoughts on political theory and law, the field of international relations continues to draw the interest of theorists and political scientists.
Works Cited
Morgenthau, Hans. "The Intellectual and Political Functions of a Theory of International Relations." Morgenthau, Hans. Politics in the Twentieth Century: Vol. I: The Decline of Democratic Politics. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1962. 62-78. Website.
Waltz, Kenneth N. Theory of International Politics. Lake Zurich, IL: Waveland Press, 2010. Print.
Wight, Martin. "Why is There No International Theory?" International Relations, Vol. 2, No. 1 (1960): 35-48. Website. Read More
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