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International Relation Theories Essay

1222 words - 5 pages

IInternational Relations Theories


The following three theories are key to international relations and contribute to the framework of ideologies within it: realism, liberalism and critical theory. These three theories shape the views and consensus of International Relations and tend to categorise the general public into one of the three groups. However, this is a highly controversial statement due to the fact there are no clear definitions of realism, liberalism or critical theory, just differences throughout them. For example a key difference would be that realists make the basic assumption that the international system is anarchic where as liberals believe in institutions such as the ...view middle of the document...

Liberals believe that by these two states going to war, the effect on trade can have an alienating and therefore severe effect on the global economy causing unnecessary knock-on effects for surrounding states. By contrast, neither of these theories are incorrect although they may rarely have any coinciding arguments, it just depends on ones outlook onto a global dilemma such as war.

Statism, Survival and Self-Help are the “3 S’s” of Realism. (The Globalization of World Politics 2011). This is why on issues other than war such as the economy, realists believe that in order to survive, states need to take self-interest into perspective and don’t believe that economic dependence is related to war, therefore having the belief that a war between China and the United States of America wouldn’t lead to a severe economy deficit. By contrast, liberals believe that states are interdependent and that conflict within them could have harsh consequences. A key example liberals tend to use to prove this is the implications World War II had on Great Britain as World War II meant that the whole country was driven to beat the Nazis therefore women started to work and with the death of hundreds of thousands soldiers the work-force post-war was supposedly less effective as before therefore weakening the countries economy for years to come. However, controversially by not going to war and not taking a stride of self-interest Great Britain could have in the long run taken an even worse turn and could have in fact been a new state altogether. This shows the conflicting ideologies between them yet however realism tends to take the better approach as it is acting on regarding the future of the state instead of idealistically trying to sort out problems which may occur.

However, it is not always the case that the realistic approach is necessary the more beneficial. As previously stated there is a third theory, critical theory, which purposely was left to last due to the fact in tends to coincide with liberalism, especially on the topic of the great rise of China. Andrew Linklater worked and developed themes to argue in favour that critical theory is in favour of the expansion of the moral boundaries of the political community (The Globalization of World Politics 2011). A news interview between Kevin Silverstein and Amy Goodman talks about how there is a closer relationship between the United States of America and China than people may expect. This is due to the connections of both these states major corporations and how their economies are both interdependent on each other. This tends to...

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