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International Relations

International Relations Paper: Perspectives on international relations and world history Lesson: Studying International Relations Lesson Developer:
Paper: Perspectives on international relations and world history Lesson: Studying International Relations Lesson Developer: Dr. Shailza
Paper: Perspectives on international relations and
world history
Lesson: Studying International Relations
Lesson Developer: Dr. Shailza Singh
College/Department: Bharti college , University of
Delhi
International Relations Paper: Perspectives on international relations and world history Lesson: Studying International Relations Lesson Developer:

International Relations

International Relations Contents: Introduction The origins of International Relations Focus of International Relations IR and the

Contents:

Introduction The origins of International Relations Focus of International Relations IR and the State-System Evolution of
Introduction
The origins of International Relations
Focus of International Relations
IR and the State-System
Evolution of the Modern State System
Levels of Analysis in International Relations
Challenges of IR: The Changing Contemporary World of States
Summary
Glossary
Questions
References
Web links
List of figures:
Figure 1: Theories of International Relations, A Comparison
12
Figure 2: Global Expansion of State-System
13
International Relations Contents: Introduction The origins of International Relations Focus of International Relations IR and the

International Relations

International Relations STUDYING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Introduction International Relations (IR) is one of the most popular disciplines

STUDYING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Introduction
Introduction
International Relations (IR) is one of the most popular disciplines in social sciences today. As an
International Relations (IR) is one of the most popular disciplines in social sciences today.
As an academic discipline it is relatively very young. It came up in the universities of Britain
and America in the beginning of the twentieth century. However the concepts that the
discipline deals with like war, military alliances, diplomacy, trade, cooperation and peace
have deep intellectual history. The debates that IR engages with are traceable in the ideas
of great thinkers of the past like Thucydides (a Greek historian of the 5 th Century BC),
Kautilya (a 2 nd Century BC Indian thinker on statecraft), Hugo Grotius (a 17 th century Dutch
lawyer) and Immanuel Kant (18 th century German thinker). Their ideas provide the
foundations on which the fundamental questions of IR are based: what are the causes of
war, the possibilities of peace, the impact of trade, the role of ideas and so on.
Why study IR? There are important reasons that answer this question. International
relations is not something out there at a distance. It is something closely linked to our
everyday lives which get impacted by the decisions taken in the international sphere. Prices
in the local markets, laws that govern our travel to other countries, availability of
technology, access to internet, governments policies towards terrorism, climate change and
trade etc. have much to do with the nature of international relations.
According to the Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations – ‘International
Relations is the whole complex of cultural, economic, legal, military and political relations of
all states and their component populations as well as non-state actors and international
organisations.’
Walter C. Clemens Jr. mentions that International Relations can be seen both as a fact of
life and as a field of study. As a fact it can be observed in the interactions of a number of
diverse actors across borders. The endeavor of IR as a discipline is to search for patterns in
these interactions. He says, ‘IR studies what has been and what is, in order to know what
can be and what should be’. Three major tasks that IR deals with are:
a)
to provide an explanation of what happened and why,
b)
predict the possibilities of (alternative) future, and
c)
set norms and guide policy.
International Relations STUDYING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Introduction International Relations (IR) is one of the most popular disciplines

International Relations

International Relations Walter C. Clemens Jr Source:http://www.bu.edu/news/files/2013/09/clemens1.jpg,accessed on 21 March ,2016 IR attempts to understand the

Walter C. Clemens Jr

Source:http://www.bu.edu/news/files/2013/09/clemens1.jpg,accessed on 21 March ,2016 IR attempts to understand the driving forces of conflict and cooperation
Source:http://www.bu.edu/news/files/2013/09/clemens1.jpg,accessed on 21 March ,2016
IR attempts to understand the driving forces of conflict and cooperation in world politics. It
explores history in order to identify trends and patterns, looks for lessons and seeks
answers for policy successes and failures. It tries to identify the forces that have shaped the
world in the past and also new forces that are in altering it today or are likely to shape it in
future.
IR includes foreign policy but is much broader than the latter. It provides the big picture,
the frame in which foreign policies operate. Foreign policy decision-makers try to come to
grips with this big picture.
KNOW YOUR PROGRESS:
Q.
What are the objectives of the discipline of International Relations?
Answer: IR attempts to understand the driving forces of conflict and cooperation
in world politics.
Q.
How foreign policy and international relations are different?
Answer: International relations include foreign policy as weIl. In other words,
international relations is a bigger frame in which foreign policy fits.

The origins of International Relations

IR emerged as an academic discipline around 1918, the major concerns of the discipline being the nature and causes of war and the ways to establish peace. The first Department of International Politics was founded in 1919 in the University of Aberystwyth, endowed by David Davies a survivor in the war, as a memorial to the people killed in the First World War

International Relations Walter C. Clemens Jr Source:http://www.bu.edu/news/files/2013/09/clemens1.jpg,accessed on 21 March ,2016 IR attempts to understand the

International Relations

International Relations with the dream of bringing about lasting peace and security. The first chair in

with the dream of bringing about lasting peace and security. The first chair in international politics was created there in 1920 named after the American President Woodrow Wilson .

Value Addition: Know The Scholar Sir Alfred Zimmern Alfred Eckhard Zimmern was a British scholar of
Value Addition: Know The Scholar
Sir Alfred Zimmern
Alfred Eckhard Zimmern was a British scholar of international relations. He is known as the
first scholar of idealist school in international relations in the world. He was also a part of
the formation of the League of Nations Society and the UNESCO.
President Wilson was a supporter of the school of thought, named liberal idealism, that
believed in the potential of the world to transform into a peaceful and just order through
active efforts by international law, international organisations and democracy promotion.
The goal of liberal idealism that dreamt of putting an end to all wars was also the objective
behind the creation of the Woodrow Wilson chair. Sir Alfred Zimmern occupied the chair first
and was a supporter of the idea of grass-roots democracy facilitated by global civil society
to enhance understanding among nations.
However, E.H. Carr, the fourth Woodrow Wilson Professor, challenged the liberal utopianism
by highlighting the exigencies of survival and competition and importance of power in his
work (1939), The Twenty Years Crisis: 1919-1939, the discipline’s classic book. Carr is
considered to be the earliest and one of the most influential writers in the discipline, who
laid down the foundations of modern realist tradition in international relations.
International Relations with the dream of bringing about lasting peace and security. The first chair in

International Relations

International Relations Source: <a href=http://www.serifbooks.co.uk/images/carr_tn.jpg , accessed on 21 March ,2016 Value Addition – Know your Theorist E.H.Carr Edward Hallett “Tedd” Carr was an English historian. He was a supporter of historiographical approach in international relations. His work on the Soviet history is one of the remarkable works by any English scholars. His known books on history are The Twenty Years’ Crisis and What is History. Carr was also an English diplomat who contributed to the British diplomacy immensely especially with relation to the former Soviet Union. Thus two main traditions emerged in international relations: idealism and realism, the former looking at creation of a peaceful world order and cooperation among nations through virtuous leadership, promotion of international law, democratic government and collective security while the latter emphasized the ‘reality’ of power politics, survival struggle, insecurity and chaos in international relations. They dismissed the i dealist optimism for a peaceful world order. Sir Alfred Zimmern, Norman Angell, John Maynard Keynes, John A. Hobson, Arnold J.Tonybee and Davied Davies held the idealist or the liberal utopian tradition. The realism of Carr followed the tradition of Thucyd ides and Machiavelli. Source:http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/87/163087-004- FA0893B9.jpg,accessed on 21 March,2016 Value Addition – Know your theorist Kenneth Waltz Institute of Lifelong Learning, University of Delhi Page 6 " id="pdf-obj-5-4" src="pdf-obj-5-4.jpg">

Source: http://www.serifbooks.co.uk/images/carr_tn.jpg, accessed on 21 March ,2016

Value Addition – Know your Theorist E.H.Carr Edward Hallett “Tedd” Carr was an English historian. He
Value Addition – Know your Theorist
E.H.Carr
Edward Hallett “Tedd” Carr was an English historian. He was a supporter of historiographical
approach in international relations. His work on the Soviet history is one of the remarkable
works by any English scholars. His known books on history are The Twenty Years’ Crisis and
What is History. Carr was also an English diplomat who contributed to the British diplomacy
immensely especially with relation to the former Soviet Union.
Thus two main traditions emerged in international relations: idealism and realism, the
former looking at creation of a peaceful world order and cooperation among nations through
virtuous leadership, promotion of international law, democratic government and collective
security while the latter emphasized the ‘reality’ of power politics, survival struggle,
insecurity and chaos in international relations. They dismissed the i dealist optimism for a
peaceful world order. Sir Alfred Zimmern, Norman Angell, John Maynard Keynes, John A.
Hobson, Arnold J.Tonybee and Davied Davies held the idealist or the liberal utopian
tradition. The realism of Carr followed the tradition of Thucyd ides and Machiavelli.
Source:http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/87/163087-004-

FA0893B9.jpg,accessed on 21 March,2016

Value Addition – Know your theorist Kenneth Waltz
Value Addition – Know your theorist
Kenneth Waltz

International Relations

International Relations Kenneth Neal Waltz is amongst the most influential scholar in the discipline of international

Kenneth Neal Waltz is amongst the most influential scholar in the discipline of international relations. He emphasized on making the study of international relations more scientific on the lines of economic sciences. His contribution to the Structural Realist theory of international relations is amongst the earliest scientific attempts to explain how states behave in the realm of international politics. His popular books are Man, State and War published in 1959. His scientific theory of international politics was a challenge to the classical approaches propounded by scholars like Hans Morgenthau.

The academic field of IR witnessed a Great Debate in the late 1930s and early 1940s
The academic field of IR witnessed a Great Debate in the late 1930s and early 1940s
between the inter-war (1919-1939) idealists and a new generation of realists. The former
emphasized that the common interests among nation-states held the potential of
diminishing the possibilities of war while the latter attempted to explain the flaws of the
idealist approach and emphasized the role of power and interests in determining the
behavior of states. The outbreak of World War II in 1939 helped to consolidate the realist
position as an explanation of international relations. Realism, therefore, defined itself
against an idealist position and emerged as a dominant theory of IR after World War II.
While the nomenclature of the discipline is narrow speaking of ‘inter-national relations’, its
subject matter has involved the analysis of many forms interactions that have taken place
in different times and places throughout world history ranging from empires to nation-state
system to multiple global actors today. For example the English School scholars from the
United Kingdom have tried to establish the concept of ‘international societies’ and have
emphasized the historical processes that have characterized interactions between such
societies at different points in time. Not only the forms of interactions but the subject
matter also deals with the ideas that the discipline is fundamentally concerned with. These
are the ideas that distinguish and determine the relation of international relations with other
fields. These ideas include peace, security, freedom, conflict and cooperation, order etc.
Focus of International Relations

The main purpose of International Relations is to explain the nature and causes of problems faced by the states and societies in general and to understand their consequences. It also

attempts to look at the challenge of mitigating conflict and promoting cooperation and peace in the world. Therefore the main subject matter of the discipline focuses on war, peace, state, power, sovereignty and security. It attempts to understand the relationship

International Relations Kenneth Neal Waltz is amongst the most influential scholar in the discipline of international

International Relations

International Relations Value Addition- For Better Understanding Interesting facts First World War: One of the bloodiest
Value Addition- For Better Understanding Interesting facts First World War: One of the bloodiest wars in
Value Addition- For Better Understanding
Interesting facts
First World War: One of the bloodiest wars in the human history continued almost for four
years. More than 9 million soldiers and 7 million civilians were killed in this war. The League
of Nations was established as a peace initiative in order to initiate a global initiative for
peace in the Europe.
Second World War: Twenty years’ after the First World War the world witnessed another
war which was much larger in its scope and intensity. The Second World War was fought
with advanced technologies including usage of nuclear bomb. The war continued almost for
five years from 1939-1945. Around 50 million to 85 million people were killed in this war
Inter-war Period: The period between the two world wars is known as the interwar period.
This period is very significant for the evolution of international politics for variety of
developments e.g.
between international structures, processes and institutions. Over the course of a century of
its evolution, the study of the state- system has been the major concern of the subject
matter of international relations. The state system as is it exists today began in the early
modern era, that is, in the si xteenth and the seventeenth centuries, in Europe.
This state system is largely understood to have originated after the Peace of Westphalia in
central Europe and is based on the principles of sovereign territoriality and legal equality of
the nation-states. It became a distinctive way of organizing political life on the earth. The
dynamics of relationship between the states came to be studied as ‘international relations’
(Jackson and Sorenson). Gradually the state system expanded and today it covers the
entire globe with approximately 200 states.

Today IR endeavors to study not only the global state system but also other institutions like international organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, NATO, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and processes like globalization, international trade and social movements etc. There exist a number of scholarly perspectives that seek to provide an understanding of these structures, institutions and processes.

International Relations Value Addition- For Better Understanding Interesting facts First World War: One of the bloodiest

International Relations

International Relations A. Theory is a systematic body of knowledge which helps us in understanding w
  • A. Theory is a systematic body of knowledge which helps us in understanding w hich

facts matters and which do not.

  • Q. What is a theory?

KNOW YOUR PROGRESS

There are attempts to provide an understanding of international relations with the help of theories. A
There are attempts to provide an understanding of international relations with the help of
theories. A theory is a systematic body of knowledge. It is a kind of simplifying device that
enables one to decide which facts matter and which do not. The main theories trying to
explain international relations today are Realism, Liberalism/Institutionalism, Marxism,
Constructivism and Feminism.
According to the realists the main actors in the international system are sovereign territorial
nation states and the structure of the international system is anarchical which means there
is no authority over and above the states which can compel them to act in a particular
manner.
All other actors like international organizations (IOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs)
function within the framework of inter-state relations. The international system is a self-help
system where the objective of the states is survival through maximization of their national
interest. Therefore there is a struggle for power among the states i.e. the states try to
maximize their power to ensure their own security and to prevent th e other states from
dominating.

The states are engaged in a balance of power and diplomacy is s key mechanism for balancing the national interests of the states. Realists emphasize the constant existence of the potential for conflict in the international system. The two main variants of realism are classical realism and neo/ structural realism. According to the former the cause of state behavior is human nature which is inherently selfish while the latter attributes it to the anarchical structure of the international system. Realism considers military force as the main tool of state policy. Realism is the most dominant tradition in international relations and presents a rather pessimistic picture of international relations and consider war as natural.

Another important and longstanding tradition in IR theories is liberalism. There are several variants of liberalism but a common theme running through all of them is the belief not in

International Relations A. Theory is a systematic body of knowledge which helps us in understanding w

International Relations

International Relations conflict but in cooperation and progress. Liberals believe that states are important actors in

conflict but in cooperation and progress. Liberals believe that states are important actors in the international system but are not the main actors. They hold the view that world politics is an arena of interdependence and stress upon the relevance of institutions in making cooperation possible among the states. Therefore they maintain that IOs, MNCs and transnational networks assume the role of central actors depending on various issue-areas in world politics.

VALUE ADDITION: KNOW THE CONCEPT Liberalism Liberalism is an ideology that attempts to preserve certain values
VALUE ADDITION: KNOW THE CONCEPT
Liberalism
Liberalism is an ideology that attempts to preserve certain values in society like individual
rights and freedom of expression. Liberalism as a political thought is also seen as closely
associated with a political system, which prevents these two values. In case of intern ational
relations the liberal school was initially equated with idealism. However, gradually liberalism
ha also developed itself as a scientific stream and it argues that international relations
cannot be explained simply with the help of state behavior. In addition to the state, non-
state actors especially economic actors are also crucial players.
They also view states as a set of bureaucracies, each with its own interests, rather than
units in themselves. By doing so they question the concept of a unitary, militarily defined
national interest.
They emphasize the relevance of economic, environmental and technological issues in
constituting the agenda of world politics. Instead of balance of power they put forward the
concept of layers of governing arrangements consisting of laws, agreed norms, international
regimes and institutional rules. They are of the view that states may be legally sovereign
but in fact their behavior is regulated by interdependence. Liberals are optimists and also
pragmatists because they believe that states tend to benefit more by cooperation than by
conflict. Unlike realists, trade is a better metaphor of word politics for the liberals than war.

The Marxist perspectives on IR attempt to highlight the hidden forces of global capitalism that provide the context in which international relations take place. The world-system theory tries to systematically apply the ideas of Marx to the international sphere. Immanuel Wallerstein has made a key contribution in this school. According to this school the modern world system emerged at around the turn of the 16 th century, driven by the forces of capitalism, subsequently expanding and encompassing the entire globe. Such an expansion divides the world into the developed ‘core’ countries that exploit the countries of the

International Relations conflict but in cooperation and progress. Liberals believe that states are important actors in

International Relations

International Relations ‘periphery’ that serve as the source of cheap labour and raw materials for the

‘periphery’ that serve as the source of cheap labour and raw materials for the industries of the core.

The interests of the core determine the nature of international relations. There is also an intermediate semi -periphery zone that plays the role of stabilizing the political structure of the world system. The three zones of the world economy are linked together in an exploitative relationship in which the wealth is drained away from the periphery to the core:

the rich become richer while the poor get poorer. Thinkers such as Robert Cox have contributed
the rich become richer while the poor get poorer. Thinkers such as Robert Cox have
contributed to the Marxist perspective by applying the Gramscian concept of hegemony to
the sphere of international relations.
Source:http://www.agenceglobal.com/images/UplodedImages/WallersteinThumb.jpg,
accessed on 22 April ,2016
Value Addition –For better understanding
Know your theorist- Immanuel Wallerstein
An American sociologist known for his remarkable contribution in development of World
System Theory. The World System theory explains how there is a network of economic
relations amongst the states and this network is being controlled by a smaller group of
countries, the capitalist countries. However, this notion of control is not restricted to nation-
states but the other economic actors are equally significant part of it.

Feminist perspectives in IR entered the discipline at the end of 1980s. They express their dissatisfaction with the discipline framing itself solely in terms inter-state politics. They go beyond the other IR theories by introducing gender as a category of analysis. They highlight

International Relations ‘periphery’ that serve as the source of cheap labour and raw materials for the

International Relations

International Relations the fact of subordination of women in global politics. There a number of feminist

the fact of subordination of women in global politics. There a number of feminist approaches like liberal, post-modern and post-colonial, feminist critical theory which try to explain how gender structures world politics and how women as a group face several insecurities and disadvantages, as well as the failure of the state to provide security to women.

Theories of International Relations, A Comparison
Theories of International Relations, A Comparison

Another important theoretical perspective on international relations that developed in the late 1980s and is therefore relatively new, is constructivism. This theory accepts the main premise of realism that states are the main actors in the international system. However, it questions the realist assumption that anarchy necessarily implies conflict. Constructivism emphasizes the role of ideas and human agency in shaping reality and believes in the possibilities of change. It says that reality is socially constructed and culturally bound therefore there is always scope for change and alternative rather than fixed understandings of reality. Even the self-help system is a creation and therefore can be changed. Self- help is only one of the possible responses to the anarchical structure of the international system. The structures, processes and institutions in world politics are not natural. They were created and can be re-made. The role of ideas is crucial in bringing about change i.e. ideas have the potential to bring about change in the world that we live in. As Alexander Wendt, one of the constructivist scholars, puts it ‘Anarchy is what states make of it’ (Wendt 1992). Constructivism believes in human progress and criticises realism and liberalism for being

International Relations the fact of subordination of women in global politics. There a number of feminist

International Relations

International Relations fixed narratives. Constructivism attempts to solve global problems for the betterment of human lives.

fixed narratives. Constructivism attempts to solve global problems for the betterment of human lives. There are several variants of constructivist scholarship however this is the main theme that runs through most of them.

IR and the State-System

International Relations and most of the theoretical perspectives of the discipline focus on the state system.
International Relations and most of the theoretical perspectives of the discipline focus on
the state system. People have not always lived in sovereign states. The organization of the
political lives of people has taken various forms like the city-states, feudal empires and
colonial empires. The sovereign state system as a way of organizing political life can be
dated back to early modern era (16 th and 17 th centuries) in Europe. This was the time and
geographical location when states as sovereign territorial units were initially established.
Since then the system has expanded and has now come to acquire a global character.
Today the world is divided into around two hundred sovereign states while many population
groups are demanding statehood. The states are also referred as nation -states since the
organization into political categories called states, in many cases, is based on claims of
belonging to common cultural categories or nations.
The subject matter of IR has revolved around these units deriving its nomenclature from
the relationship between the units. The core problems of IR are concerned with the values
that the state system tries to achieve and the challenges that it faces. Jackson and
Sorensen neatl y sum up the basic social values that the states are expected to uphold:
security, freedom, order, justice and welfare. These values are seen as integral to human
existence and therefore their protection becomes necessary. It is also assumed that the
state system is the best form of political organization that can ensure the protection of
these values in an effective manner. (Jackson and Sorensen) However, securing these
values is not free of serious challenges. Rivalries, threat perceptions, conflicts and war have
always occupied a significant place in the study of IR. The state system is also seen as a
paradox- for example, on one hand it is expected to ensure security and on the other the
possession of weapons and military build-up constitutes the source of threat. This gives rise
to the ‘security dilemma’.

The various IR theories discussed above attempt to study these values with their relationship with the state as the core institution. Realism in IR treats security as the most fundamental value that the states try to ensure. Armed states compete with each other as rivals and often go to war for ensuring their own security. (Morgenthau 1960, Waltz 1978).

International Relations fixed narratives. Constructivism attempts to solve global problems for the betterment of human lives.

International Relations

International Relations Liberal theories of IR emphasize freedom through peace and progressive change. (Claude 1971). They

Liberal theories of IR emphasize freedom through peace and progressive change. (Claude

1971).

They characterize international relations as an arena where states cooperate through various institutions to foster peace and freedom. Order and justice are the values that are upheld by the International Society theories of IR . (Bull 1995) They explain IR as a system of socially responsible states having a common interest in preserving international order and promoting international justice. The International Political Economy (IPE) theories in IR focus on the values of wealth and welfare that the modern state system seeks to achieve. They characterize international relations as a predominantly socioeconomic system that can best achieve wealth and welfare and improve the living conditions of the people. (Gilpin

1987) Evolution of the Modern State System After havi ng a look at the various theoretical
1987)
Evolution of the Modern State System
After havi ng a look at the various theoretical endeavors in IR that try to explain what are
the goals and objectives that the state system tries to achieve, it is important to know how
the modern state system came into existence. As mentioned earlier the state system, as we
see it today, has not always existed. It is a historical institution and not a natural one.
Throughout history people have organized their political life in different ways. There were
city-states in ancient Greece (500 BC – 100 BC). It was a system of city states known as
Hellas. Athens was the largest and most famous of the city-states. There were also other
states like Sparta and Corinth. The Greek city-states were different from the nation-states
of today as they were smaller in terms of population and territory. There were extensive
relations between these political groups but they lacked the institution of diplomacy and
international law.
The Greek city-states were later destroyed by neighboring empires and the Greeks later
became subjects of the Roman Empire (200 BC – 500 AD). The huge Roman Empire, which
included most of Europe, large part of Middle East and North Africa, was formed by

conquering and occupying different political communities and forcing them into subordination. There was absence of recognition of different political communities and therefore no international relations in the modern sense of the term. Also the concept of subject replaced the concept of citizens. Slowly the empire began to face revolt from various

International Relations Liberal theories of IR emphasize freedom through peace and progressive change. (Claude 1971). They

International Relations

International Relations peripheral and tribal communities. It finally came to an end after centuries of survival

peripheral and tribal communities. It finally came to an end after centuries of survival and success.

However, even after the collapse of the Roman Empire, empires continued to be the dominant form of political organization in Europe and elsewhere during the medieval ag es. These included the Catholic empire in Western Europe based at Rome and the Byzantine empire of Eastern Europe and near east based at Constantinople (Instanbul). These were the politico-religious empires that divided Europe. There were empires and other political communities outside Europe as well; the Islamic civilization in Middle East and North Africa, empires in India, Iran and China. The medieval era thus constituted and age of empires and the conflicts between them. There were no independent states and there was absence of clearly defined territories and fixed borders. The political and the religious authority coincided. There were religious wars (Christian Crusades against the Islamic World), wars between the Kings (Hundred Years wars between England and France from 1337-1453) as well as local wars between feudal lords. The wars were fought over various issues of right and wrong, there were multiple and fragmented authorities engaged in warfare over different issues, not necessarily for control over territory. Here again international relations between independent nation states with singular authority was missing.

KNOW YOUR PROGRESS: Q. How Hedley Bull defines International Society? Q. What do you understand by
KNOW YOUR PROGRESS:
Q. How Hedley Bull defines International Society?
Q. What do you understand by Level of Analysis problem?

The political change from medieval to modern involved the change from fragmented and dependent nature of authority catering different values to a singular framework of one unified and independent political organization – the nation-state – that catered for all the values. It led to the creation of the independent territorial state with power and authority concentrated in the government. The modern state monopolized the means of warfare. It took over territory and turned it into state property, took over the population and turned them into citizens, though little later. The scope for semi -dependent territory, people and institutions was put to an end. Institutions were subordinated to state authority and public law. The historical beginning of the modern international system, in very general terms, is

International Relations peripheral and tribal communities. It finally came to an end after centuries of survival

International Relations

International Relations usually identified with the Peace of Westphalia (1648) which brought to an end the

usually identified with the Peace of Westphalia (1648) which brought to an end the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). (Jackson and Sorenson)

Value Addition – Surf and Know Treaty of Westphalia Falk, R .. Ethics, 6(4), 311–352. Retrieved
Value Addition – Surf and Know
Treaty of Westphalia
Falk, R
..
Ethics, 6(4), 311–352. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25115737
(2002). Revisiting Westphalia, Discovering Post-Westphalia. The Journal of
The Thirty Years’ War was a series of destructive wars in central Europe lasting from 1618
to 1648. There were several reasons for the war which included territorial, dynastic,
religious and commercial rivalries. There were several fluid alliances and treaties during the
war. Overall it is largely considered as a struggle of German Protestant princes and other
European powers (France, Sweden, Denmark, England, the United Provinces) against the
power of the Holy Roman Empire represented by the Habsburgs, allied with the Catholic
princes, and against the Habsburgs themselves.
The long struggle was brought to an end by a series of complex parallel negotiations
collectively known as the Westphalian settlement of 1648 which represented the first
general congress of the great powers of Europe. Though the settlement was not very
effective in settling the conflicts in Europe, it did legitimize a commonwealth of sovereign
states in Europe and provided a comprehensive charter for European powers’ relations with
each other. It gave rise to some general ideas as the condemnation of war and need for a
new and better order. These ideas later found resonance in platforms like the League of
Nations and the United Nations. (Watson 1992)
In
due
course of
time the European
system expanded worldwide through
policies of
colonialism and the later decolonization. The state-system, in due course of time, came to
acquire a global character. However, there are major variations between the states. There
are strong states and weak states, also they are diverse in terms their forms
of
government,
military
capacity,
level
of economic development and technological
sophistication.
International Relations usually identified with the Peace of Westphalia (1648) which brought to an end the

International Relations

International Relations Global expansion of the state-system 1700s 1600s 1900s 1800s Europe (European System) + North

Global expansion of the state-system

1700s

1600s

1900s

1800s

Europe (European System) + North America (Western System) + South America, Japan (Globalizing System) + Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Pacific (Global System)

Global Expansion of State-System Levels of Analysis in International Relations Another important feature of studying IR
Global Expansion of State-System
Levels of
Analysis in
International Relations
Another important feature of studying IR is the question of level of analysis. Uniquely, there
are several levels of analysis that can be employed to understand IR. With so many actors
and arenas under exploration, the scholars of IR face the level of analysis problem. They are
faced with questions like - Which level must be studied to understand a given issue, for
example formation of coalitions or distribution of power? Which level is more important,
macro or micro? How do agents interact with structures? The problem of level of analysis is
concerned with the choice of international, national or any other level to adequately explain
phenomena in IR. The two main levels that were largely studied in the twentieth century are
the international level and the nation-state level. In the twentieth first century two other
levels are increasingly employed: the transnational level and the ecosphere.
Challenges of IR: The Changing Contemporary World of States

Like everything else, the world of states and international relations are dynamic in nature and therefore are subject to changes. Social change propelled by developments in science, technology, education, culture etc. impacts the state system which in turn impacts politics, economics and international relations. The state system reacts to change as well as itself becomes a cause of change. The process of globalization has led to many changes in the state system and international relations. The increasing volume of international trade and investment, multinational business activity and privatization, increasing global and regional communication and migration, the growth Internet, activities of non-governmental organizations working as transnational networks, the immense growth in science and technology have all led to fundamental alteration in the nature of government activities and created intense forms of interdependence. Does this mean that the state system has come of age? Is it adapting to the newer forces at work and acquiring a newer form? The

International Relations Global expansion of the state-system 1700s 1600s 1900s 1800s Europe (European System) + North

International Relations

International Relations discipline of IR is increasingly concerned with such questions today. New classifications of the

discipline of IR is increasingly concerned with such questions today. New classifications of the state system have emerged. For instance, some IR scholars are of the view that the traditional approaches to IR are unable to adequately capture the changing nature of state and international relations. They say that what has emerged today is the ‘global state’ which has not abolished the nation-state but has transformed it role. They refer the present day state as global -cum-national state requiring new theorizing about its role and nature of relations. They call for IR to be a forum for the widest possible social science. This is one of the major challenges facing the discipline today.

The discipline is criticized for being Eurocentric/Anglo-American, dominated by the interests, perspectives and concerns of the
The discipline is criticized for being Eurocentric/Anglo-American, dominated by the interests,
perspectives and concerns of the West. There is a need for it to be inclusive of the
perspectives from the non-West. Not only this, there is also a need to rethink the regional
and global order from such an inclusive, heterogeneous and representative position and
then theorize about the patterns of relations in the global state system. This is another
major challenge before the discipline.
Summary

International Relations (IR) is closely connected to our everyday lives. We all live in one or the other (nation) state. Various aspects of our lives like pri ces in the local markets, laws that govern our travel to other countries, availability of technology, access to internet, governments policies towards terrorism, climate change and trade etc. have much to do with the nature of international relations. International relations is a whole complex of cultural, economic, legal, military and political relations of all states and their component populations as well as non-state actors and international organisations. It is a fact of life as well as a field of study. As a field of study it tries to look for patterns in this multiplicity of interactions. It tries to understand the driving forces of conflict and cooperation, the forces that have shaped the nature of relations in the past, those that are at work in the present times as well as those that are likely to shape it in the future. The important questions that IR engages with are: what are the causes of war, the possibilities of peace, the impact of trade, the role of ideas and so on.

International Relations and most of the theoretical perspectives of the discipline focus on

the state system. The major approaches to the study of IR include realism, liberalism,

Marxist approaches, feminist perspectives and constructivism.

These approaches try to

International Relations discipline of IR is increasingly concerned with such questions today. New classifications of the

International Relations

International Relations provide an understanding of why do the actors in the international system interact with

provide an understanding of why do the actors in the international system interact with each other the way they do, the causes of conflict and the possibilities of transformation. The discipline also looks at the evolution of the state system, its global expansion as wel l as the impact of the process of globalization on it. However the discipline is criticized of being Anglo-American in nature - being dominated by Western perspectives, processes and concerns – neglecting the non-West in all these respects. It is criticized for being Eurocentric in nature. Therefore there is a need for the discipline of IR to be more accommodative of the perspectives from the non-West or the ‘Global South’.

International Relations provide an understanding of why do the actors in the international system interact with
International Relations provide an understanding of why do the actors in the international system interact with
International Relations provide an understanding of why do the actors in the international system interact with

International Relations

International Relations Glossary

Glossary
Glossary

Peace of Westphalia (1648): Ended the Thirty Years War and is regarded by many as the key event that led to the emergence of the present international system.

State system: System of politically organized human groupings occupying fixed territory, are not under any higher
State system: System of politically organized human groupings occupying fixed
territory, are not under any higher authority or power and exercise a measure of
independence from each other.
State Sovereignty: The entitlement of states in the Westphalian order to rule their
own territory independent of all other states. It lays down that there is no authority
above the state to compel it to act in a particular way.
Self-help: States have to ensure their survival and security themselves, no other
institution can be relied upon for guaranteeing survival.
Balance of Power: An arrangement whereby the power of one state is checked by
the countervailing power of other states.
Questions
1.
Essay Type
1.
Why do we need to study IR?
2.
What are the main issues with which IR is concerned?
3.
What are the main challenges that the discipline of IR faces today?
2.
Exercise/Practice
Place the appropriate letter (a-d) in front of the theory that corresponds to a given
explanation:
Realism __
Liberalism
__
Marxism
__
Constructivism __
a.
International relations is an arena where states cooperate through various
institutions to foster peace and freedom.
  • b. Armed states compete with each other as rivals and often go to war for ensuring their own security.

  • c. The structures, processes and institutions in world politics are not natural. They were created and can be re-made.

International Relations Glossary Peace of Westphalia (1648): Ended the Thirty Years War and is regarded by

International Relations

International Relations d. The three zones of the world economy are linked together in an exploitative
  • d. The three zones of the world economy are linked together in an exploitative relationship in which the wealth is drained away from the periphery to the core.

  • 3. Multiple Choice Questions

Put a tick mark in front of the correct option:

A. IR emerged as an academic discipline around: a. 1500 b. 1918 c. 2002 d. 1800
A.
IR emerged as an academic discipline around:
a.
1500
b.
1918
c.
2002
d.
1800
B.
IR endeavors to study:
a.
State-system
b.
International Organizations
c.
International Networks
d.
All of the above
C.
The state system is largely understood to have originated after:
a.
The Treaty of Versailles
b.
The Great Depression
c.
The Peace of Westphalia
d.
The Council of Constance
D.
IR witnessed a Great Debate in the late 1930s and early 1940s between:
a.
Idealists and Realists
b.
Realists and Marxists
c.
Marxists and Feminists
d.
Realists and Constructivists
4.
True/False
Mention True or False against the following statements:
  • 1. The Thirty Years’ War was a series of destructive wars in America lasting from 1718 to 1748.

  • 2. The political change from medieval to modern led to the creation of the independent territorial state with power and authority concentrated in the government.

International Relations d. The three zones of the world economy are linked together in an exploitative

International Relations

International Relations 3. The core problems of IR are concerned with the values that the statehttp://global.oup.com/uk/orc/politics/intro/internationalrelations/books/maps/ Institute of Lifelong Learning, University of Delhi Page 22 " id="pdf-obj-21-4" src="pdf-obj-21-4.jpg">
  • 3. The core problems of IR are concerned with the values that the state system tries to achieve and the challenges that it faces.

  • 4. The state system as is it exists today began in the early medi eval era.

5. The main subject matter of IR focuses on war, peac e, state, power, sovereignty, security
5.
The main subject matter of IR focuses on war, peac e, state, power, sovereignty,
security and cooperation.
References
C.
Brown and K. Ainley, (2009), Understanding International Relations, Basingtoke:
Palgrave, pp 1-16
J.
Baylis and S. Smith (eds) (2008) The Globalisation of World Politics: An Introduction to
International Relations, New York: Oxford University Press, pp 1-6
K.
Mingst and J. Snyder, (2011) Essential Readings in International Relations, New York:
W.W. Nortan and Company, pp 1-15
M.
Nicholson, (2002), International Relations: A Concise Introduction, New York: Palgrave,
pp. 1-4
M.
Smith and R. Little (eds) (2000) ‘Introduction’, in Perspectives on World Politics, New
York: Routledge, pp 1-17
R.
Jackson and G. Sorensen, (2007), Introduction to International Relations: Theories and
Approaches, 3 rd Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 2-7
R.
Mansbach and K.Taylor, (2008) Introduction to Global Politics, New York: Routledge pp
2-32
S.
Joshua Goldstein and J. Pevehouse (2007), International Relations, New York: Pearson
Longman, pp 29-35
Web Links:
Flashcard Glossary:
http://global.oup.com/uk/orc/politics/ir_theory/dunne2e/01student/glossary/
Timeline of key international relations events:
http://fdslive.oup.com/orc/resources/politics/intro/internationalrelations/books/timeline/ir_t
imeline.pdf
Maps of key regions:
International Relations 3. The core problems of IR are concerned with the values that the statehttp://global.oup.com/uk/orc/politics/intro/internationalrelations/books/maps/ Institute of Lifelong Learning, University of Delhi Page 22 " id="pdf-obj-21-16" src="pdf-obj-21-16.jpg">