International Relations (IR) (occasionally referred to as International Studies (IS)) is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs).
It is both an academic and public policy field, and can be either positive or normative as it both seeks to analyze as well as formulate the foreign policy of particular states. Apart from political science, IR draws upon such diverse fields as economics, history, international law, philosophy, geography, social work, sociology, anthropology, psychology, women’s studies/gender studies, and cultural studies/cult urology.
It involves a diverse range of issues including but not limited to globalization, state sovereignty, ecological sustainability, nuclear proliferation, nationalism, economic development, global finance, terrorism, organized crime, human security, foreign interventionism and human rights.
Systemic tools of international relations:
i. Diplomacy is the practice of communication and negotiation between representatives of states. To some extent, all other tools of international relations can be considered the failure of diplomacy. Keeping in mind, the use of other tools are part of the communication and negotiation inherent within diplomacy. Sanctions, force, and adjusting trade regulations, while not typically considered part of diplomacy, are actually valuable tools in the interest of leverage and placement in negotiations.
ii. Sanctions are usually a first resort after the failure of diplomacy, and are one of the main tools used to enforce treaties. They can take the form of diplomatic or economic sanctions and involve the cutting of ties and imposition of barriers to communication or trade.
iii. War, the use of force, is often thought of as the ultimate tool of international relations. A widely accepted definition is that given by Clausewitz, with war being “the continuation of politics by other means”. There is a growing study into ‘new wars’ involving actors other than states. The study of war in International Relations is covered by the disciplines of ‘War Studies’ and ‘Strategic studies’.
iv. The mobilization of international shame can also be thought of as a tool of International Relations. This is attempting to alter states’ actions through ‘naming and shaming’ at the international level. This is mostly done by the large human rights NGOs such as Amne– International or Human Rights Watch. A prominent use of was the UN Commission on Human Rights 1235 procedure, which publicly exposes state’s human rights violations. The curr Human Rights Council has yet to use this Mechanism.
v. The allotment of economic and/or diplomatic benefits. An example of this is the Euro Union’s enlargement policy. Candidate countries are allowed entry into the EU only after the fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria.
Critical international relations theory is the application of ‘critical theory’ to international relations. Proponents such as Andrew Linklater, Robert W. Cox and Ken Booth focus on the need for human emancipation from States. Hence, it is “critical” of mainstream IR theories that tend to be statement.
Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories of IR reject the realist/liberal view of state conflict or cooperate instead focusing on the economic and material aspects. It makes the assumption that the economy trump other concerns; allowing for the elevation of class as the focus of study. Marxists view the international system as an integrated capitalist system in pursuit of capital accumulation. Thus, the period of colonialism brought in sources for raw materials and captive markets for exports, while decolonialization brought new opportunities in the form of dependence.
Linked in with Marxist theories is dependency theory which argues that developed countries, in their pursuit of power, penetrate developing states through political advisors, missionaries, experts, and MN to integrate them into the capitalist system in order to appropriate natural resources and foster dependent.
Marxist theories receive scant attention in the United States where no significant socialist party ever existed. It is more common in parts of Europe and is one of the most important theoretic contributions of Latin American academia, for example through Liberation theology.
Interest Group theory posits that the driving force behind state behaviour is sub-state interest group Examples of interest groups include political lobbyists, the military, and the corporate sector. Group theory argues that although these interest groups are constitutive of the state, they are also causal fore in the exercise of state power.
Strategic Perspective is a theoretical approach that views individuals as choosing their actions by taking into account the anticipated actions and responses of others with the intention of maximizing their o welfare.
Inherent bad faith model in international relations and political psychology
The “inherent bad faith model” of information processing is a theory in political psychology that was first put forth by Ole Holsti to explain the relationship between John Foster Dulles’ beliefs and his model of information processing. It is the most widely studied model of one’s opponent. A state is presumed to be implacably hostile, and contra-indicators of this are ignored. They are dismissed as propaganda ploys or signs of weakness. Examples are John Foster Dulles’ position regarding the Soviet Union, or Israel’s initial position on the Palestinian Liberation Organization.