International Relations (IR) is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), international non-governmental 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.
It is often considered a branch of political science (especially after 1988 UNESCO nomenclature), but an important sector of academia prefer to treat it as an interdisciplinary field of study.
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 state-centric.
Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories of IR reject the realist/liberal view of state conflict or cooperation; instead focusing on the economic and material aspects. It makes the assumption that the economy trumps 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 MNCs to integrate them into the capitalist system in order to appropriate natural resources and foster dependence.
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.
Leadership Theories Interest Group perspective:
Interest Group theory posits that the driving force behind state behaviour is sub-state interest groups. 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 forces in the exercise of state power. Strategic Perspective
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 own welfare.
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.