Since the founding of the chair of International Relations at the University of Wales in 1919, international relations has undergone various stages. It has passed through five stages and is currently passing through the sixth stage.
The development of International Relations through all these stages was made possible by the various developments that took place on the international stage.
The most important of these developments is the occurrence of the Second World War which focused attention on the need for peace and an organisation that could ensure the establishment of peace in the world.
Impact of Peace. The horrors of destruction have focused attention of the world statesmen on the concept of peace. Peace has as such attained particularly great importance after the Second World War.
This is because war has revealed beyond doubt its destructive potentiality. Peace has, therefore, assumed new significance and has to be kept in the background of all foreign policy-formulation.
This has affected the nature of international relations in a very vital sense. In the traditional system of world politics, peace as such did not occupy the place of an objective. The objective was the protection of national interest by all possible means, including war.
The avoidance of the use of force was of course attempted as far as possible but ultimately the use of force was permissible without any consideration whether it would threaten peace or not.
International relations today is a struggle not only between conflicting national interests but also between national interest and peace. The concern for peace puts a ‘serious check upon national units in their freedom of behaviour in international relationships.
Therefore, the concept of international relations as a pattern of unrestricted struggle for power will have to change in the light of the importance we have come to attach to peace, so much so that we cannot possibly study international relations today without a thorough study of the problems of peace.
In our study of international relations we have one common concern, that is, how to avoid war and ensure peace.
That is why John Burton argues that the recent breakthrough in the field of international relations and the greater concern for peace will make the distinction between international relations and peace disappear.
As such, the study of international relations today has attained a purpose and this purpose is to find out ways impact of Peace and International Organization and means leading to the avoidance, if not elimination, of war and to the establishment of peace.
This was not certainly the purpose of the study of international relations in the days of either the diplomatic history approach or the current events approach.
Impact of International Organisation
The concern for peace is closely related to international organization. The close relationship between peace and international organization emanates from the fact that the preservation of peace necessitates the organization of almost every aspect of international relations.
Thus, peace provides link between international relations and international organization. Peace is the purpose of present-day international relations and international organization is the means for the achievement of peace.
One significant aspect of the changing nature of international relations has been the interaction of international relations and international organization.
The nature of international relations is in some measures determined by the nature of international organization as the nature of international organisation is determined by international relations.
Indeed, in the inter-war period also, emphasis on the study of international organization, together with international law, was there.
But in this emphasis, the League of Nations was taken as an end in itself and the academic interest was confined to the structure and legal rules of international organization. Even now some, people adopt the same approach towards the United Nations.
But, by and large, international organization today is taken as a process influencing the nature of international relations. This is not to say that international organization has now attained its perfect form.
If it were so, we could have solved the problem of war and peace permanently. In fact, it is the imperfection of international organization itself that makes international organization a determinant of the nature of international relations.
The imperfection if largely due to the fact that nations, though they have a concern for peace, have not learnt to put premium on peace even at the cost of the national interest. National honor and national interest still take precedence over the preservation of peace.
Thus, international organization itself becomes a centre of international relations. This type of relationship between international relations and international organization has added a new dimension to the nature of international relations, namely a tension between the struggle for power and the struggle for order.
The struggle for power continues inside the international organization and the. struggle for peace and order gives on in the general system of international relations.
Conclusion. International relations is thus determined in accordance with the changing forces and influences in the world at a particular moment in history. It has changed and developed.
The development has particularly been shaped by various forces after World War II. The concepts of peace and International Organization have in particular played their role.