International Relations has been defined in many ways. Writers differ greatly upon the definition of the subject. It appears quite natural, Stanley Hoffman says, “how could one agree once and for all upon the definition of a field whose scope is in constant flux, indeed, a field whose fluctuation is one of its principal characteristics.” As such, International Relations cannot be defined in any generally acceptable way.
International Relations Defined:
Prof. Charles Schleicher define? International Politics as the relations among States. Quincy Wright defines international relations as “relations between groups of major importance in the life of the world at any period of history”. According to Prof. Hans Morgenthau, international politics is a struggle for power and among nations.
Norman Padelford and George Lincoln define International Relations as the interaction of State politics within the changing pattern of power relationships.
However, a good working definition of International Relations is given by Harold and Margaret Sprout.
They define International Relations as “those aspects of interactions and relations of independent political communities in which some element of opposition, resistance, or conflict of purpose or interest is present”.
Evolution of International Relations:
International Relations is at present passing through its sixth stage of development. It passed through three stages before the end of the Second World War.
The end of the Second World War saw the fourth stage of development of International Relations. The first stage of its development lasted up to the end of the First World War when emphasis was laid upon diplomatic history.
The second and the third stage ran simultaneously after the end of the First World War. The second stage concerned with the study of current events only, while the third stage emphasized the formulation of international relations through law and organisation.
The fourth stage began with the end of the Second World War. The stage in the most conspicuous and distinct.
Effect of World War II on the Course of International Relations. Interest in the fourth stage of International Relations shifted from history, International law and organisation to factors which condition the behaviour of States.
The World War II contributed various factors which changed the course of international relations. These factors are three: motivating factors of foreign policy, techniques of the conduct of foreign policy, and mode of resolution of international conflicts.
(1) Motivating Factors of Foreign Policy:
The world of today has become so much interdependent that even minor change in a country makes its effects felt in other countries of the world.
The behaviour of a particular State or change caused therein, tends to affect every other nation, may be favorably or adversely. But every State would naturally try to minimize the adverse effect and maximize the favorable reaction.
It is this adjustment of the actions of the State in favour of one’s own State which George Modelski calls “the purpose of foreign policy.”
He defines foreign policy as “the system of activities evolved by communities for changing the behaviour of other States and for adjusting their own activities to the international environment.”
According to him the motivating factor of foreign policy “must be to throw light on the ways in which States attempt to change, and succeed in changing the behaviour of other States.”
But Modelski stresses only one aspect of bringing about change in behaviour of States and ignores regulating the behaviour. The motivating factor of foreign policy should be to regulate and not only to change.
The Simla Accord between India and Pakistan is an attempt on the part of India to regulate her relations with Pakistan in the times to come. It has also vast potentialities of regulating the behaviour of foreign powers not to allow them to interfere in the affairs of South Asia.
It has, therefore, stressed the resolution of common disputes, mutually and bilaterally. This Accord has discouraged third State Interference.
India strictly adheres to it and expects Pakistan also to follow suit. Pakistan is not true yet she pleads that she also follows the Simla Accord in letter and spirit.
(2) Techniques of the Conduct of Foreign Policy:
In consequence of foreign policy, a number of phenomena occur. Chief among them are co-operation, conflict, and neutrality or co-existence.
Therefore, foreign policy can be understood only in the context of political activities, military actions, economic activities and psychological activities which are the four main techniques of foreign policy.
(a) The Political Techniques:
Foreign policy is based on the fact that national interest must be achieved under the guise of international ideology. The States, therefore, resort to techniques like negotiations agreements, inducements, and manipulations in order to secure their national interest.
The visit of President Nixon to China and then to Moscow was an exercise in negotiating peace with the other powerful nations in order to secure American national interest.
The agreements reached with China that Taiwan is an integral part of mainland of China was a big concession to China. The agreements on the limitation of Strategic Arms reached with Russia are historic achievements.
The move on the part of Japan to resume diplomatic relations with Communist China and to snap relations with Taiwan was an instance of manipulation on the part of Premier Tanaka of Japan.
Japan was in fact let down by the U.S.A. in not being consulted before negotiating with Communist China. The Communist China is giving unlimited war supplies to Pakistan in an exercise of inducement to keep her away from India so that the spirit of Simla Accord may evaporate.
(b) The Military Technique:
Military factor is the most powerful technique of foreign policy. Pakistan came to realise after the Indo- Pak War of 1971 that India is invincible and sizeable section of wants to turn a new leaf in the Indo-Pak relations.
This realisation can help avert another conflict for years to come. The realisation on the part of the Nixon administrations that North Viet-Nam could not be made to yield, made him realise to come to terms with Hanoi.
The withdrawal of the Russian advisors from Egypt made Egypt realise that she could not fight with Israel. This made Egypt fall again at the feet of the Soviet Union. Things have now changed considerably.
Egypt has made up with the U.S.A. at the cost of her friendship with the Soviet Union. The military strength has psychological effect also.
The entry of the ‘Enterprise a part of the Seventh Fleet of U.S.A. in the Bay of Bengal at the time of Indo-Pak conflict of 1971, aroused fear in the minds of many Indians.
(c) The Economic Technique:
The economic help also plays a great role in influencing other nations. The economic help rendered by U.S.A. to Pakistan made her a permanent ally of U.S.A.
This aroused enmity of India to whom the aid was denied after the Indo-Pak war of 1971. The U.S.A. considers economic technique to be a factor through which it can buy alliance.
She pressurized India but failed. India resisted economic temptation and did not accept the same. This does not mean that economic technique is a failure. In case of most of other countries, it plays an important role. Even the alliance of Egypt has been brought by U.S.A.
The economic help minimises the feelings of hostility in that country. U.S.A. continues pouring in millions and billions of dollars in foreign countries. Even India, which borrows from others, uses economic technique by giving economic assistance to countries such as Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Pakistan announced various economic concessions to Bangladesh after the 15th August, 1975 coup which wiped out flower of leadership in Bangladesh, which was sympathetic towards India.
(d) The Psychological Technique:
The psychological technique also plays a great role. It is achieved through propaganda, publications, films etc. The Communist China never misses an opportunity to organise propaganda and publications against India. Similar is the case with Pakistan.
She always continues flaring up Hate India Campaign to keep the Pakistan estranged from India. If this were not so Pakistanis feel psychological affinity with India. They are, therefore, continually fed on Hate India Campaign.
These techniques malign India in international eyes also. India is a pious country in the devilish atmosphere but still people in the Western countries take India as aggressor and all that.
(3) Mode of Resolution of International Conflicts:
The United Nations has been charged with the vast responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security.
According to Art. I of the UN charter, it is expected “to take effective and collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace, and to bring about by lawful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of peace.”
The chief responsibility lies with the Security Council but the General Assembly has also played an increasingly significant role in this field.
The United Nations has given a good account of itself in Certain political and security issues but in most of the cases it has proved itself to be quite helpless and incapable of taking any positive action.
The Kashmir Problem, the Viet-Nam War and the Arab-Israel conflict are the examples where it has failed miserably. This is due to the fact that it has found itself aligned with certain conflicting interests. This calls for amendment in the charter of the United Nations.
International Relations has in this way undergone a considerable change in recent days. The factors responsible for the change are still in the process and unexpected events may happen in the near future as the world has stock-piles of nuclear weapons in spite of the various efforts to evade a conflict anywhere in the world. The clash of interests has shown itself everywhere. But no efforts have succeeded, as yet, to come to some agreement.