Politics refers to conflict and the efforts to resolve it. In this way, conflict even in the shape of violence as well as the attempts to find a substitute for violence are features of international politics.
International relations does not merely reflect on conflict and the efforts for its resolution but includes so many other things as inter-State cultural relations, inter-State economic, technological co-operation and so on.
It is why Palmer and Perkins hold that ‘International politics should deal with the politics of international community in a rather narrow sense, concerning on diplomacy and relations among States and other political units, whereas international relations is a term properly embracing the totality among people and groups in world society.”
As any politics, international politics, is the process of influencing, manipulating or controlling the actions of other States in the world with a view to safeguarding and advancing the interests of some against others.
It is, however, distinguished from all other forms of politics in respect of ends and its units of participation.
The number of methods prohibited in international politics is much smaller in comparison with those in national politics. Violence, fraud, corruption etc. are prohibited in national politics but its counterpart, that is war still continues in international politics.
Secondly, if national law is the basis of national politics, international law is the basis of international relations.
Thirdly, national politics has greater unity, link, order and regularity than international politics.
Fourthly, the major thing in international politics is the existence of State. It is this very existence that is threatened in international politics. Groups, individuals and associations can afford to sacrifice themselves in the name of some higher ideals but not the States in international politics.
Finally, we find a great distinction in the method of operation of the two types of politics. There is persuasion, legislation and administration in national politics while there is war in international politics.