International Relations Theorists Essays

International Relations Theorists Essays

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“A state is a legal entity that enjoys a permanent population, a well defined territory, and a government capable of exercising sovereignty” (Kegly Jr & WittKopf, 2001). International Relations can be seen as the study of the roles of state and non- state actors with regards to the international political system. This system is made up of sovereign states, nations and nation-states as well as non-state actors such as Multinational Corporations, Inter-Governmental Organizations, International Non-Governmental Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations. It seeks to identify and analyze the relationships between the aforementioned actors and examine the implications and repercussions that may result from their interactions. International Relations theorists include the ancient Greek historian Thucydides whose ideologies touched on aspects of the discipline. However, it was only until the early 20th century that the discipline emerged with two very distinct schools of thought. The liberal school, views strengthened international law and international organizations as instruments of peace and many view Kant and Rousseau as the classical theorists of this school; while Hobbes and Thucydides are seen as the classical proponents of realism which, emphasizes that nations will always be engaged in an international power struggle and stronger states will use their power to achieve goals and maintain a balance of power among competing states.
International Relations while it has several theories is mainly centered on the two opposing schools of thoughts, that of liberalism and realism. Realism views, international relations as a state-centric discipline and as such the state is the core entity of the system. Twentieth century realis...

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...y. Like neo-realism, neo-liberalism is a more systemic approach to international relations theory.
In conclusion, it can be said that while realist and neorealist are founded on the same basic principles, just like liberal and neo liberal theory the latter versions seek to build and scientifically prove the former. Neo-liberalism adds greater emphasis on non-state actors as well as embraces interdependence viewing it as necessary, while it acknowledges the anarchy highlighted in neo realism it believes that institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization can help to successfully manage this anarchy. Neo realism on the other hand replaces the basis of conflict with security instead of power. Thus the neo variants of the aforementioned schools of thoughts tend to overlap and agree much more than the classical variants.

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