International Relations Defined:
International relations, as a subject, refers to the study of relationships between countries, including the role of governmental organizations, broader state-structures, international nongovernmental entities and multinational corporations. International studies, as a result of its participants, are both an academic and public policy subject; International Studies can be either normative or positive for it seeks to analyze, as well as formulate foreign policy relations of particular entities.
International studies is most often connected to a branch of political science; however, international relations also draws upon a diverse array of fields, such as economics, international law, philosophy, international law, geography, psychology, cultural studies, sociology, social work and anthropology. Furthermore, international relations will involve a broad range of issues including: state sovereignty, ecological sustainability, globalization, nationalism, nuclear proliferation, organized crime, human security, human rights, economic development, global finance and human rights.
Theories behind International Relations:
International relations, as a study, can be divided into two camps: positivist and post-positivist. The former refers to theories, which aim to replicate distinct methods of the natural sciences by analyzing the impact of various material forces. This theory primarily focuses on features of international relations such as the size of a military force, the balance of power within governing bodies and interactions between states. A post-positivist study of international relations, at its foundation, rejects the premise that the social world can be observed in an objective and value-free method. Post-positivist international relations will also reject the basic ideas of liberalism and neo-realism on the grounds that the scientific method is not meant to be applied to the social world.
The primary difference between the two studies of international relations is that positivist theories, such as liberalism, offer casual explanations concerning government actions, a post-positivist theories focus on constitutive questions, such as what is a government action and what is meant by power? A positivist theory will investigate why power is exercised, while a post-positivist theory will evaluate how power is reproduced, what it is made of and how it is experienced. Positivist theories include realism, liberalism, neoliberalism and regime theory while post-positivist or reflectivist theories include, international society theories, social constructivism, Marxism, critical theory. Additionally, international studies also can be carried-out or evaluated through leadership theories, including interest group perspectives, strategic perspectives and various political psychologies.