POS 205- Introduction to International Relations

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International Relations is the study of conflict and cooperation by international actors, as furthered by the development and testing of hypotheses about international outcomes. The field of international relations concerns the relationships among the various governments of the world. These relationships linked with other actors such as international organisations (IOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), transnational corporations (TNCs) and notable individuals make them interdependent. Indeed, no nation can live in isolation independent of other nations. Whether big or small, rich or poor, powerful or weak, every nation depends on other nations. This explains why all states in the international system live in an atmosphere of interdependence. Owing to the fact that IR is in transition following emerging realities in the international system, it has become difficult arriving at a universally acceptable definition of the subject. However, scholars have persisted in their attempt to define international relations. In the words of Karl Deutsch, “international relations is that area of human action where inescapable interdependence meets with inadequate control.” There is no escaping from world affairs, yet we cannot shape them totally to our will. There is always interplay between foreign policy and domestic politics, the two component parts of international relations. There are multiple contests and conflicts of interests, which ensure that both foreign policy and domestic politics that constantly pushed and pulled in contradictory directions for the safety and prosperity of each nation and indeed the survival of humanity hang on this sea-saw. Trevor Taylor defines IR “as a discipline that tries to explain political activities across states boundaries.” Another scholar, Seymon Brown postulates that international relations is the investigating and study of patterns of actions and reactions among sovereign states as represented by their governing elites.” Quite often, IR scholars view international relations as a mix of conflict and cooperation in relationships among nations. Power is germane to international politics. Indeed, power is the currency of the international system. This explains why some scholars define international relations in terms of power relations between states. For example, Stanley Hoffman posits that “the discipline of international relations is concerned with the factors and the activities which affect the external policies and power of the basic units into which the world is divided.” As a field of study, IR has elastic boundaries. To some extent, the field is interdisciplinary relating international politics to economics, sociology, history and other disciplines. Whereas some Universities offer separate degrees or Departments of IR, others teach international relations as part of political science. Before 1914, the conduct of international relations was the concern of persons professionally engaged in it. In democratic countries, foreign policy was regarded as something outside the scope of party politics; and the representative organs did not feel themselves competent to exercise any close control over the mysterious operations of foreign offices. In Great Britain, public opinion was readily aroused if war occurred in any region traditionally regarded as a sphere of British interest, or if the British navy shortly ceased to possess that margin of superiority over potential rivals that were deemed essential. In continental Europe, conscription and the chronic fear of foreign invasion created a more general and continuous popular awareness of international problems. However, this awareness found expression mainly in the labour movement, which from time to time passed somewhat academic resolutions against war.


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Frontiers, E. (2022). POS 205- Introduction to International Relations. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/pos-205-introduction-to-international-relations

MLA 8th

Frontiers, Edu "POS 205- Introduction to International Relations" Afribary. Afribary, 05 Jul. 2022, https://afribary.com/works/pos-205-introduction-to-international-relations. Accessed 09 Aug. 2022.


Frontiers, Edu . "POS 205- Introduction to International Relations". Afribary, Afribary, 05 Jul. 2022. Web. 09 Aug. 2022. < https://afribary.com/works/pos-205-introduction-to-international-relations >.


Frontiers, Edu . "POS 205- Introduction to International Relations" Afribary (2022). Accessed August 09, 2022. https://afribary.com/works/pos-205-introduction-to-international-relations