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International Relations


I D E A L I S M / L I B E RA L I S M

Historical Background
Why did discipline of IR started in 1919?
Locating the reasons behind WW I and to prevent world community from such a
disaster in future.

Emmanuel Kant & Jeremy Bentham had already given the concept of Liberal
Internationalism, key concept of this L.I was the idea of HARMONY.
Kants idea of Perpetual Peace,
Democratic states dont fight with
each other because they are the true
representative of masses and masses
dont want war.
Theories and Concepts before WWI to understand causation of War


Self Defense (Pre-emptive strike is the product of this system)

Contextualizing W.W.I
Can we apply Cost & Benefit System? NO, Britain & Germany had highly Interdependent economies
Can we apply Self Defense System? NO, It was a war no one wanted at first
Then Why did WWI occurred?
To what an extent International System was responsible?
How to reform International System to prevent such wars?
OUT COME of these questions was the Idealistic Approach of IR /I D E A L I S M
Before studying the theory it is pertinent to have an analysis of the situation.
i.e. Why WWI occurred?

Autocratic Leadership has natural tendency to go for war

Non democratic structures of states.

Alliance System

Salient Features of Idealism

Prof Hadley Bull ,
The most distinctive features of idealistic
theory was the belief that the international
system or the system of international
that had given rise to the
first world war was
capable of being
transformed into a fundamentally
peaceful and JUST-WORLD-ORDER
that under the impact of the awakening of
democracy, the growth of international
economy, the good works of the men of
peace and that their responsibility as
of IR was to assist this
march of progress,
to overcome the ignorance and the prejudices
that stood in its way.

Salient Features of Idealism

1) Domestic
Analogy there are two
principle requirements for a new
world order.
A) Progress is Possible: states, leaders, intellectuals,
public opinion.

B) Intl Organization : facilitate peace, disarmament,

arbitration, enforcement

Salient Features of Idealism

2) Change in the domestic
Characteristics of a modern state.
Constitution/ Rule of Law
Civil Liberties

Salient Features of Idealism

3) Right of Self
Freedom movements lead to war.
Strong advocates of Decolonization

Salient Features of Idealism

3) Collective Security System
Peace is not a NATURAL CONDITION, it is always
Establishment of an international Institution.
How to regulate ANARCHY?

Salient Features of Idealism

4) Optimistic Nature of Human Beings
Contextualizing John Locke
Human Beings are Rational, applying
rationality on International system would
result into Peace and Stability
Essential nature of IR is linked with Humans.

Salient Features of Idealism

that it is Economy which matters and wars
effect trade.
Harmony of Interest of masses is economy
and trade, people dont like wars

Salient Features of Idealism

Public Opinion is a constructive force.
Secret Diplomacy should be condemned.
Diplomatic ties should be checked by

Salient Features of Idealism

regulate political life at the global level in the hopes of
constructing a more peaceful order.
It advocates greater cooperation among nation-states in the
pursuit of peace through the creation of institutions.
What is an Intl Law? International law became the primary
focus of attempts to promote internationalism, with its
insistence that states remain the central agents and its attempts
to limit their ability to launch war.
Internationalism as a political project arose from these legal
attempts to align an unwillingness to give up on the nation-state

Did IDEALISM work ?

Your Assignment for this week.
Q: Account for the factor behind the
failure of Idealism, as an approach
to study IR,? Do you agree that it
failed to achieve its intended design
for international community i.e.
peace, progress and stability.

The idealist theorists miss-read the
facts of history. They ignored or overlooked
the essential nature of International Relations.
There biggest blunder was their concept of
Harmony of Interest between people and
between states. The idealists ignored the fact
that some states are better off than others,
and these states want to keep and defend
their privilege positions but the HAVE
NOT states
will always struggle to change that
therefore International Relations is
struggle between such conflicting
interests/ desires
that is why the discipline of IR should deal
the issues, more and more, in terms of conflict
rather than co-operation.

Salient Features of Realism

1)Nature of Human Beings
) Contextualizing Thomas Hobbes
)Human Beings are SELFISH, applying selfishness
on International system would provide better
understanding of actions of states.
)Essential nature of IR is linked with Humans.

Salient Features of Realism

2) STATES as the key International Actor
Understanding Anarchy
Anarchy leads to SELF HELP SYSTEM:
Survival and Security
Military Power: all national and international
organizations are inferior to state.

Salient Features of Realism

National Interest is more important for a state than Collective interest
National Interest of a state is sum total of security, material benefits,
political and strategic concessions.
States are not dead institutions but like living beings, states
compromise/ sacrifice only in her National Interest.
For States there is always an underlying principle of CLASH of

Salient Features of Realism

4) The concept of POWER
National Interest is always defined in terms of POWER.
What is Power? Ability to mold ones opinion in your favor or
Power is mans control over the mind and actions of other
man Hans J. Morgenthau
Understanding Relational Power?

Salient Features of Realism

Why do states need Power or
Relational Power?




Both demands
safeguard a state
from enemies

Salient Features of Realism

5) Raison d'tat
Also known as Reason of a state.

It address the leaders/ statesmen to act in order to maintain health and

strength of a state.
Should Raison d'tat be moral? There is nothing moral or immoral for a
state. A state acts in an A-MORAL Approach
Contextualizing Machiavellis The Prince,
A prince can not observe all those things for which men
are considered good, for in
order to maintain his state
he is often obliged to act against his promise,
charity and general meanings of humanity

Salient Features of Realism

6) Morgenthau & Six principles of Political
Politics is
governed by

Interest is
defined in
terms of

of Diplomacy

Autonomy of
the Political

ns of National

Principles vs
State Actions

Did R E A L I S M work?
Your assignment for next week
Q: Realism is neither realistic nor
consistent. Write a comprehensive
critique on the flaws of classical
Realist approach to IR.

Neo Realism &

Neo Liberalism
The debate b/w NR & NL has dominated mainstream IR
since the last quarter of 20th century
Security studies vs Political Economy, Human Rights and
Security Dilemma vs Mutual Interests
Better explanation of behavior of States in comparison
with classical approach?

Neo Realism
Kenneth Waltz Theory of
International Politics
NR can be defined through three
schools of thought namely Structural
Realism, Modern Realism and
Security Studies.

Structural Realism: Kenneth

It can best be understood by drawing
a comparison with Classical Realism
Units vs Structure
Conception of Power
Conception of Anarchy

Modern Realism: Joseph

What is Absolute gain? (Power and
What is Relative gain?
(Arrangements through Cooperation
or Conflict)
Which one is more important
Absolute gain or Relative gain?

Security Studies
Defensive Realism: Our assumptions of
relations with other states depends on
whether they are friends or enemies.
Offensive Realism: Relative power is
more important not Absolute power.
Offensives critique on Defensives: IR is a
prisoners dilemma game.

Neo Liberalism
Robert Keohane & Joseph S. Nye, Power and Inter
dependence: World Politics in Transition
It focuses on Political Economy, Human Rights,
greater economic partnerships, Environmental issues
Four major variants in neo-liberal school of thought
also known as Pluralism
Commercial Liberalism, Republican Liberalism,
Sociological Liberalism and Liberal Institutionalism

Neo Liberalism
Commercial Liberalism: advocates free trade, capitalist
economy for peace and prosperity. This view can easily be found
in global financial institutions, major trading states and MNCs
Republican Liberalism: Democratic states are more inclined to
respect the rights of their citizens and are less likely to go to war
with their democratic neighbors. In contemporary context this
view is presented as DEMOCRATIC PEACE THEORY
Sociological Liberalism: Process of interdependence is more
important. Transnational activities and increasing link among
people compel governments to become more interdependent. It
becomes difficult for a state to act unilaterally and to avoid

Neo Liberalism
Liberal Institutionalism :
a) most convincing challenge to realists and neo
realists. Peace and Prosperity is to have
Institutions. For collective good, state should
sacrifice some part of her sovereignty.
b) Core assumptions of Neo Liberals
1. States are key actors but not only actors
2. Absolute gain not relative gain
3. Greatest Obstacle to successful cooperation is noncompliance or cheating by states.

Neo Liberals
a) Neo Realists
minimized the
importance of
globalization etc

Neo Realists
a) Neo-Liberals
minimized the
importance of

Both agree that International system is anarchic.

1. International System is Anarchic

The Neo-Neo debate: A comparison

Neo Liberals
a) Cooperation is easy to
b) Importance of International

Neo Realists
a) International cooperation
will not happen unless states
make it happen.
b) It is hard to achieve,
difficult to maintain and only
dependent on states power

2) Questions of Cooperation?

The Neo-Neo debate: A comparison

Neo Liberals
a) Neo Liberals want to
maximize the total amount of
gains for all parties involved.
b) Absolute gain is
National Interest of a
particular state.

Neo Realists
a) Neo Liberals overlooked the
importance of Relative gains.
b) Fundamental goal of states
in cooperative relations is to
prevent others from gaining

3) Debate over Relative gain and

Absolute gain

The Neo-Neo debate: A comparison

Neo Liberals
a) Emphasize on Intentions
and preferences

Neo Realists
a) Emphasize on capabilities
over intentions
b) Capabilities are essential
for security and
c) Uncertainty over
Intentions of other states

4) Capabilities vs. Intentions

The Neo-Neo debate: A comparison

Neo Liberals
a) Institutions can
facilitate cooperation
b) States should
respect Institutions
for a greater common

Neo Realists
a) Institutions can not
address the problems
linked with Anarchy
b) States are not
subservient to

5) Importance of Institutions

The Neo-Neo debate: A comparison

Neo Liberals
a) Economic
Collective Good.

Neo Realists
a) Relative
Power, Security,

6) Difference of Domains

The Neo-Neo debate: A comparison

Class Work: Application of Theories

Remembering 1871-1914
a. Which Theory can be applied on German policies 1871-1895?
b. Which theory can be applied on German naval program?
c. Examples of Clash of Interest?
d. Any example of Harmony of Interest during this phase?
e. Examples of Offensive Realism?
f. Examples of Defensive Realism?
g. Can we apply Waltz Structural Realism in order to understand this phase of history?
h. Italian followed which approach during this phase? i.e. Relative gains or Absolute gains?

Class Work: Application of


Remembering Inter War period 1919-1939

a. Which theory can be applied on Bolshevik revolution and

its early days?
b. Which one theory can justify Russian foreign policy 19191939?
c. Stalin's surprising decision of August 1939 can be justified
through which theory?
d. Hitler's surprise attack on Russia in 1941. which theory can
justify it?

Marxist Theories of World


Elements of Marxist Approach

1. Idea of Totality : World should be analyzed in

2. Materialistic Conception of History: Economic
Development is linked with change in Economic
3. Class Struggle: All history is the history of class

Marxist Theories of World


Marxist Theories of World


Marxist Theories of World

Four strands in Marxism in IR
World Systems Theory
Critical Theory
Neo Marxism

World Systems Theory

Lenins World System Theory
1. Accepting Marx Base-Superstructure
2. Conception of Capitalism changed since
Marxs time
3. Core Periphery Relation

World Systems Theory

Wallersteins World Systems Theory
1. Types of World Systems
a. World Empires: Resources divided by authority
b. Modern World System: Market
2. Modern World System: two dimensions
a. Spatial
b. Temporal

World Systems Theory

Spatial Dimension

Core- Semi Periphery- Periphery


World Systems Theory

Temporal Dimension

World Systems Theory

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