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International Relations and power. International politics. The primary intention of states. (Essay Sample)


An essay discussing whether international relations is only about power.


International Relations and Power
International Relations and Power
International relations are all about power as far as just like power, they deal with the ability to control things or people. It refers to the capability of accomplishing a mission or some other business. International relations, in most cases, have a political connotation. Over the years, there has been constant disagreement in many discussions regarding the role power plays in international relations. The nature of power in international affairs has not yet been clearly defined. Despite these short comings, there is a widespread agreement among scholars in the field of international relations regarding the role of power in international interactions. As it was stated above, the term “power” will be used to imply or mean control or influence on something (Donnelly, 2000).
International politics implies controlling or influencing senior groups of individuals in order to push through the ideologies in sacrifice of the others’ interests. This implies that all politics incorporate power. International politics, in the traditional context, is composed of nations with conflicting interests or policies, laying emphasis on their independence and relying mainly on military strength. The more military power the country has, the greater role it plays in international politics and vice versa. That is the reason of G8 summits which is an international interaction attended by nations with great military power in the world.
International relations cover a range of areas although power has more emphasis and importance than the rest. Currently, international relations depend on three basic factors, namely military power, ideological beliefs, and material interests. This can be clearly expounded by international relation theories. The arguments presented by each theory are briefly discussed below.
Realism theory asserts that nations work solely to increase their own influence compared to the influence of other nations. Some other principles on which realism is based include the claim that the world is a dangerous and harsh place. The only way to survive in it is to have military power. States with great military power will always control the rest. This implies that the country will act as a superpower (Claude, 2002).
The primary intention of states is their self-preservation. Therefore, in any international interaction, the main objectives of diplomats are to safeguard the interests of their state and protect their country. Under this theory, there is no overall power to enforce the rules globally and deal with misbehavior; this has led to the majority of countries building and expanding their military facilities to ensure they are on the safe side in case of any violation of their rights.
Under this theory, straight moral values are not advocated for, because they can lead to the downfall of the state. Leaders who are endowed with good moral values should drop them when dealing with foreign policy. This is because international system requests nations to apply military force in order to enforce some of their decisions (Donnelly, 2000).
According to realism theory, international relations are power, and power is international relations. A state cannot enhance international interactions without military and, in some cases, economic power. The interest of a weak state will be overlooked for the most part. Power is displayed as one of the main negotiating factors on the international arena (Donnelly, 2000).
The liberalism theory is based on diplomacy. According to liberalism, the ties between countries are so strong that the exercise of power against any countries has become irrelevant and unnecessary. This theory emerged in the 1970s as the way in which states were relating and then took a new twist. States changed their priorities by engaging in issues that are of benefit to all. The last two-three decades were marked by an increase in globalization, improvement in communication between states, and rise in international trade which has seen a decrease in the use of power politics when addressing matters of concern. The adoption of liberalism resulted in devastating outcomes for the countries engaged in the war which has led in the loss of lives and economic backwardness. The liberalism is against realism and is based on the following beliefs.
International cooperation among countries is the best means to end the danger and harshness in the world. It argues that the use of power has great consequences that outdo the benefits coming from its victory. We have seen this ideology being adopted by many countries. This can be proved by the fact that a lot of states are against the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Those countries engaging in nuclear weapon manufacture have been sidelined in trade and given warning to the rest of the states to stop the practice. Countries have also signed agreements on fair trade terms. Therefore, the more resources a country has, the more gain it receives. Controlling other countries economically has become an outdated method. Economic power behavior has seen a fall in some industries thus resulting in change of attitude to fair business practices.
Although much has been borrowed from the abovementioned international relations theory to back up this discussion, I would like to state that most nations have hidden objectives which they want to meet. The scope of international relations has broadened to include other issues which are central to all nations. Due to the increase of activities shared by different nations like sports, tourism, and education, nations have developed a more tactical approach in expressing their influence.
International relations have been evolving with the definition of power widening to incorporate these changes. Initially, the power in international ...
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