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Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

6. The English School  

Tim Dunne

This chapter examines the main assumptions of the English school, the principal alternative to mainstream North American theorizations of International Relations. It first provides an overview of what the English school is and how it emerged before discussing its methodology as well as its master-concept of international society. It then considers three concepts that are the primary theoretical contribution of the English school: the social order established by states and embodied in the activities of practitioners must be understood alongside the dynamics of the international system and world society. The chapter proceeds by exploring the English school’s position on the issue of human rights and its implications for justice in international relations.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

1. Introduction  

What is international law and why does it matter for international relations?

This introductory chapter provides an overview and a brief history of international law. Why should students of international relations be interested in international law? International politics and international law are so closely intertwined that one cannot be understood without understanding the other. The United Nations describes international law as ‘the legal responsibilities of States in their conduct with each other, and their treatment of individuals within State boundaries’. Just as domestic law frames a political community and regulates relations among its members, international law helps to frame international society, to signal its core values, and to regulate relations among states and other actors. The chapter then considers two philosophical traditions that have shaped the study and practice of international law over the past four centuries: natural law and legal positivism.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

10. Civil Society  

Marina Ottaway

This chapter examines the concept of civil society. During the 1990s, civil society was a relatively obscure concept familiar mostly to scholars of Marxism. It then evolved into a mainstream term freely used by social science analysts in general, and by practitioners in the international assistance field in particular. Several factors contributed to these developments, including the growing interest in the United States and many European countries in promoting democracy abroad at that time. The chapter first defines civil society before discussing traditional vs modern civil society. It then considers the rise of civil society as an entity separate from the broader society and from the state, along with the state-civil society relations in the developing world. Finally, it explores how the concept of civil society became an important part of discussions of democratization.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

8. Human rights in the postwar period  

This chapter focuses on human rights, a perfect topic through which to study the interaction between law and politics in international relations. The topic of human rights offers a microcosm of the clashes and contradictions between realism and idealism, legal principles and political expediencies, state and non-state actors, and collective and individual rights, which characterize international order. The chapter defines human rights and outlines their international legal framework. The chapter then traces the postwar evolution of international human rights law (IHRL). It explains how, by the late twentieth century, the concept of human rights had captured the global imagination. It also explores the international political context in which the rise of human rights took place, including decolonization and the explosion in rights-based civil society activism in the 1970s. Finally, the chapter analyses the efficacy of IHRL in a world of sovereign states, before assessing the cultural relativist critique of human rights, which challenges their claim to universality, often from the perspective of postcolonial societies.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

1. Why Study IR?  

Introduction to International Relations provides a concise introduction to the principal international relations theories and approaches, and explores how theory can be used to analyse contemporary issues. Throughout the text, the chapters encourage readers to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the theories presented, and the major points of contention between them. In so doing, the text helps you to build a clear understanding of how major theoretical debates link up with each other, and how the structure of the discipline of international relations is established. The book places a strong emphasis throughout on the relationship between theory and practice, carefully explaining how theories organise and shape our view of the world. It also shows how a historical perspective can often refine theories and provide a frame of reference for contemporary problems of international relations. Topics include realism, liberalism, International Society, International Political Economy, social constructivism, post-positivism in international relations, major issues in IPE and IR, and foreign policy. Each chapter ends by discussing how different theories have attempted to integrate or combine international and domestic factors in their explanatory frameworks. The final chapter is dedicated to discussing the state of the world: are we seeing world chaos or world order? The text is accompanied by an Online Resource Centre, which includes: short case studies, review questions, annotated web links, and a flashcard glossary.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

7. War and socio-political orders  

Victoria M. Basham

This chapter evaluates the relationship between war and society. The tendency to define war as fighting has led humanity to collectively condemn and attempt to curtail war horrors through international laws and regulatory practices. It is therefore easy to see why states around the world see preparing for war and waging it as vital to their security. The chapter focuses on three key questions: where is war? How is war possible? What (or who) does war secure? Asking these questions enables a deeper understanding of the choices that societies make about why, when, and where to fight and prepare for war; how the choices of actors and their actions make war possible; and the benefits and costs to people's security that wars can bring about. Indeed, such questions can help us to evaluate whether we should continue to prepare and wage war, and for what purposes.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

17. Traditional Theories in Global Politics  

Stephanie Lawson

This chapter examines traditional theories in global politics. It begins with a discussion of early liberal approaches, with particular emphasis on liberal international theory whose proponents include US President Woodrow Wilson and Norman Angell. Liberal international theory is characterized by an optimism concerning the prospects of a peaceful international order established through strong international institutions underpinned by international law. The chapter proceeds by considering the emergence of ‘realism’ as a general approach to the study of politics, along with the different approaches to the study of international politics following the Second World War, including positivism. It also explores the rise of the English School and the concept of international society before concluding with an analysis of neo-liberalism and neorealism that resulted from revisions of both liberalism and realism in the post-war period.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

3. Traditional Theories in Global Politics  

This chapter examines traditional theories in global politics. Although much of the explicit theorizing about international politics did not begin until the twentieth century, both liberalism and realism have drawn on long-standing ideas in the history of political thought to address basic problems of international order. So too has the English School which, while encompassing aspects of both liberalism and realism, has focused much more attention on the social character of international or global relations, elaborating in particular the notion of international society and its normative underpinnings. While most theorizing has been carried out largely, but not exclusively, on the basis of Western philosophical ideas, a new Chinese school of moral realism draws from ancient Chinese thought. Ultimately, both liberalism and realism have been modified over the years with competing strands developing within them, so neither can be taken as a single body of theory.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

9. Global Civil Society and Human Rights  

Marlies Glasius and Doutje Lettinga

This chapter examines the relationship between global civil society (GCS), defined as ‘people organizing to influence their world’, and the normative ideal of a ‘global rule-bound society’. It first explains the concept of GCS before discussing some of the GCS actors involved in human rights issues, with a particular focus on their background, methods, and influence. It then decribes three kinds of activities of individuals and organizations in civil society in relation to human rights corresponding to three different phases: shifting norms, making law, and monitoring implementation. These activities are illustrated with two case studies: norm-shifting activities in relation to economic and social rights, and lawmaking and monitoring activities in relation to the International Criminal Court.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

7. Social Constructivism  

This chapter examines the social constructivist theory of IR. It first discusses the rise of social constructivism and why it has established itself as an important approach in IR. It then considers constructivism as social theory, and more specifically as both a meta-theory about the nature of the social world and as a set of substantial theories of IR. Several examples of constructivist IR theory are presented, followed by reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the constructivist approach. The chapter proceeds by exploring constructivist theories of international relations, focusing on cultures of anarchy, norms of International Society, the power of international organizations, a constructivist approach to European cooperation, and domestic formation of identity and norms. The chapter concludes with an analysis of some of the major criticisms of constructivism and by emphasizing internal debates within constructivism.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

5. International Society  

This chapter examines the International Society tradition of international relations (IR). International Society, also known as the ‘English School’, is an approach to world politics that places emphasis on international history, ideas, structures, institutions, and values. After providing an overview of International Society’s basic assumptions and claims, the chapter considers the three traditions associated with the leading ideas of the most outstanding classical theorists of IR such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Immanuel Kant: realism, rationalism, and revolutionism. It then explores International Society’s views regarding order and justice, world society, statecraft and responsibility, and humanitarian responsibility and war; as well as how International Society scholars have used a historical approach to understand earlier international systems and the development of international society. It also discusses several major criticisms against the International Society approach to IR and concludes with an overview of the research agenda of International Society after the Cold War.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

17. Traditional Theories in Global Politics  

Stephanie Lawson

This chapter examines traditional theories in global politics. It begins with a discussion of early liberal approaches, with particular emphasis on liberal international theory whose proponents include U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and Norman Angell. Liberal international theory is characterised by an optimism concerning the prospects of a peaceful international order established through strong international institutions underpinned by international law. The chapter proceeds by considering the emergence of ‘realism’ as a general approach to the study of politics, along with the different approaches to the study of international politics following World War II, including positivism. It also explores the rise of the English School and the concept of international society before concluding with an analysis of neo-liberalism and neorealism that resulted from revisions of both liberalism and realism in the post-war period.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

14. War and world politics  

Tarak Barkawi

This chapter examines how war fits into the study of international relations and the ways it affects world politics. It begins with an analysis of the work of the leading philosopher of war, Carl von Clausewitz, to highlight the essential nature of war, the main types of war, and the idea of strategy. It then considers some important developments in the history of warfare, both in the West and elsewhere, with particular emphasis on interrelationships between the modern state, armed force, and war in the West and in the global South. Two case studies are presented, one asking the question about what is global about the global war on terror (GWOT) and the other examining the GWOT in the context of war and society, looking at Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United States.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

14. War and world politics  

Tarak Barkawi

This chapter examines how war fits into the study of international relations and the ways it affects world politics. It begins with an analysis of the work of the leading philosopher of war, Carl von Clausewitz, to highlight the essential nature of war, the main types of war, and the idea of strategy. It then considers some important developments in the history of warfare, both in the West and elsewhere, with particular emphasis on interrelationships between the modern state, armed force, and war in the West and in the global South. Two case studies are presented, one focusing on war and Eurocentrism during the Second World War, and the other on the impact of war on society by looking at France, Vietnam, and the United States. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether democracy creates peace among states.

Book

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

Georg Sørensen, Jørgen Møller, and Robert Jackson

Introduction to International Relations provides a concise introduction to the principal international relations theories and approaches, and explores how theory can be used to analyse contemporary issues. Throughout the text, the chapters encourage readers to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the theories presented, and the major points of contention between them. In so doing, the text helps the reader to build a clear understanding of how major theoretical debates link up with each other, and how the structure of the discipline of international relations is established. The book places a strong emphasis throughout on the relationship between theory and practice, carefully explaining how theories organize and shape our view of the world. It also shows how a historical perspective can often refine theories and provide a frame of reference for contemporary problems of international relations. Topics include realism, liberalism, International Society, International Political Economy, social constructivism, post-positivism in international relations, major issues in IPE and IR, foreign policy, and world order. Each chapter ends by discussing how different theories have attempted to integrate or combine international and domfactors in their explanatory frameworks. The final part of the book is dedicated to major global issues and how theory can be used as a tool to analyse and interpret these issues. The text is accompanied by online resources, which include: short case studies, review questions, annotated web links, and a flashcard glossary.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

2. IR as an Academic Subject  

This chapter examines how thinking about international relations (IR) has evolved since IR became an academic subject around the time of the First World War. The focus is on four established IR traditions: realism, liberalism, International Society, and International Political Economy (IPE). The chapter first considers three major debates that have arisen since IR became an academic subject at the end of the First World War: the first was between utopian liberalism and realism; the second between traditional approaches and behaviouralism; the third between neorealism/neoliberalism and neo-Marxism. There is an emerging fourth debate, that between established traditions and post-positivist alternatives. The chapter concludes with an analysis of alternative approaches that challenge the established traditions of IR, and with a discussion about criteria for good theory in IR.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

21. International Organizations in Global Politics  

Stephanie Lawson

This chapter examines the nature of international organizations and their role in global politics. It first explains what an international organization is before discussing the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, focusing on developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It then considers the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have made significant contributions in shaping the global order, including the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. It also looks at non-governmental organizations and concludes with an analysis of ideas about social movements and global civil society, along with their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations.

Chapter

Cover Politics

18. Governance and Organizations in Global Politics  

This chapter examines the ways in which governance and organizations influence global politics. It first provides an overview of what an international organization is, focusing on intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, before discussing the rise of organizations in the global sphere from the nineteenth century onwards. It then takes a look at the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have played a major role in shaping global order, including the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations (UN). The chapter concludes with an analysis of ideas about social movements and civil society, along with their relationship to contemporary governance and organizations.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

21. International Organizations in Global Politics  

Stephanie Lawson

This chapter examines the nature of international organizations and their role in global politics. It first explains what an international organization is before discussing the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, focusing on developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It then considers the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century, and which have made significant contributions in shaping the global order, including the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. It also looks at non-governmental organizations and concludes with an analysis of ideas about social movements and global civil society, along with their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

7. International Organizations in Global Politics  

This chapter addresses the nature of international organizations and how they are generally theorized as participants in global politics and then reviews the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, with particular reference to developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It also discusses the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have played such an important role in shaping global order. The chapter briefly looks at the League of Nations but most attention is given to its successor, the United Nations (UN), and its various appendages. It then examines the world of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of these NGOs possess significant status in the global sphere, others have little relevance, and still others pose dangers. Finally, the chapter considers social movements and their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations along with the idea of global civil society. In reviewing these institutions, actors, and ideas, we should keep in mind that liberal international theory, especially in the form of liberal institutionalism, as well as proponents of international society, regard robust international organizations as essential building blocks of global order.