Studying International Relations Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Government Type: Essay Paper: #90254220 Related Topics: International Relations, Pakistan, Foreign Relations, International Trade
Excerpt from Essay :

International relations studies is the specialization that focuses on the study of foreign affairs and the global events significantly influence the trend of the states that are within the international system. These systems are categorized as governments, countries, organizations and even people who are the main agents of relations and interchange between people within varying geographical locations (WITS University, 2014). There are pertinent issues that are involved in the study of international relations such as war, disease, democracy, poverty, diplomacy, globalization, economics and trade. The significance of continued study of international relations are numerous and important to any organization and governments. From the study of international reactions between two entities in the past, it is possible to predict the future and the significance and possible repercussions of some international decisions that a government or a president or even the organizations may take. International studies a reason geared towards having a united and a better world trough understanding different points-of-view from varying parts of the globe. It is however important to note that the mere study of international relations does not guarantee an accurate foretelling of future events but can only be used as an insight to a deeper understanding of previous decisions and steps taken by organizations and governments towards events and the consequences that came alongside it.

Theories of international relations

Realism: This is one of the oldest approaches that nations and politicians have used in handling their international relations matters. This theory indicates that the states endeavor to expand their influence and power in relation to the other states that they relate with. The theory posits that the world is a harsh place such that the only certainty a state has is power with the powerful state being able to outlast and outdo the weaker nations that compete with it. It also indicates that the first interest of any nation is self preservation and hence will seek power and protect it. This theory also indicates that there is no power that can punish bad behavior nor enforce global rules. The theory also advocates for abandoning of morality when it comes to a country relating to another since this would compromise the ability of that moral nation to protect itself. The moral concerns should not guide foreign policy and hence the use of war under this theory is also says that the common international organizations and laws have no power at all neither do they have the force and their existence is pegged on the fact that the states have accepted them (Donnelly J., 2000).

On the other hand, Liberalism emphasizes on the significance of the complex states that the broad ties that exist between nations have rendered national interest hard to define and the military powers of nations rendered useless. This theory was seen as a replacement for the outdated realism approach to international relations. Liberalism indicates that simple power politics can no longer be viable in the face of globalization that has seen the rise of communication technology and a boost in the international trade. This theory acknowledges that the world is a harsh place to be in but counters that view with the claim that use of military power has consequences that often outweigh the benefits hence international cooperation is the business of each nation. This theory also advocates for consideration of the economic and social powers as great sources of power too, not just the military power alone and these two can also be effectively used against another nation. The various nations have varying primary interests and international organizations and laws are effective in forging cooperation, prosperity and


A state can be defined as the system or the means of rule over a sovereign territory that is well defined. The state is made up of the courts, the executive, a form of bureaucracy and other institutions. Over these, a state levies taxes over the citizenry and trade within its territory and also has a military and the police force. It is also the prerogative of the state to distribute resources and wealth.

Some of the pertinent characteristics of a state are that it consists of a population, large or small does not alter the existence of a state. A state also has a territory, which re well recognized and known boundaries. A state is also sovereign, in that it decides its own domestic and foreign policy and this is not in subordination to any other authority. States also have governments that need to be functional. The governments often have the machinery as well as the personnel through which the state is ruled (Global Policy Forum, 2014).

International distribution of power

Unipolarity; this is used to refer to the power structure whereby there is one superpower that dominates solely. For instance, once the cold war ended, there was an end too to the superpower rivalry. It meant that the hot contest between the west and the East had ended as opposed to the early 20 the Century. The developments saw the emergence of United States of America as the sole dominant state and power with no significant challenge to this hegemonic position. This situation can be referred to as unipolar power possession and hence the U.S.A. has the room to maneuver its way and engage in international issues that may not necessarily be of any benefit to their national interests.

Bipolarity; as the name suggests, this is a situation in the international systems where two superpowers dominate. What this means is that other states have to choose the side to align themselves to between the two superpowers. This characteristic limits the extent of the superpowers to maneuver their ways hence a perceived stable international politics. This was the case during the cold war where the west and the east was at bitter rivalry but there was no active war. It was until the powers of the communist party declines that the U.S.A. remained as a superpower and the situation shifted back to unipolarity (Jakobsen T.G. & Lundestad E.B., 2014).

Tripolarity; this is the situation where there are three centers of power all displaying and claiming the international system superpower. These three centers of power have great influence and hence the situation is complex since the actions by one of the centers of power could easily be interpreted as a support or rebellion against one of the other two centers. During the cold war, this was also a perspective that was held towards China, USA and the Soviet Union due to the immense influence they had at the global levels. This is a fluid system, unlike the bipolar system where there is a single competitive relationship and certainty of the allegiance, the tripolar system has no well defined enemy or amity (Liu G., 2009).

Multipolarity; in this system of international distribution of power, there are more than three centers of power that have influence and a lot of control over how issues are run. This was the situation in the Second World War where there were several significantly influential centers of power namely Germany, France, Britain, USA and the Soviet Union. Each center of power tried to prevent the others from acting too aggressively in a manner that will offset the system and there were agreements formed on basis of like minded states, commonly referred to as alliances (Jakobsen J., 2013).

Constructivism and USA-Pakistan relations

This is a theory that is based on observation and scientific study on how people learn. It posits that individuals construct their own meanings, knowledge and understanding of the world trough the experiences as well as reflections on these experiences. It states that whenever humans encounter something new, they tend to juxtapose it against the previous experiences and in the process these may change our beliefs or discarding altogether the new information. It portrays people as active creators of their own knowledge and in order to do this, man will ask questions, explore and assess what they know (Business Dictionary, 2014).

The relations between the U.S. And Pakistan have been seen to be amicable despite the diplomatic lows that the two countries experienced in 2011 after the U.S.A. pursued and killed Osama Bin Laden deep within the Pakistan territory, apparently without the knowledge of Pakistan. What informs the current warming relations is the experiences that the two countries have gone through and the concerns they have been sharing since the cold war years. Pakistan has depended on USA for arms and ammunitions, humanitarian aid and grants as well as the capacity to fight the extremist groups hence having shared visions from historical times (Gul A., 2014). This is what shapes the current relations where despite the few differences, they still hold a lot of significance to their diplomatic relations.


Business Dictionary, (2014). Constructivism. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from…

Sources Used in Documents:


Business Dictionary, (2014). Constructivism. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from

Donnelly J., (2000). Realism and International Relations. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from

Global Policy Forum, (2014). What is a "State." Retrieved November 21, 2014 from

Gul A., (2014). Olson: U.S.-Pakistan Relations Still Challenging, Improving. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from
Jakobsen J., (2013). Neorealism in International Relations -- Kenneth Waltz. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from
Jakobsen T.G. & Lundestad E.B., (2014). A Unipolar World: Systems and Wars in Three Different Military Eras. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from
Liu G., (2009). Chinese Foreign Policy in Transition. Transactional Publishers. New Brunskwick: New Jersey. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from
WITS University, (2014). Department of International Relations. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from

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