Environment, Sample Thesis Papers

Theories of international relations

There are different theories of international relations intended to explain how international system works. In our world, there are thousands of states, struggling to survive and thrive. Any state cannot thrive depending solely on its own resources. It has to connect with other international states so that it could overcome its weaknesses. As every state is compelled to interact internationally, different international theories have been emerged to reflect upon the nature of the relation among different states. No matter what the nature of the relation is, all international theories are generally based on the idea that every state act for its national interest. By national interest means the preservation of state, military security, economic prosperity, sufficient supply of resources, and influence over other states.

There are two main theories of international relations

  • Realism
  • Liberalism



Those states, which follow the realism approach, are often of the view that a state must gain power, as it is the only way of surviving and preserving the state. The most reliable form of power is the military power. If a state has a strong military power, then it can easily outlast its competitors. Moreover, realism also claims that international organizations have no authority to refrain any state to expand its military power not do they have the authority to withhold any state form exercising its military power for its national interests. International organization only exists until the state accepts them. Morality has nothing to do with realism; morality weakens the state’s ability to exercise its power and to protect itself.


Realism promotes international wars and conflicts. Liberalism, on the other hand, promotes international ties among states to foster cooperation, trust and prosperity. Globalization and international trading has, to a great extent, reduced the need of exercising the military power. The world is already in an anarchic state and wars and conflicts only make this state even worse. Therefore, people are turning more towards liberalism than realism. Liberalism claims that military power in not the only power, economical and social powers matter a great deal too. In the history, it has been observed that economical power is more beneficial than military power. Different states foster friendly international relations for the sake of their own national interest. Liberal approach not only helps a nation to preserve itself, it also promotes peace in the world.

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