Discuss about the International Relations Theories for Liberalism.
International Relations Theories are sets of ideas, which explain how the international system works. They are backed up with evidence and most are because nations act in accordance with their national interest or that of a particular state (Baylis, Owens & Smith 2017). Two or more nations can have similar interests. Nations, which have national interests that are opposing, can resolve this either through negotiation or through war. The major international relations theories are realism, liberalism, constructivism, Marxism, environmentalism and feminism.
Realism theory states that a nation is the primary unit of analysis. The power of the nation is viewed in military terms and the power of other nations presents danger to the state (Gilpin 2016). It is also characterized by a belief that international politics is tragic and a normal system of ethics may not be able to change a system laced with competition and hostilities.
Liberalism is characterized by viewing of a state as a unit of analysis but makes an inclusion of international law, international organizations and NGOs as key factors in global politics. Those who believe in liberalism usually reject realist presumptions and view them as having a potential for mutual gain. Liberalism states that peaceful and cohesive international behaviors are desirable and possible.
Constructivism states that most of the phenomenons in global politics are in place due to social action. It considers identities and norms to be the central elements of global politics. Realist constructivists look at social and political realities as not socially (Adler 2013) determined but are the accomplishments of a people for example the state, academics or experts. Liberal constructivists emphasize less on actions and place an emphasis on ideas and norms, which are held in people’s minds.
Feminism comes in various forms and concentrates on the lives of women and sources of gender roles and gender politics. The emphasis is that the way females approach human interactions are not given an equitable platform in social analysis and practice (Shepherd 2014). Apart from seeking to explain historical to current day happenings, it seeks to bring changes in politics, economics and social interactions.
Marxism is based on the economic theory, which came up from Karl Marx’s thoughts. Karl Max did writings about how economics and economic power are used in international systems (Gilpin 2016). This theory was a reaction to liberal theories.
Environmentalism speaks about how countries implement environmental solutions. Some countries however, follow laws, which suit their nations and ignore the ones that do not affect them. Environmental issues must however be looked at in the national and international levels. All humans have a responsibility towards how they take care of the environment and all living things (Weber 2013). The solution to a number of environmental problems starts with individual responsibility. Endless environmental damage has occurred in the past few decades. Many countries around the world have now realized the importance of environmental relations in global politics.
Out of all the theories, liberalism offers an understanding of various issues in international relations. It helps us to understand the role of any nation in international relations. A state, which is liberal, ensures that there are good relations with neighboring countries and other countries within the globe. Liberal states also ensure that they follow international law and take into consideration the opinions various international organisations and non-governmental bodies in whatever they do.
The role of the United Nations in International relations is also defined by the liberalism theory. In a liberalist environment or state, bodies like the United Nations are taken seriously and such countries implement any laws and regulations, which have been set up by this body. The United Nations plays a key role in international relations, as it has been key in conflict resolution between nations and in solving human rights issues (Light & Groom 2016). The United Nations always strives to ensure that both individuals and nations co-exist peacefully. They also come up with different regulations that are in the best interest of a State, for example sustainability rules for businesses.
The global economy is affected by the kind of international relations between nations. Liberalist nations ensure that they set rules, which are favorable for global trade so that economies can thrive. More trade is carried out when countries have mutual understanding and this leads to stronger economies which overall strengthens the global economy (Weber 2013). Good relations in a liberalist state lead to peaceful environment, which is highly conducive for business.
Liberalist theory assists us to understand how norms can affect a country. In a state, which practices liberalization, norms are there not to harm anyone but to build a country. Such nations have put in place norms, which will not be considered as offensive to their neighboring countries hence fostering good relations (Gilpin 2016).
In a liberalist state, individuals take responsibility for their actions and for their environment. They are aware of the importance of taking care of the environment and take responsibility in ethically handling the environment around them. They consider all the rules and regulations, which have been set up and ensure that they implement this in their home countries (Weber 2013). Due to this, other countries borrow a leaf and it enhances good relations, as people are more comfortable purchasing goods, which they know were manufactured in a sustainable manner.
Liberalist nations strive to ensure that the inequality gap is reduced as much as possible. They look at issues facing gender and ensure that they give equal opportunities to both women and men (Light & Groom 2016). This enhances good international relations as other countries are sure that incase their citizens go to work in such countries then they are safe and are treated fairly.
Nations should try to adopt theories, which are fair and will ensure that their citizens get the best. International relations are key and countries cannot live without it. They should however strive to maintain positive international relations at all times.
Adler, E., 2013. Constructivism in international relations: sources, contributions, and debates. Handbook of international relations, 2, pp.112-144.
Baylis, J., Owens, P. and Smith, S. eds., 2017. The globalization of world politics: An introduction to international relations. Oxford University Press.
Gilpin, R., 2016. The political economy of international relations. Princeton University Press.
Light, M. and Groom, A.J.R. eds., 2016. International relations: A handbook of current theory. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Shepherd, L.J. ed., 2014. Gender matters in global politics: a feminist introduction to international relations. Routledge.
Weber, C., 2013. International relations theory: a critical introduction. Routledge.