Theory of International Relations
1. Theory of International RelationsAnastasiia TSYBULIAK
2. Session 3Principal Theories of International
Relations, Part 2.1:
3. PostmodernismPostmodern International relations approaches
have been part of international
relations scholarship since the 1980s. Although
there are various strands of thinking, a key
element to postmodernist theories is a distrust
of any account of human life which claims to
have direct access to the "truth". Post-modern
international relations theory critiques theories
like Marxism that provide an
overarching metanarrative to history. Key
include Lyotard, Foucault and Derrida.
4. PostmodernismTextual strategies of postmodernism:
Ashley’s double reading of the anarchy problematique
5. PostmodernismProblematizing sovereign states:
6. PostmodernismBeyond the paradigm of sovereignty:
rethinking the political
Sovereignty and the ethics of exclusion
7. Postmodernismmakes several contributions to
the study of international relations.
1. To expose the intimate connection between claims to knowledge
and claims to political power and authority
2. To problematize all claims to epistemological and political
3. To rethink the concept of the political without invoking
assumptions of sovereignty and reterritorialization
8. Constructivismis the claim that significant aspects of international relations are
historically and socially constructed, rather than inevitable
consequences of human nature or other essential characteristics of
Constructivism is characterized by an emphasis on the importance of
normative as well as material structures, on the role of identity in
shaping political action and on the mutually constitutive relationship
between agents and structures.
9. Constructivismprimarily seeks to demonstrate how core
aspects of international relations are, contrary to the
assumptions of Neorealism and Neoliberalism, socially
constructed, that is, they are given their form by
ongoing processes of social practice and
interaction.Alexander Wendt calls two increasingly
accepted basic tenets of Constructivism "that the
structures of human association are determined
primarily by shared ideas rather than material forces,
and that the identities and interests of purposive actors
are constructed by these shared ideas rather than given
10. ConstructivismRichard Price and Chris Reus-Smit have argued
that constructivism should be seen primarily as
an outgrowth of critical international theory, as
many of its pioneers explicitly sought to employ
the insights of that theory to illuminate diverse
aspects of world politics.
11. ConstructivismFirst-wave critical theorists had rejected the rationalist
depiction of humans as atomistic egoists and society as
a strategic domain – proffering an alternative image of
humans as socially embedded, communicatively
constituted and culturally empowered – constructivists
have used this alternative ontology to explain and
interpret aspects of world politics that were anomalous
to neo-realism and neo-liberalism.
12. ConstructivismSecond, the end of the Cold War undermined the
explanatory pretensions of neo-realists and neoliberals, neither of which had predicted, nor could
adequately comprehend, the systemic transformations
reshaping the global order.
Third, while rationalists view society as a strategic
realm, a place where actors rationally pursue their
interests, constructivists see it as a constitutive realm,
the site that generates actors as knowledgeable social
and political agents, the realm that makes them who
13. Feminisma collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing,
and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for
aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining
women's social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a
variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues such as the social
construction of sex and gender. Some of the earlier forms of
feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middleclass, educated perspectives. This led to the creation of ethnically
specific or multiculturalist forms of feminism
14. FeminismBreaking with the powerful bond among manly men, states and war,
feminist theories of international relations have proliferated since the
early 1990s. These theories have introduced gender as a relevant
empirical category and analytical tool for understanding global power
relations as well as a normative position from which to construct
alternative world orders.
15. FeminismThree overlapping forms of feminist International
Empirical feminism - focuses on women and/or explores gender
as an empirical dimension of international relations;
Analytical feminism - uses gender as a theoretical category to
reveal the gender bias of International Relations concepts and
explain constitutive aspects of international relations
Normative feminism - reflects on the process of theorizing as
part of a normative agenda for social and political change
16. FeminismAll three forms suggest that the theory and practice of
international relations has suffered from its neglect of feminist
perspectives. Feminists argue that conventional International
Relations theories distort our knowledge of both ‘relations’ and the
ongoing transformations of the ‘international’.
Approaches to international relations that fail to take gender
seriously overlook critical aspects of world order and abandon a
crucial opening for effecting change.
17. Green Politicsa political ideology that aims to create an ecologically sustainable society
rooted in environmentalism, social justice, and grassroots democracy. It
began taking shape in the western world in the 1970s; since then Green
parties have developed and established themselves in many countries
around the globe, and have achieved some electoral success.
Supporters of Green politics, called Greens (with a capital 'G'), share many
ideas with the ecology, conservation, environmentalism, feminism,
and peace movements. In addition to democracy and ecological issues,
green politics is concerned with civil liberties, social justice, nonviolence,
sometimes variants of localism and
tends to support social progressivism.
18. Green PoliticsGreen politics emerged as a significant political force in many
countries from the mid-1970s onwards.
Environmentalists - accept the framework of the existing political,
social, economic and normative structures of world politics, and
seek to ameliorate environmental problems within those structures
Greens - regard those structures as the main origin of the
environmental crisis and therefore contend that they are structures
which need to be challenged and transcended.
19. Green Politics1.
Eckersley: ecocentrism – the rejection of an
anthropocentric world-view which places moral value
only on humans in favour of one which places
independent value also on ecosystems and all living
Dobson : the ‘limits to growth’ argument about the
nature of the environmental crisis
20. Green PoliticsMost Greens reject the states-system, arguing primarily for
decentralizing political communities below the nation-state, rather
than for new forms of global political authority. This involves
decentralization not only of political organization, but economic
and social organization as well. They also argue for abandoning
traditional sovereign systems and practices in favour of more
mixed locations of authority.
Their focus on ‘reclaiming the commons’ supports the
decentralization argument in GPT.
21. Green PoliticsFor Greens, the central object of analysis and scope of enquiry is
the way in which contemporary human societies are ecologically
Greens focus on the way in which prevailing political structures and
processes contribute to this destruction. The purpose of enquiry is
thus explicitly normative – to understand how global political
structures can be reformed to prevent such destruction and
provide for a sustainable human relationship to the planet and the
rest of its inhabitants.
22. REVIEW QUESTIONS1.
Are humans naturally warlike?
What are micro and macro approaches to the
causes of war?
What were Clausewitz's warnings about war?
What is the "levels-of-analysis" problem?
Are wars growing out of conflicting cultures
Does capitalism cause wars or peace?
Does a balance of power lead to peace? Or does
a hierarchy of power?
What evidence supports the "previous-war"
How may analogies be misused m IR?
23. KEY TERMSanalogy
level of analysis
24. Recommended LiteratureScott Burchill. Theories of International Relations. 3d edition,
2005: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1403948663
Paul Wilkinson. International Relations: A Very Short Introduction
(Very Short Introductions). 1st edition. 2007: Oxford Paperbacks.
Anne-Marie Slaughter. International Relations, Principal Theories.
Wolfrum, R. (Ed.) Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International
Law (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Ole R. Holsti. Theories of International Relations
Anne-Marie Slaughter. International Relations, Principal Theories
Bill Newmann. A Brief Introduction to Theories on International
Relations and Foreign Policy
Reinhard Meyers. Contemporary Developments in International
Global Politics. How to Use and Apply Theories of IR
26. Information about the ProfessorAnastasiia Tsybuliak
PhD in Political Science