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IR 501 Lecture Notes (1) A Retrospective of IR & Theories Dr. Bezen Balamir Coşkun

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Presentation on theme: "IR 501 Lecture Notes (1) A Retrospective of IR & Theories Dr. Bezen Balamir Coşkun"— Presentation transcript:

1 IR 501 Lecture Notes (1) A Retrospective of IR & Theories Dr. Bezen Balamir Coşkun

2 International Relations How do you define International Relations as an academic discipline?

3 International Relations “The starting point of international relations is the existence of states, or independent political communities, each of which possesses a government and asserts sovereignty in relation to a particular portion of the earth’s surface and a particular segment of the human society” (Hedley Bull 1977:8)

4 International Society “A society of states (or international society) exists when a group of states, conscious of common interests and common values, form a society in the sense that they conceive themselves to be bound by a common set of rules, and share in the working of common institutions.” (Hedley Bull 1977:13) Pluralist & liberal political arrangement

5 International Society an association of member states who not only interact across international borders but also share common purposes, organizations, and standards of conduct Political independence is the core value of international society

6 Chronology of International Society BC Ancient Greek Renaissance Italian Early Modern European European (Western) Global

7 International Society The forerunners of international society were Ancient Greece & Renaissance Italy Greek international society was based on the citi-states and Hellenic culture Italian international society was based on the state and strong urban identities and rivalries of Renaissance Italians

8 Westphalian International Society 1. Principle: the king is emperor in his own realm. Every king is independent and equal to every other king 2. Principle: The ruler determines the religion. Outsiders have no right to intervene in a sovereign jurisdiction 3. Principle: The Balance of power which was intended to prevent any hegemon from arising and dominating everybody else.

9 Westphalian International Society The Peace of Westphalia was the first explicit expression of a European society of states, which served as a precedent for all subsequent developments of international society It was the external aspect of the development of modern secular states that had to find an orderly and legitimate way to conduct mutual relations It was the first completely explicit international society, with formal institutions, law and practices of statecraft including balance of power

10 Global International Society Global social framework of shared norms &values based on state sovereignty UN Charter is a reflection of that social framework Those shared norms & values have provoked problems and predicaments Current debates about the future of state sovereignty and contemporary global international society

11 Problems of Global International Society based on western norms & values representation problems inequalities regional diversity problematic boundaries doctrine of non-intervention

12 The Study of IR The study of International relations as a an academic discipline traced back to E.H. Carr's The 20 Years Crisis (1939) and to Hans Morgenthau's Politics among Nations (1948). International relations as a discipline is believed to have emerged after the First World War. Early international relations scholarship in the Interwar years focused on the balance of power system which to be replaced with a system of collective security. These thinkers were later described as "Idealists". The leading critique of this school of thinking was the “realist” analysis of Carr.

13 Theories of International Relations International relations theories provides conceptual frameworks for analyzing international relations. International relations theories are divided as positivist/rationalist theories which focus on state-level analysis, and post positivist/reflectivist theories which incorporate levels other than the state ranging from class, to gender, etc. There exists conflicting ways of thinking among IR theories. Ole Holsti describes international relations theories act as a pair of colored sunglasses, allowing the wearer to see only the salient events relevant to the theory.

14 Food for thought Why do we need theories of international relations? To what extend these theories help us to explain international events? Robert Cox argues that the purpose of theory in IR, is not a search to find the 'truth' but it is a tool to understand the world as it is, and to change it through the power of critique. According to Robert Cox, theory has two purposes: one of them is the problem-solving purpose that is synchronic which deals with the givens and tries to manage the smooth functioning of the system. the other kind of theory was the critical theory, and the purpose is to become aware of the situations not chosen by one, and to establish an emancipatory perspective. Discuss


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