Niccolo Machiavelli, in addition to being a shrewd political theorist, is a keen observer of human nature. He is therefore in a unique position to discuss what role ‘the people’ should be entrusted with in republican governance. It will be found here that the people perform a crucial function and contribute significantly to Machiavelli’s ideal ‘vivere civile e politico.’
All but the staunchest realist would agree that international regimes form an important part of the emerging mechanisms of global governance. In tandem with the study of international relations, the study of international regimes has long been dominated by interest-based or neo-liberal theories – both rationalist schools of thought. However, not rightfully so.
Understanding the processes by which global knowledge institutions generate epistemic functions and impact governance requires inquiring into the construction of global problems, the legitimation of new institutions, and the complex dynamics of disseminating cooperative solutions.
Marxism grants social and political theorists a most realistic, dynamic, and comprehensive framework that allows the study of the causes of war in its ‘totality’. Marxist theory applied in conjunction with the ‘three levels’ of analysis, which are, the individual, the state, and the international system, is relevant and significant to the study of international relations.
Ever since the beginning of International Politics as a social science, there has been a perpetual discourse between “realists” and “liberals” about the nature of interstate relations. The two sides cannot agree on whether there is a possibility of progress in the relations between states. In the present essay, the liberal internationalists’ belief that international progress is indeed possible will be critically approached. It will be argued that “liberals” understand progress as a process of spreading a Western model of democracy.
This essay addresses how the power of national governments is undermined by neo-liberal policies. It argues that power is undermined in all states, although not in all equally. It will show how this fact can explain why strong states promote neoliberal policies even though their domestic power is diminished by it.
This essay attempts to show how Waltz’s abandonment of the assumption of wicked human nature has led to the collapse of the Realist approach to international relations. In order to reveal this, a new concept of considerate/inconsiderate struggle for power is developed which enables us to understand the nature of power and relations of power in the theories of both Morgenthau and Waltz.
Realism’s central theme of ‘the balance of power’ has been undermined in the post-Cold War, and more importantly, in the post 9/11 eras. However, Realism remains a realistic theoretical analysis of the contemporary international system. States will continue to bolster their power in terms of military capabilities to secure the survival of the state. Realism allows theorists to anticipate the incidence of war and foreign policy embraced by state actors pursuing relative power advantages.
In the very first sentence of the book entitled ‘Whose Development? An Ethnography of Aid’, Emma Crewe and Elizabeth Harrison pose the following question: “Is development a failure?” (1998: 1). It might seem rhetorical at first, but by no means is it so.
Realists maintain that the nature of International Politics is a constant, at times blood thirsty, struggle for power in an anarchical environment. The occurrence of fundamental change, such as the end of power politics, a self-interested human nature, and the threat of war, in the nature of International Politics is considered flawed. Realists provide evidence for this by pointing firstly to the consistency of human nature, the structure of power, and thirdly to patterns in history.
The policies of the Bush Administration and the conduct of the United States and its allies in counteracting the threat of terrorism have received a wealth of criticism, much of which has been aired publicly. This essay focuses on a critique that does not see much light beyond academic literature: the successful construction of a terrorist threat which has legitimised a war in its name.
This essay argues that, for the English School, war is an essential component of international relations that is regulated by “norms”. Prominent English School thinkers believe that war should be waged with reference to morality and justice (with rules formulated to that effect) and that the purpose and existence of war is as an instrument of international society used to enforce international justice.