The English School: A Via Media

999 words - 4 pages

The English School: A Via Media
The English School, also recognize as The International Society approach of the International Relations is a “Via Media” (Buzan, 2001, p471) between the Rationalism and Realist elements. The idea is that instead of separates elements, these should form a whole picture of the International Relations. The unique approaches of the English School to International Relations are its methodological pluralism, its historicism and its interlinking of three very important concepts: International System, International Society and World Society.
The English School is not widely know in the American International Relations typical field, maybe because of its roots are The British Committee and early works and lectures about the international society from Charles Manning and Martin Wight. According to Buzan the work of the British Committee is key because of the “diverse group that contained not only people from several academic disciplines but also practitioners from the world of diplomacy” (Buzan, 2001)
To Buzan in his work “ The English School: An Underexploit Resource in IR” and Devlen, James and Ozdamar in “The English School, International Relations and Progress” the English School is key a theory because its provide an opportunity to explore the area between the Rationalism and the Realist elements and how this elements can work together in a integrated approach to the study of International Relations.

Starting Point
The English School is based on a three-way division among: International System, International Society and World Society or as Wight’s original formulation: Realism, Rationalism and Revolutionism.
The International System that is sometimes named by Hobbes or Machiavelli is all about power politics. Realism adds the structure (Buzan, 2001, p474) and the “state of nature” or the process of international anarchy.
The International Society also referred, as Grotian tradition because of their closeness is focus on the institutionalization of shared interest and identity between states. Rationalism creates, maintain and share the norms, rules and institution.
The World Society or Kantian takes individuals, non-state organization and global population in consideration and as a central focus. Revolutionism puts importance of the state system.
The idea of an international society is simple: states in international societies that they shape and are shaped by. Also, the driving force of the English School is to reveal the nature and function on international societies. This combination combines the two major theories of International Relation and ” neatly demonstrate the methodological pluralism of the English School by combining the Hobbesian/Realist element of international system, with the Grotian/Rationalist element of a socially constructed order” (Buzan, 2001, p476).

Advantages
One of the advantages of the English School is “ the role of balance of power, diplomacy and international law” (Devlen,...

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