Very Rough Draft Of Theory I Think

693 words - 3 pages

Why do we use theories in IR?In the social world it is not enough simply to base our account of individual solely on the reasons they give for the actions of the social world is one in which individuals exist within powerful economic, political, social, gender, racial, linguistic, and moral structure. We might be able to describe actions fairly easily (ie Prime Minister Tony Blair said that he supports Bush going to war against Iraq.) but it is far more difficult to explain it (why was the action undertaken?) And when it comes to explaining actions we are, whether we like it or not in the realm of theory.Theory is often accounts of why things happen and the fact that the offer a wide range of reasons for actions reflect the fact that the hand very different assumptions.What are the limits in theorising international affairs?Discus the evolution of the 4 great debates?1. 1st debate Idealist vs realismThe first debate was a dispute between idealists and realists which took place in the 1930s and 1940s and which was fundamentally about how to deal with Nazi Germany. Realist scholars emphasized the anarchical nature of international politics and the need for state survival. Idealists emphasized the possibility of international institutions such as the League of Nations.Rrealists believe that mankind is not inherently caring but rather self-centered and competitive.This Hobbesian perspective, which views human nature as selfish and conflictual, leads to a state of nature which can only be overcome by a social contract on the societal level.Thus establishing a Leviathan on the state level, the state of nature is freed to move up the ladder of analysis to the level of the international system.Liberalism or Idealism covers a fairly broad perspective ranging from Wilsonian Idealism through to contemporary neo-liberal theories and the democratic peace thesis.States are but one actor in world politics, and even states can cooperate through institutional mechanisms and bargaining that undermine the propensity to define survival interests simply in military terms.2. Traditionalist vs behavioristTaking place in the 1960's, this was essentially a methodological debate revolving around the belief of Behaviouralists that IR could only advance itself by applying the methods of naturalist science. They believed that the field was too...

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