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International Relations is the study of relations among various states and other economic and political units in the international system. Some specific areas, which are studied internationally, include diplomatic history, diplomacy, international economics and finance, international organizations, international law, communication etc. For the recent years, great attention has been paid to the development of a more scientific comprehension of the international system in general. International relations is a definable and separate discipline, which dates from the early 20th century. This was the time, when organized efforts were first developed in seeking alternatives to wars in the international behavior of nations. Therefore, it was caused by this initiative that two schools of thought were established; one school of thought looked at strengthening international organizations and international law in order to preserve and promote peace. The other school of thought emphasized that states would always use their power to achieve their set goals and a balance of power as a key to peace among various competing states. To improve the applicability and verifiability of theories, there was an increase in the use of modes and concepts of analysis established by natural sciences. Various academic institutions also established schools of international relations and research institutes within them. In general, the first use of international relations was in 1880 (Janis 21).
There was a strong influence on the study of International Relations caused by such normative considerations as the aim of increasing international relations and reducing armed conflicts in various states. Such issues as an ethnic and religious conflict, terrorism and the establishment of non-state and sub-state entities, efforts in countering nuclear proliferation, a spread of weapons of mass destruction and the establishment of international institutions were paid attention at the beginning of the 21st century. Human rights in various countries of the world are currently no longer viewed to be domestic political issues. This is because after the end of the Second World War, a complex system comprising international institutions and international laws was developed with the aim of regulating the practices of human rights in various states all over the world. Therefore, the Law on International Human Rights has a great impact on the behavior of various states because of its intervention. Thus, economic globalization is essential and good for human rights.
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Why the study of international relations is important
Since there had been the evolvement and reshaping of the political world, various distinctive and important changes occurred mainly at the end of the WWII and the Cold War in 1989. International Relations has necessitated the need for the establishment of more effective foundations for relations between states and international politics, in which international institutions are required to observe a liberal approach towards the issues of governance through institutionalism being the most direct perspective. For example, the formation of the United Nations led to the establishment of various international organizations, which connected states together with other independent non-governmental agencies. This led to a general improvement and security of the world community (Taylor 1).
Therefore, the general quality of human life was globally enhanced as a result of various international alliances, treaties and regimes formed within the global economy. The formation of liberal institutionalism further led to a greater emphasis put on the importance of such international regimes and organizations in the global economy as NATO, the UN, the World Bank, IMF and others. On the other hand, regimes include values, norms and principles coupled with procedures of decision-making, which actors comprising states and other international organizations have to abide by. One of the guidelines, which members of the United Nations have to abide by, is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In any Global society, international relations play an important role of citizenship. The importance of cooperative and peaceful relationships among various states is important because of the rapid use of communication technology, air transport and economics that is internationally complex. The maintenance of established agreements and treaties among various states ensures peace and reduces armed conflicts. Positive international relations are known to promote efficient trade policies among various states improving the economy of such states. The requirements and limitations of trade between states are also defined by international relations. International relations also play a vital role in ascertaining border control policies and ensuring the effective movement of people and goods over international border or the immigration of individuals to other countries (Griffiths et al 11).
In order for states to cooperate effectively and to meet challenges arising from such global issues as terrorism, pandemics and concerns over the environment, sound international relations are key for the achievement of such objectives. This is for states to be able to share vital information and pool together their resources to counter these issues. Apart from controlling and regulating the flow of information and goods among various states, international relations also promote the advancement of culture for various people in a general manner. International policies ensure that there is a promotion of diverse world cultures through various programs, for example, cultural exhibitions and student exchanges. This greatly enhances people’s understanding of varied human expression all over the world (Hayden 200).
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Weaknesses of international relations
International relations are viewed as an effort of NATO to expand and extend the Western influence beyond the United States of America’s Sphere. This is evident from debates concerning NATO expansionist strategies and from a real perspective. Therefore, it is disputable whether international relations are meant to protect the interests of mighty and powerful countries at the expense of the less powerful. The creation of some international relations agencies and organizations is aimed at serving personal and material interests of big nations at the expense of the less powerful countries. For example, NATO has been accused of serving the interests of the United States of America dictating governance issue in other countries of the world. The domination of some countries over others resulted in the rivalry among various states leading to wars. Thus, international relations are treated as realism, which means that self-interested states struggle for power.
On the other hand, international relations encourage the power of some states limiting their ability to make decisions regarding such policies as going to war. International relations failed as an intellectual project because of the wrong or poor management. For instance, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) accused the International Organization and its administration of supporting an agricultural development model, which is ethical towards the growth of private sector inhibiting the general economic development or the growth of Third World Nations. The provision of abundant liquidity to debt-ridden nations creates a moral hazard because of presenting debtors with a few incentives to promote economic changes. The ability of international relations concerning multilateral management and stabilization failed in some countries and resulted in conflicts and wars. The failure in the management of the tight system of issues and relations caused negative impacts on some states (Weber 150)
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Response to opposing views
International relations cannot be blamed for problems facing some countries in the world. This is because such problems are attributed towards the individual country’s failure to abide by the set guidelines of international relations, going against the laid policies. In most cases, international relations have always intervened in situations, and because of this fact some states fail to follow the set guidelines regarding specific issues. International relations have always played a vital role in cases, which it are considered relevant to intervene. Therefore, a failure of individual states should not be attributed to international relations.
However, the provision of liquidity to debt-ridden countries is a moral hazard, because it doesn’t help in any way, since it makes such countries lazy and unable to stand on their own. Thus, the provision of liquidity to such countries should be discouraged by international relations to ensure that such countries learn to fend for themselves and become independent. A failure to do this by international relations is seen as an attempt by the West to weaken Third World Countries and to limit their economic growth (Murthy 170).
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International relations and foreign policy are important for peaceful coexistence of various states. Without international relations, the human race could become extinct in the next 50 years. International relations are vital for countering with various challenges that face the human race, for instance, nuclear weapons and threats posed by terror. International relations are important because such issues as global justice, human rights and humanitarian interventions are well-addressed. International relations should be encouraged, because they aid individual countries in dealing with countries, with which they can not handle individually. Therefore, international intervention is important for dealing with individual challenges faced by a certain country.