Are the Rationalist Approaches Appropriate for the Study of International Relations?

3614 Words Jan 12th, 2013 15 Pages
Are the rationalist approaches appropriate for the study of international relations?

International relations (IR) are ‘the diplomatic strategic relations of states, and the characteristic focus of IR is on issues of war and peace, conflict and cooperation’ (Brown and Ainley, 2009). Many different theories exist within IR to define and analyse certain situations. Rationalism is classified as the major in IR analysis theory (Baylis, et al, 2011). The study of IR according to a comprehensive and scientific methodology became a key demand after the First World War, resulting from a desire to clarify international politics. Following the First World War, international relations were initially taught in different fields, such as international
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The policy is determined in relation to the power, and aims to own and keep them and their development. The power is always the ultimate goal of the policy. For Morgenthau, sovereignty is authority over the thought or actions of other human beings; he accordingly rated different countries depending on their political objectives (Cozette, 2008). This category consists of four sections: rated countries seeking to adopt the status quo with any exposure to the existing arrangement; rated countries seeking to develop their strength, practicing a policy of imperialism; and states seeking fame. Three forms of power parallel these categories: to retain power, power development, and highlighting power. The classification uses Morgenthau’s concept of power in a relative sense, a classification that lacks rigour in terms of the definition of terms and reference problems posed by the application of this classification (Turner & Mazur, 2009).
However, he also warned that common errors can occur when assessing power, resulting in the following recommendations: first, one should not deal with the power as an absolute concept, and should use a relative analysis; second, power should not be regarded as something acquired; and third, one should not restrict focus to one of the power components, rather all should be carried by the dimensions of this concept.
Kenneth Waltz diverged from the realist school and added the experience of new realism in his

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