The Theory Of International Relations Essay

1839 Words Jul 12th, 2015 null Page
International relations, like most things in the political arena, is influenced by ideology which is at the root of the competing impulses driving U.S. foreign policy, internationalism and unilateralism (Kaufman, 2014). The decisions political leaders make are often influenced by their preconceptions about how the world works. These preconceptions are often created from theories. In his “One World, Rival Theories”, Jack Snyder makes the case that out of the three dominant theories guiding international relations no single one is sufficient for guiding foreign policy. Instead the theories are at their most useful when used collectively. Reliance on one single theory can result in simplistic policies that miss the complexities of world events. Reality does not fit neatly into any theory but rather has aspects of all three as well as aspects no theory can explain. “Foreign policy decision-makers actually use theories or, at least the assumptions embedded in theory, in constructing both their world views and also in guiding their policy” (Datta, 2015). In order to do this effectively, decisionmakers often ‘blend and bend’ these constructs to create a policy specific to the situation. Necessity and pragmatism often demands that decision makers integrate various aspects of competing theories. I attempt to show that many of President Obama’s foreign policy decisions are a result of his tendency to reject theoretical limits and instead embrace an integrative theoretical approach.…

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