Over the last few centuries, the increasing penetration into new worlds and markets has pushed for the availability of international relations (Schieder 56). International relations involve the interactions between states in the world and other bodies that help impact fruitful production among nations. This interaction is governed by certain rules that limit and guide the way state, and non-state organs interact with one another. The four common theories of international relation have been used to explain the essence and impact of international relations. These theories (Liberalism, Realism, Marxism, and Feminism) have been attributed to affect globalization and democratization today (Baldwin 15). Most states have felt Their impact in the 21st century.
For the realist, the international system is normally characterized by anarchy (Usdiplomacy.org). Hence, there is no proper regime to govern the way people behave and act. The states in this case are normally sovereign and may be termed to be autonomous to one another. This structure does not have an organized structure of power and or relation between countries (Usdiplomacy.org). Power defines this system with the power of a state defining its position and role in the international world. Countries with supreme economic and military power are seen to be better placed than their counterparts with inferior power. Those who believe in realism believe in survival as the primary goal for any state(Schieder 57). Each state is, therefore, afraid that the other states will ultimately impact negatively on its survival through a war or economic invasion. States, therefore, try to protect themselves from any possible attacks.
Moreover, realists believe that states possess some form of power and control with the ability to act rationally for survival. Given a situation where they need to have a proper survival plan, the players in the international world will use all they have to ensure that they live another day in the harsh circumstances (Irtheory.com). Also, many countries have military intelligence and knowing what other states are planning is quite hard in this case. Those with superior powers play a very vital role in any possible war or conflict. They help shape any possible outcome. Consequently, realists believe that power is more prominent than the international laws of any state (Irtheory.com).
This theory does not focus on the capabilities of states but focuses on their individual characteristics. Unlike in realism where there is the use of anarchy, this theory allows for interaction of countries in a wider range of aspects (Usdiplomacy.org). These include politics and economic focus. The countries are characterized based on the way they organize their governments and the way their culture is structured. Countries do not fight to survive unlike in the liberalism theory. Countries, therefore, interact with one another to share their various production capacities through trade and other interactions.
The economic interdependence between states makes a peaceful environment to be created(Baldwin 56). This in turn leads to the development of the democratic peace theory by Immanuel Kant. The common goal and behavior among all liberal states forms the basis of this theory. Those states that are viewed to depend on one another and are democratic rarely fight one another. This therefore helps in guiding the way they interact with one another. The possibility of war or conflicts between liberal democracies is quite low due to the economic interdependence. This is in contrast with the realists view that economic empowerment may push countries into war (Usdiplomacy.org).
The Marxist, unlike the liberalist and realists, do not focus on material empowerment among states. The Marxists argue that those who are wealthy in society oppress the poor in the society. Any act of war is therefore between individuals as a result of oppression (Irtheory.com). The Marxists have been known to condemn highlyoppression of the poor in society with great emphasis on the way the bourgeoisie amass wealth and end up oppressing the poor. The poor may then lead a revolution to change the state of things in the country (Irtheory.com). The liberalization and revolution during various colonial periods like the American Revolution help expand the theory. The neo-Marxists have extensively built on the various aspects of the theory during the cold war. The Marxists, therefore, view the international relations as one great integrated system with capitalism. Individuals in states seek to gain wealth at the expense of the poor, and this may, therefore, spark violence especially among the oppressed.
The dependency theory helps to explain best this with the economies of minority or less developed countries being dependent on those of the developed countries (Irtheory.com). The expansion of the developing economy therefore largely depends on expansion of the mother economy. These countries are therefore highly exploited through capitalism. The stringent rules and regulations put restrictions on the trade of the less developed countries (Baldwin 73). The world system theory is also a common Marxist theory today. In this theory, the developing or less developed countries are used as grounds to produce raw materials and other products with low economic value. This therefore limits their expansion greatly. The developed and super power states produce advanced products with a high economic value which enables these countries to continue increasing in productivity (Usdiplomacy.org).
In feminism, unlike the other three theories, gender is the subject of categorization. International relations did put women at a lower structure in society, and they, therefore, played a minor role (Sparknotes.com). The experience that women had undergone through was not used in international relations. The roles of women in society were only of a domestic nature, and international relations were mainly associated with the male gender (Baldwin 84). This association led to feminist IR. International relations started to get more empowerment in the late 1990s, and the role of women was much discussed (Irtheory.com). Feminists try to find out what important change would be experienced if women played a wider and more important role in international relations. This theory aims at bringing the impact of women in international relations and change the way people think about the possible roles played by women (Sparknotes.com).
The changes in the 21st century have led to a bigger influence by the theories of international relations. Globalization,that is, the various processes that brings people from different locations and diverse nature together and helps create internationalinterdependence is an important factor to study. With the ever-changing relations between people, liberalism has continued to be an important theory to apply today. Most states unlike in the realist approach where anarchy is used, have adopted to be liberal democracies. Such democracies live in peace and build trade through the various trade areas and region of operations which has led to a dynamic change today. Trade relies on a peaceful communication with readily available and unique goals between states. This has resulted in trade agreements that have impacted strongly among countries (Schieder 104).
With democratization changing in the world today, there have been calls for gender participation in holding public offices. The past atrocities against women have largely reduced today with most women gaining international empowerment. The role of women in power has continued to gain support with international laws set against discrimination of women. Women get to hold public offices today through elections and nominations. Women have therefore grown to have a larger input in leadership today (Schieder 105).
The Marxists have continued to ask for communism today. However, the technologically and financially powerful countries continue to engage in capital-intensive production while the less developed countries engage in labor-intensive production. This has continued to oppress the LDC over the years limiting their production and expansion despite the rich resource potential and endowment.
While realism has decreased in its power to explain international relations today, it is still felt. Countries always seek to be a leading factor in decision making and military and economic capabilities today. This haslargely led to a great change in the way that most of these countries are structured. The advancement in nuclear power in Iran and in the middle-east countries has been basically for military empowerment. Wars between countries have threatened the peaceful nature created by liberalization.
International relations continue to be an important topic today for most researchers. Liberalism, Realism, Marxism, Feminism and other theories of IR still play a significant role in the shaping our society today. Effective and peaceful interaction between states leads to developments. However, if anarchy and materialism fill the process, the productivity between countries will be lowered.
Baldwin, David A. Theories of International Relations. Farnham, England: Ashgate, 2008. Print.
Irtheory.com. 'The IR Theory Knowledge Base.'N.p., 2015. Web. 4 July 2015.
Schieder, Siegfried. Theories of International Relations. Print.
Sparknotes.com, 'Sparknotes: International Politics: Theories of International Relations.'N.p., 2015. Web. 4 July 2015.
Usdiplomacy.org, 'A Brief History of U.S. Diplomacy'. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 July 2015.