foreign policiesTo define the meaning and nature of international relations is a ticklish job. It has been a complex work owing to many reasons. First, the terms international politics and international relations were and still are used inter-changeably and loosely. For many years scholars remained confused over the contents of these terms. They were not clear as to what should be included in international politics and what in international relations ? Works of many authors title was on International Relations whereas inside they discussed international politics only.
On the contrary, many titles on international politics discuss international relations indiscriminately. Second, world community is so dynamic and international environment changes so rapidly that what one studied few years ago with keen interest becomes hackneyed and obsolete today. With this alters its approach and perspective. New developments at global level bring new actors to international stage. Third, many scholars put forward such definitions as explained the essence of the subject rather than its main areas of inquiry. This caused further disagreement and confusion among writers as no one could give with precision and authority the definition of a discipline whose scope is ever changing and growing. Fourth, newness of the subject also creates many difficulties in defining it. If definitions of old social disciplines like political science and economics are still in the melting pot then how can one take any definition of this young discipline as a last word.
Notwithstanding ambiguity and disagreement over the definitions of international relations we seek to analyze and classify some of the important definitions given by prominent scholars of the discipline. These definitions can be broadly divided into the following two categories:
Traditional View-International Politics
It is a state-dominated view inasmuch as definitions under this category lay emphasis on the study of politics and relations among the nation states. It considers nation-states as chief actors of international politics and focuses on their political and official relations. In other words, these were the definitions of international politics and not international relations. From the initial years of the beginning of the discipline up to fifties, it was mainly known and studied as international politics. Most prevalent definitions in this category are:
Schleicher include all inter-state relations in international politics, although the concedes that all the inter-state relations are not political.Padelford and Lincoln define international politics as the interaction of state policies within the changing patterns of power relationship in their later work, they defined it as the interaction of individual nation states in their pursuit of their perceived national interests and goals Morenthau’s definition deals mainly with political relations an the problem of power and peace. According to him, international politics is a struggle for, and use of power among nations.
Burton regards it as a system of peaceful communication whereby states consciously and in their own interest would like to avoid conflict because the costs of conflict are too. high , To Frankel international politics embraces the foreign policies of all the states in their mutual interaction as well as in their interaction with the international system as a whole, with international organizations, and with social groups other than states, the Operation of the international system and also the domestic politics of all the states. It is a comprehensive definition as it includes not only the interaction among states but also their interactions with international system, organizations, social groups and so on. He further clarifies that the foreign policies of different states are difficult to deal with comparatively because they cannot be studied singly and then compared, as domestic politics can, one can study them in interaction with the foreign policies of other states as well as with other elements of the international system.
Harold and Margaret Sprout define international politics as, those aspects of interactions and relations of independent political communities in which some element of opposition, resistance or conflict of purpose or interest is present. According to Thompson, “International Politics is the study of rivalry among nations and the conditions and institutions which ameliorate or exacerbate these relationship”. Defect of these two definitions is that they include only the conflictual and oppositional interactions between the states and not the cooperative and friendly one.
“International Politics” according to Quincy Wright is the art of influencing, manipulating or controlling major groups, so as to advance the purposes of some against the opposition of others. It is the process b which power is acquired maintained and expanded, He further explains, As a discipline, it includes expositions instructing in the practice of this art, predicting the consequences of its application, evaluating it, and narrating its history.
In this way the essence and explanation of international , politics vary from author to author. Indian scholars have not lagged behind in this respect. An eminent scholar Mahendra Kumar who is one of the few pioneer Indian scholars has analyzed the theoretical aspects of international politics and presented his own definition. In his words, international politics is a process in which nations a to serve their national interests, which may be in conflict with those of other nations b means Of their at policies and action. According to him this definition can be applied to international politics in any period of the twentieth century.
Another Indian author R.T. Jangam describes the nature of international politics in the following manner the existence of nations friendly or unfriendly relations struggle for acquisition, retention and extension of power and other stakes instrument of accomplishing other principal stakes and the limitations on the use of power-are broadly characterized international politics, throughout the ages. Baral suggests that the three principal components in international politics are the international system, the state and the individual. Any foreign policy decision is likely to reflect the systematic interactions, the interests and strategies of the state and the motives and personalities of individual actors. Further the interest groups, bureaucratic organizations and some other groups do play some role in foreign policy-making. Thus international politics must study the role of all concerned actors and employ all three levels analysis-system, state and individual
Politics in relation to nations is international politics. It is a process of adjustment of relationship among nations in favor of a nation or a group of nations by means of power. Three important things relevant to international politics are national interest, conflict and power.
The first is the objective the second is the condition, and the third is the means of international politics, therefore, can be described as a set of those aspects of relations among independent states in which some elements of conflict of interest are prevalent But at times interests of some nations may be identical also. In this way, international politics involves conflict as well as cooperation. It is a phenomenon of recurring pattern of conflict and harmony. But cooperation is feasible only through control of conflict. Conflict can be regulated towards a desired direction. Thus international politics deals with the control of conflict and achievement of cooperation. By and large nature of international politics is conflictual.
Current View -International Relations
Latest trend is to make extensive use of the term international relations in preference to international politics as it encompasses all the relevant actors, contents and relationships. No doubt, some of the definitions under the above category also cover areas other than mere politics among nations. But the following definitions are more comprehensive as they include state, international system, international organizations, other transnational and supra-national agencies, non-state entities, groups and relevant individuals as actors and basic unit of analysis. At the same time they also cover larger areas of relationship.
both conflictual and cooperative, friendly and unfriendly, power relationship and peace relationship, governmental and people-to-people relationship etc. The contents and forms of relations among the different actors are varied such as political, economic, social, cultural, educational, scientific and technological etc. All these are part of international relations. Scholars of international relations have also used comparatively sophisticated and scientific tools of investigation. The use of the term international relations is considered appropriate as it covers all those essentials included in international politics and over and above many other current trends and terms that make it more broad and relevant.
Some of the well-known definitions in this category are listed below:
In the words of Quincy Wright, It is not only the nations which international relations seek to relate. Varied types of groups-nations, states, governments, peoples, regions, alliances confederations international organizations, even industrial organizations,cultural organizations, religious organizations must be dealt within the study of international relations, if the treatment is to be realistic.
To Quincy wright even the use of the term international relations is too narrow. He coined another term relations between powerful nations and yet preferred to use the prevailing term international relations. He is also of the opinion that for a proper understanding of international relations one has to include such partial studies as international politics, international law, international organization, international economics, international ethics, the psychology and sociology of international relations, world history, political geography, political demography and technology.
In sum, he defines international relations to designate the relations between groups of major importance in the life of the world at any period of history, and particularly relations among territoriality organized nation states which today are of such importance to designate the studies or disciplines describing, explaining, evaluating, or assisting in the conduct of those relations.
The above definition considerably broadens the scope of international relations to such an extent that it becomes unmanageable and unwieldy. Hoffmann and Adi H. Doctor endeavor to remove these drawbacks of the definition. Hoffmann presents a purely operational definition: The discipline of international relations is concerned with the factors and the activities which affect the external policies and the power of the basic units into which the world is divided. He further suggests that it is concerned, for example, with the United Nations, but not necessarily with the World Meteorological Organization, or that we should deal with private groups such as the United Fruit Company or the Socialist Internationale, but not necessarily with a group such as International Political Science Association.
Adi H. Doctor is also of the same Opinion. In his own words, its study will be primarily of nation-states, because of all the interacting entities in International Politics, the sovereign State is, by all standards, the most important, but shall also include within the field of its study other important groups (race, private or cultural bodies, regional organizations like NATO) to the extent that they influence interaction among the major groups, i.e. the sovereign States. The study of inter-state relations primarily include power or opposition relations and to some extent certain cooperative relations.
Palmer and Perkins say, “I t encompasses much more than the relations among nation-states and international organizations and groups. It includes a great variety of transitional relationships, at various levels, above and below the level of the nation-state, still the main actor in the international community.” They believe that its study must include new and old elements. The emphasis is still on nation-state system and inter-state relations yet the actions and interactions of various organizations and groups and of many underground forces and variables are to be considered.
Previously Frankel defined international politics and titled his book as such. After ten years, he in his other work used the term international relations. In it he defines: his new discipline is more than a combination of the studies of the foreign affairs of the various countries and of international history-it includes also the study of international society as a whole and of its institutions and processes. It is increasingly concerned not only with the states and their interactions but also with the web of transnational politics.
Though his previous definition of international politics was also broad, but this one is broader than that. Moreover, he goes one step further by suggesting that the term World Politics describes its contents more truthfully than the traditional name. International Relations Few years back scholars were reluctant to use the term world politics but many like Rosenau, Calvocoressi, Kegley, Wittkopf etc, are adapting it now. Rosenau maintains that world politics comprises primarily the nation states as the prime-actors. With all other actors essentially subordinated to the requirements of the nation-state system. Rosenau, however, acknowledges the fact that these nations consistently demonstrate inter-dependence and inter-penetration and that sub-national, transnational and even supranational (e.g. EEC) groups characterized greater impact on the course of events.
According to Trygve Mathiesen, international relations embraces all kinds of relations traversing state boundaries, no matter whether they are of an economic, legal, political, or any other character,whether they be private or official, and all human behavior originating on one side of state boundary and affecting human behavior on the other side of the boundary. This definition also enlarges the horizon of international relations.
The essence of above definitions can be summed up in the following words. International relations is mainly the study of nation-states their political and non-political relations, their foreign affairs and policies, their interaction with each other and with various other political and non-political groups-alliances, regional and international organizations, sub-national, trans-national and supra-national agencies. It also includes, to some extent, the study of international history, international law, international society and other psychological, cultural and strategical factors that influence the interactions and relations among states and groups.
International Politics and International Relations
Both these terms are used loosely and interchangeably by scholars. But of late a distinction is made between the two. The differences among them can be enumerated as follows:
1. International politics is concerned with the politics of the international community in a rather narrow sense, focusing on diplomacy and the relations among states and other political units, whereas international relations consist of the totality of the relations among peoples and groups in the world society. The former describes political relations only whereas the latter describes all types of relations between countries and peoples political or non-political, peaceful or warlike, legal or cultural, economic or geographic, official or non-official, formal or informal. Merely the political aspect of international relations is international politics.
2.International politics lay emphasis on official relations between the states and their governments and officials. On the other hand, international relations also include non-official, informal and private relations among groups and peoples. It encompasses all human behavior on one side of national boundary affecting human behavior on the other side of the boundary. One is interested in state-to-state relations and other goes beyond it and covers people to people relations as well.
3. International relations is a wider and international politics a narrower concept. The scope of former is broader than the latter. When states cooperate with One another to maintain postal or transport services, or to prevent the spread of epidemics or suppress the traffic in drugs, these activities are described as non-political. But as soon as an issue arises which involves, or is thought to involve, the power of one state in relation to another, the matter at once becomes political. Thus international politics includes only those aspects of international relations in which some conflict of purpose or interest is involved.
4. Methodology to study them are different. The study of international relations is being enriched by the wider and more versatile and scientific approaches and methods where as international politics was mainly studied with historical descriptive and analytical methods.
5. Adi H. Doctor distinguishes them from another angle According to him, Those interested in oppositional relations label their study International Politics, those who also include cooperative relations name their study as ‘International Relations’
Thus the current nomenclature’e-International Relations-i covers a wider form of relationship between states, groups, institutions and individuals across the respective national boundaries. Yet it has to be admitted that political relations still over-ride in this field of‘study.
SCOPE AND SUBJECT-MATTER
Sometime back scholars of international relations thought that its scope was not yet delimited. One cannot settle once and for all the subject matter of a discipline as it tends to vary with the passing of time and with the emergence of new conditions and factors. But there must be a separate core of the discipline to qualify itself as an autonomous discipline. To this extent its scope has been settled. Moreover, in the previous chapter its development as an autonomous discipline has been traced.
Since World War I and specially after Second World War different scholars, universities, academic organizations and institutions endeavored to carve out a specific area of study for international relations. Some of them have put forward a limited list and others exhaustive list of contents. It gave rise to wide controversy among scholars.
Rather than discussing their viewpoints individually and in detail, an attempt is being made in the following paragraphs to enlist commonly agreed points. It cannot be maintained conclusively that scope is fully decided because the international situation as well as this discipline is in a state of flux. But by earl nineties it can be safely said that b and large its scope and main areas of study were distinctly demarcated. At the same time prospects of its enlargement in future are there along with changes in world conditions.
State System. The study of international relations begins with the state system. One can see a great impact of the state system on international scene since last three centuries. The individuals organize themselves in sovereign states and through them strive to fulfill their interests. The incompatible interests of these sovereign states cause conflict, and international politics is those the natural outcome of the conflict of sovereign states.
Not all states assume to every other national state. Some are significant because of their neighborhood, some owing to their military or economic power, whereas some others due to the racial or cultural links. In brief, inter-state relations are the result of sovereign state and international relations studies this relations
Relations in Conflict and Cooperation. International relations studies relations between two or more stats, which are very often complex and influenced by a variety of geopolitical, historical, social, religious, ideological, strategic and leadership factors. Broadly speaking, these relationship have taken the form of cooperation and conflict. Cooperation and conflict are two side of the same coin.
Inspire of the fact that the were more conflict in international history than corporation Both CO-Existed throughout the various periods of history International relations is primarily a study of both conflictual and cooperative inter-state relations.
General and Diplomatic History. In the initial years of the beginning of the discipline, its studies were mainly historical. International relations was considered identical with international or diplomatic history for quite a long time. Under this tradition, certain major events were taken up for analysis against a historical perspective. After some time, historical approach was replaced by many new and better approaches yet historical facts and events have not their relevance for international relations. For example, to stud the resent indo-Pak relations one has to go back into the past to know their historical background. The study of general and specially the diplomatic history cannot be separate from International relations
Power. In the post Second World War period power became the central theme in the study of international relations. According to Margenthau international politics is nothing else but power Politics and can be realistically understood only if viewed as the concept of interest defined in terms of of power of a national state.
Power has practical as well as theoretical relevance. It is a major determinant of the polices of the leading states of the world and of international relations generally. In international relations one studies the nature, elements and measurement of national power, balance of power, power equations and limitations on national power. Major limitations on power which are being studied are:international law, international morality, world public opinion, balance of power, collective security and international organizations.
International Law. As mentioned above international law acts as restriction on national power and state action. Thus it is accepted as a very important aspect of the study of international relations. International law contains a set of rules, which regulates and determines the inter-state behavior pattern both in time of peace and war. Therefore, a sound knowledge of international law is must or understanding international relations
International Organizations. The United Nations, the most comprehensive of all international organizations, regional arrangements NATO OAS, EEC, and SAARC and other organizations international or regional character have assumed significant role in the present world. These international institutions provide forums for cooperation and conflicts resolutions and are governed by their own rule .These organizations came into existence to nee economic, military, technological or cultural cooperation among member states. Since all these organizations and institutions have bearings on inter-state relations, the become a subject-matter of international relations to that extent.
International Systems: The study of international relations has also been undertaken in terms of international systems It involves the application of system theories to a wide variety of international phenomena, as well as the development of typology of systems in the international community. International systems have been studied historically or from the point.of view of ‘ present world. Ancient China, classical Greece imperial Rome Renaissance Italy Mughal India or nineteenth-century Europe are the example of the international system. Contemporary international system have been built on the basis of bipolarity and multi polarity or on region such as continents or geographic areas of greater or lesser extent. Various regions are studied as international subsystems or as subordinate state systems
Integration and Community Approach. A working international system requires a high degree of integration and is most effective if it is supported by a community structure . integration is one of the focus point in the interdisciplinary approach to international relations Studies of past am present tendencies towards integration as well as towards conflict. in the international community may suggest factors that have an important bearing on contemporary diplomacy and political behavior. Certainly the question of integration in the international community deserves thorough study and analysis.
Geopolitics: According to Hessler, “Geopolitics is the science of the relationship between space and politics witch attempts ” to put geographical knowledge at the service of political leaders. it is more than political geography, which is descriptive. It springs from national aspirations, searches out facts and principles which can serve national ends. Anything which serves the national ends and interest comes closer to international relations. Geopolitics analysis can throw much light upon some of the major problems and attitudes to be prevalent in contemporary relations. Geopolitics is quite useful for the proper understanding of international relations Palmer and Perkins are right when they say: Undoubtedly the struggle for space and power over the vast land and sea regions of the world and perhaps in outer space as well will be a central theme in the international relations of the future.
Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution. Much of international relations involves conflict, its management and resolution. Their stud becomes significant subject matter of international relations behavioral sciences with quantitative methods have successfully dealt with these topics. Conflict management is a term that suggests various techniques for the control, if not always the resolution of international conflicts Various international organizations and peace research institutes have been studying conflict management and resolution. Several journals, such as, The journal of Conflict Resolution, have been published on this issue and attempts are made to quantitatively analyses the factors that create conflict situations at international level and the techniques to resolve such conflicts.
War and Peace. It is; the problem of war and peace around which almost all the studies of international relations revolve. It is no less a problem than of human survival. Conflict of interests and struggle supremacy among nations often lead to warfare between to or more nations or there groups. war is as old a phenomenon as the state itself and its essentially followed be some sort of peace activity and settlement. War and peace activities are now studied more systematically in this sphere, the study of international relations is of great importance for all the mankind and requires interdisciplinary approach and analysis.
National Interest. National interest are the objectives of sovereign states.which the purpose with the help of power and through the instrument of foreign policy. In a way national interests are the pivot around which international relations clusters. Hartmann correctly says that international relations as a field of study is focused upon the processes by which states adjust their national interests to those of other states. Thus the concert of national interest becomes central to the Conduct national policies. The stud of national interest has become useful in analyzing the history and conduct of a nation’s foreign policy.
Ideologies. The twentieth century is also marked by the rise of rival ideologies such as communism, socialism, capitalism, Nazism, fascism, totalitarianism, liberalism etc. With conflict political, economic and social systems, ideological issues came to the forefront on international scene. Since, first World War many of the international problems ha ideological overtones which further complicated inter-state relations. No doubt for the last few ears there is the talk of end of ideology and DE-idolization of international relations yet ideologies elements cannot be ignored in the study of international relations. To understand the contemporary international relations the process of both the idealization and de-idealization has to be taken into account
Nationalism, Colonialism and Imperialism. Nationalism is an important factor of modern state s stern and of the rise of non. Western of international relations. it has changed not only the classical nature of international relations but is also responsible for decolonization and the shifting of emphasis from Europe to Asia and Africa. Nationalism has also caused the demise of traditional imperialism and colonialism. But new type of imperialism have also made their presence felt e.g. communist imperialism or red imperialism, economic . imperialism or neo-colonialism. All these isms are the subject-matter of international relations
Foreign Policy. The sovereign states conduct their foreign relations and interact with each other through their foreign policies and, thus foreign policies is international politics is like a charter containing national interests showing the areas of agreement and disagreement. It explains the ideals with which the state would exert its influence and the limit of its total effectiveness. Though foreign policies are not the be-all and end-all of international relations yet they constitute a significant part of its study
Policy-Making. Of late there has been a tendency among the scholars of international relations to study not only the contents of foreign policy but also the process of foreign policy making. Decisions are taken at various levels and in different manner in different political and international systems, nation states or international agencies. Study of the total political process, on a national, international or comparative basis has been undertaken by many scholars specially of USA. Such studies provide a broader setting for a detailed analysis of decision-making and policy formulation.
National Character. National character is another subject of study. Through it one endeavors to analyze the distinctive attributes of peoples and social groups, especially those that compose the national units of modern international society. While it is cumbersome to generalize about a complex thing as national character, it is an essential venture for those who are concerned with the mainsprings of thought and behavior of nation-states. Notwithstanding the absence of precise and reliable tests and standards, useful work is being done in studying national character by employing various methods.
Psychological Factors. Social psychology provided new approaches and methods for the study and research of international relations through personality and background analysis of key leaders, involved in the conduct of international relations. Social psychology also opened up new channels for the study of individual and group behavior pattern, as well as the role of public opinion in. war and peace. Such studies, for instance, explain the reactions and policies of the Soviet Union and why the Russians behave like Russians and not like Americans or Japanese These studies provide a useful extension of research in individual and international arena.
Military-Strategic Factors. Much of international relations are concerned with problem of national security and defense as preparation for and protection a against wars, bilateral and multilateral security arrangements, alliance diplomacy, military pacts, arms control and disarmament measures, it is natural that many studies in the discipline give special emphasis on military political-strategic analysis. Study of were and strategy is beneficial for understanding international relations, as foreign policy and military policy became integrally related to each other with the passage of time
Alliances and Groupings. No doubt, most of the major multilateral alliances, including NATO, the Warsaw Pact, SEATO, CENTO etc. which flourished in the fifties and early sixties have now lost their relevance yet alliance politics became an important area of study in the postwar international relations. The study of international relations focused on the factors that contribute to the growth of such military alliances, the degree of their unity and their impact on the balance of power situation among the states concerned. There are also groupings other than military alliances such as communist countries, the free world, the Islamic world, nonaligned countries, the Arab world, African countries etc. They function unitedly on many common issues inside and outside the UN. The uniting factors, the degree of their unity as well as their conflicts with other groups, form the subject matter of international relations
Arms Control and Disarmament. Devastating nature of the war in the nuclear age has Complected many statement to do something for arms control and disarmament. Lengthy deliberations have been taken place on these subjects inside and outside the UN. Related problems are the peaceful uses of atomic energy, with which the International Atomic Energy Agency and most governments are deeply concerned. The enforcement of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Non-Proliferation Treaty, SALT-I and SALT-ll, I.N.F. and START etc. On all these issues there is a vast documentation and a great deal of scholarly studies and investigation
Demographic Factors. The populations explosion is the most significant phenomena of the contemporary world and With whom are associated many problems of humanity. The question of population control is of great importance today.Centers and programs of demographic studies exist in many countries, and frequent conferences discuss population problems and their possible solution. Thus demographic factors must be incorporated in any balanced course in international relations
Economic Factors.Economic interests, like defense interests play role in political transaction among state and thus they assume importance in inter state relations. No one can ignore in international relations the economic factors such as food problem, economic planning and development, rates of exchange, tariffs, exchange controls, commodity agreements, international trade, balance of payments, foreign aid, disparities between developed and under-developed economies, demand for New International Economic order, international investment, multinational corporations, international economic agencies such as the World Bank and international Monetary Fund and many other UN agencies and regional economic agencies. The Marxist approach to international relations lay stress purely on economic factors and many non-communist theories also recognize the role of economic elements in international life. Economic factors are within the scope of international relations to the extent they influence inter-state relations.
Area and Regional Studies. The Second World War necessitated interest in the area or regional study aiming at the intensive study in history, language, sociology, anthropology, politics and economics of selected areas. This area programme was extremely helpful in providing appropriate knowledge to army personnel of allied forces in different areas. It was equally helpful to conduct military government occupied areas. This war-time development became so popular that it was accepted as a major aspect of the post-war study of international relations.
Two reasons that have encouraged area studies in the US in the post-war period were first, there was genuine quest for knowing the developing and third world countries which were still shrouded in academic darkness; second, area studies were obviously in response to the requirements of the Cold War. Field studies were, in some cases, designed to gather vital information which the guest country-especially the US could utilize in its rivalry against the Soviet Union and its allies. Area and regional studies, thus become part and parcel of the contents of international relations
PURPOSE AND IMPORTANCE
Like any other discipline, international relations has its own importance, purpose and value. It has both theoretical as well as practical utility. It provides valuable assistance to general, leadership, professional and research education. This discipline is useful for the college teacher, professional-school teacher, graduate-school teacher; the journalist and commentator; the statesman, diplomat and international official, the lawyer, economist, civil servant, statesman and politician; the scholar and research worker in the field. Its utility in general education, in practical action and in scholarly research is well explained by Quincy Wright as follows
General Education. A discipline of international relations has a broad utility in international relations inasmuch as it emphasizes the general facts of world geography, the general trends of history, the philosophical analysis of values and the scientific analysis of international relations. It cannot ignore the various interpretations which each country having a distinct culture and value system, is giving to its generalizations. Notwithstanding its scientific nature, the presentation of the discipline of international relations would have to be adapted for use in general education in each community and each country. Topics of international relations are included in the paper of general education or general knowledge of almost all universities and competitive examinations.
Practical Importance. Apart from the education of persons before taking practical assignment, a general discipline of international relations might contribute much to the day by day conduct of international affairs, whether by national or international officials. It assists in the practical activity of military officials, diplomats, colonial and oversea administrators, statesmen, politicians, international lawyers, international financiers, international propagandists, international educators, journalists, and media men. No doubt these activities differ greatly from one another, and specialized disciplines for each are essential, but they share with one another and with all the practice all arts and professions, not only the need for skill derived from experience, but the necessity
(a)To define situations sought to be tackled
(b)To obtain relevant information
(c)To frame the goals
(d) To make decisions initiating action.
The art of statesmanship, the art of diplomacy and the art of conducting foreign relations are inseparable from the discipline of international relations.
Research Purpose. Research like statesmanship, seeks new ways of looking at situations, but a discipline serving as a logical catalogue of what is known indicates gaps to be filled, hypotheses to be verified, shortcomings to be overcome. Advancement of the science of international relations is also one of the purposes of the discipline.
This discipline serves, on the one hand, to make men aware of their participation in the universal society and of the direction in which that society is moving, and on the other, to mention shortcomings in knowledge, both theoretical and political, challenging further research. Both these services, would contribute to peace, if it is assumed that men want to survive and to enjoy life, and that action is most likely to contribute to those ends if based on an accurate estimate of its possible outcome.
The purpose and utility of the discipline as observed by Palmers and Perkins are supplemented below.
Human Survival and Progress. The discipline explains how men and nations tend to act in given circumstances and so tells us what conditions should be encouraged and what conditions discouraged, if we are to promote international harmony and well-being. Through it one learns that war deferred is a kind of peace, perhaps the only peace that nations will ever know. One also gains a sense of realism–a realization that the road to a better order is filled with complex hurdles, that it can be overcome only by men who see the horizon ahead and the soil below.
Understanding and Controlling Problems. If the study of international relations cannot solve. all the problems of international life it can at least help us in grappling with and controlling those problems. Many of the problems of international relations are unsolvable under present conditions. Not all of these problems, however, constitute major threats to peace and security, and those which are unsolvable and dangerous may take on a different shape and decline in importance with the passage of time, even if they are never really solved. For example, the problem of war may never be solved, but there is the possibility of keeping it under control and that total war in the atomic age, with all of its frightful consequences, can be avoided. The only feasible way in some cases may be to keep the problems under control as much as possible, to do everything that can be done within the range of practicable alternatives to deal with them, and to understand and worry along with them as circumstances allow. Controlling of conflict and the related problems and striving for peace are the main purposes of international relations.
Objectivity, Balance and Perspective. Study of international relations aims at objectivity, balance and perspective. The study has to be carried out in face of obstacles of prejudice, ignorance, emotionalism, and vested interest-often including scholar’s own. The world is its laboratory and a mix of approaches-realism and idealism, science and art-is its way of exploring. its students must beware of simple solutions to complex problems, and they must also renounce the thesis of the inevitability of war, the wave of future approach, and all such paths to dooms day. The discipline teaches to understand the world as it is, and at the same time to keep an eye on the world as it should be. It cautions that never mistake the ideal for the actual. or conclude that what must be will in fact occur On the value and purpose of the study Adi H. Doctor has remarked
Understanding the Role of Subjectivity. The study of international relations is very beneficial in understanding the part played by-subjectivity in judging human behavior in the international field. Every nation in judging international events is conditioned by its own national interest. Every nation speaks of justice and fair play, yet we see much conflict between nations claiming to speak in the name of justice. This happens because nations tend to judge problems subjectively or in terms of national interest. It teaches that so long as the various nations try to look at international problems subjectively, conflicts are bound to rise. Terms like justice, fair play, equality, peace, non-interference, non violence, friendship etc. are interpreted by nations differently. Nations preach these values and at the sometime in actual conduct they act contrary to these values. Many a time endeavors towards world peace are conditioned by subjectivity which must be replaced by an objective outlook.
Internationalism along with Nationalism. The study of international relations assist in developing a better perspective on nationalism. Nationalism is not an unmixed blessing. There are certain evils of nationalism such as exclusiveness and narrowness, intolerance and hatred towards the people of other nationalities etc. No doubt nationalism teaches us loyalty and gives security in an otherwise unsecured world yet its abused and exaggerated form can became a major obstacle to world peace. Through this discipline one learns that the traditional concept of sovereignty and nationalism are inapplicable today, and they need modifications in some respects.
A Better World. The last but not the least purpose of the discipline, is the attainment of a better world. It imparts knowledge of the concepts and instruments such as international organizations international morality and law, world public opinion, collective security,balance of power and balance of interests peaceful coexistence and cooperation, pacific settlements of international disputes, arms control, disarmament and denuclearization; North South dialogue etc, that help in building a new and better world order. lnspite of the difficulties that a student faces, he after its study has to be a part of the caravan that is marching ahead steadily towards a better and just world order.
l. Charles P. Schleicher, Introduction to International Relations (New York, 1954) p. 31.
2. Norman. Padelford and George A. Lincoln, International Politics: Foundations of international Relations (New York, 1954) pp. 4, 6.
3.The Dynamics of International Politics (London 1967, 1976 ed.) p. 203.
4. Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations : The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York, 1954) pp. 14, 20.
5. John W. Burton, International Relations: A General Theory ‘ (Cambridge, 1965)
6. Joseph Frankel, International Politics -Conflict and Harmony (London, 1969) p. 11
8 Harold and Margaret Sprout, Foundations of International Politics (New York, 1963) p. 4.
9. Kenneth W. Thompson, The” Theory and Practice of International Relations , p. 5.
10. Quincy Wright, The Study of International Relations (New York, ‘ y 1955 lst lndian edition 1970) p. 130.
12. Mahendra Kumar, Theoretical Aspects of International Politics (Agra, 1967, 2nd revised ed. 1972) p. 11.
13. R.T. Jangam, An Outline of International Politics (Calcutta, 1970), p. 3.
14. J.K. Baral, International Politics–Dynamics and Dimensions (New Delhi, 1987) p. 5.
15. Quincy Wright, The Study of International Relations (Bombay, 1970 Indian reprint, 1st ed. 1955) p. 6.
16. Ibid. p. 7.
17. Ibid. p. 8.
18. Stanley Hoifrnann (ed .) Contemporary Theory in International Relations (New Delhi, 1964) 13.6.
20. Adi H. Doctor, International Relations An Introductory Study (New Delhi,1969) p. 4.
21 . Norman D. Palmer and Howard C.Perkns. Nature, Scope and Purpose 39 Relations-the World Community in Transition (Calcutta, First Indian Reprint of 3rd Edition), p. xi.
23.JOSBPh Frankel, International Relations in a Chan (Oxford, 1979) p. 6.
25.James N. Rosenau, Pei-Spectives on World Politics in lames N. Rosenau, Kenneth Thompson and Gavin Boyd, World Politics: An Introduction (New York, 1976) p. 5.
26.Trygve Mathiesen, Methodogy in the Study of International Relations (0510, 1959), pp; 1,2.
27,Adi H. Doctor, n. 20, p. 5.
28.Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: Struggle for Power ~ and Peace (New York, 1973, 5th Edn.) p. 5. 29.
William H. Hessler, A Geopolitics for Americans, US Naval Institute Proceedings, LXX (March 1944) 246. 30Norman D. Palmer and Howard C. Perkins, n. ll, p. 4’5.
31.Frederick H. Hertmann, The Relations of Nations (New York 1962) p. 5.
32.Quincy Wright, n. 15, p. 571-82.
33Palmer & Perkins, n. 21, p. xxxi-xxxiii.
34.Adi H. Doctor, n. 20, p. 21-22.