Theory and Approaches of International Politics

International relations is far behind other social sciences in the development of theories. It is quite natural as this discipline is of recent origin. Notwithstanding this limitation, some remarkable developments have already taken place in the sphere of the theory of international politics building.

The works of William Fox, Stanley Hoffmann, Klaus Knorr, Sydney Verba, Horace Harrison, James Rosenau, Morton Kaplan, J.W. Burton, Hans J. Morgenthau, J. David Singer, etc., have endeavored to develop a theoretical perspective of this discipline. Several factors inspire efforts to propound a general theory of international relations.

First of all, they are impressed and encouraged by the natural sciences’ achievement in precision and predictability. A theory is instrumental in bringing about an order in a mass of data. It may work as a guide to action in international life.

It is a crucial tool for understanding that gives meaning to the mass of phenomena. It would make international relations a real policy science that would greatly help politicians and decision-makers. It is also useful for further creative research. Thus, the significance of theoretical speculation and perspective in international relations cannot be ignored.

Meaning of Approach and  Theory of International Politics:

The word theory itself is full of ambiguity and confusion. The word theory derives from Greek, which means to look at. It is often used as a synonym for a thought conjecture or idea. Some people mean by theory an interpretation or a point of view, whereas others view it as the consummation of explanation.

However, most people agree that the chief function of theory is an explanation. But the problem, especially in international politics, is that there is no clear agreement on the question as to what should be explained and what can be explained. Scholars never agree on the nature or scope theory of international politics.

For example, some authors identify international relations as the interaction of foreign policies. Thus their criterion of collecting data for study would be determined by this consideration. This is a matter of approach. But when this approach is employed in foreign policy, a kind of theory emerges as an explanation of foreign policy as it is made and executed in each country.

A theory coming out of this way may be known merely as a foreign policy theory and, therefore, only a partial theory of international relations by an outsider. Still, one who views international politics as the interaction of foreign policies would regard this foreign policy theory as a theory of international politics.

In this way, the theory’s nature is determined by the approach, and the two are not easily separable. Because any theory of international relations is largely following a particular view about international politics, that is essentially a matter of approach.

The terms approach and theory represent two different steps in the study of international politics; the former can be understood only in the latter’s context. Although scholars give their theories, their approach can be known by a critical analysis of their theories.

If there is a difference in theories, it is due to the divergence of the approach behind those theories. Still, the approach comes first for a scholar or researcher, and theory in the study’s outcome is undertaken with a particular approach or viewpoint.

Definitions of Theory of International Relations:

Both traditional and modern behavioral scholars have given their definitions of the theory of international relations. Stanley Hoffmann, a scholar of the former school, has defined the contemporary theory of international relations as a systematic study of observable phenomena that try to discover the principal variables, explain behavior, and reveal the characteristic types of relations among national units. But Hoffmann points out that within the general limits of international relations theory, one should also incorporate the works of normative thinkers and policy scientists.

The former scholars with a philosophical orientation deal mainly with evaluating political reality and the generation of prescriptions or remedies leading toward a better political life. In the style of engineers, the latter attempt to go beyond description and explanation and endeavor to make policy (applied theory), that will serve a given political entity’s interest.

J. David Singer, a scientifically oriented scholar, has given a brief definition. The theory is a body of internally consistent empirical generalizations of descriptive, predictive, and explanatory power. For Singer, these generalizations should best be expressed in the form of hypotheses and propositions that are testable, verifiable, falsifiable, and quantifiable.

The traditional and behavioral definitions encroach upon each other. Both agree that the generalizations must be empirically derived, logically sound, and have the capability to describe, explain, and predict. It may be noted, however, that Singer denies a theoretical role to prescription. He argues that normative or prescriptive thinkers and policy scientists may benefit from scientific theory but that their prescriptive maxims are not part of the theory.

Categories of Approaches and Theories:

In international relations, several approaches and theories have been developed in the twentieth century. The same can be grouped under three broad categories as under:

The Traditional School

The traditional or classical approach is based primarily on philosophy, history, ethics, and law. It holds that general propositions cannot be accorded more than tentative and inconclusive status. Most of the traditionalists believe that international relations study patterns of action and reaction among sovereign states as represented by their governing elites.

It focused attention on the activities of the diplomats and soldiers who carry out their respective national government’s foreign policies. For this school, international relations is nothing but diplomacy strategy cooperation, and conflict. In simple words, it is the study of peace and war.

The traditionalists assume that several factors or variables affect diplomats’ and soldiers’ behavior as state policy executors. These variables are climate conditions, geographic location, population density, literacy rates, historical and cultural traditions, economic conditions and commercial interests, religious and ideological maxims of a given nation-state, as well as the capricious quirks of national leaders and their supportive elites.

But an effort to find the reasons behind a given government’s actions to a hierarchical order among these variables is a futile activity at best; it can produce only subtle hypotheses. Therefore, the traditionalists regard governments’ observed behavior as the most significant, which they explain in terms of concepts such as the balance of power, the pursuit of national interest, the quest for world order, and the diplomacy of prudence.

Both idealist and realist theories come under this category. However, the realist theories predominate in traditional schools. The chief contributors to this school are Raymond Aron, Stanley Hoffmann, Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Arnold Wolfers. The representative of this school is the realistic theory propounded by Hans Morgenthau. The same will be subsequently discussed in detail.

In short, the traditionalists have presented some general propositions about international politics that explain and, to a limited degree, predict foreign policy elites’ responses in crises. Traditionalists generally regard international relations as a subfield of political science and philosophy, but a subfield with characteristics that give it a separate status.

Unlike political science, which they believe is mainly the study of the governance of established theory of international politics communities, traditionalists regard international relations as the study of the nearly anarchic relations existent among sovereign political entities. In this way, whereas traditionalists view entities as the analysis of order in distributing political goods in relatively stabilized and advanced political systems, they treat international relations as the study of disorder in a nearly primitive and egalitarian international system.

The Scientific or Behavioral School:

It is on the question of the discipline’s identity that the scientific or behavioral school of thought first denounced the traditionalists for the scientists generally consider international relations to be too broad and complex a field to be embraced by political science or any other single discipline.

Most advocates of the scientific approach believe international relations to be an interdisciplinary field and to rely not only on political science and history but also on other social and natural sciences. It should be clarified that both the traditionalist and the scientific schools are, to some extent, interdisciplinary.

The distinction between the two, explained Couloumbis and Wolfe, lies primarily in the latter’s effort to overcome the alleged imprecision of the former by employing quantitative techniques and model building. According to scientifically oriented scholars, international relations have reached a traditionalist plateau, and a new set of methodological tools must now be employed if the theory’s heights are to be ascended.

Scientists on the ground have criticized the traditionalist theories that they were too vague and inclusive of furnishing useful explanations of international political behavior or too impressionistic and flexible to withstand the rigorous scientific test of verification.

Scientific scholars believe in the empirical method, inductive reasoning, and comprehensive testing of hypotheses and explicit rules that must always be confirmed by repeated observation and testing. Scientific scholars emphasized the need for the operationalization of concepts by the precise measurement of variables.

Operationalization is a process by which one uses detailed rules for definition and coding to turn relevant facts into quantifiable data and, therefore, measurable. This paves the way for other independent observers to repeat the observations and check their accuracy.

According to their criteria, scientists believe that the time has not yet come to advance general theories of international relations. Various variables affect the international system’s behavior, and it is not feasible to put them together scientifically. Therefore, most scientists concentrate on intermediate-level projects that link and relate a few selected variables at a time. Step by step, they expect to achieve a consistent set of partial or middle-range theories that will stand the test of empirical verification.

Some scientific scholars have constructed conceptual frameworks and partial models of the international system. Others such as Deutsches, Kaplan, and Rosenau have given tentative hypotheses that provide sweeping analogs of political behavior in an international environment, but for the most part, their colleagues. J. David Singer Melvin Small, and Ole Holst have concentrated on middle-range or narrower, more tangible projects despite occasional criticism that they indulge in insignificant studies.

So far, the scientific school has produced more promise than performance, to quote Singer, and more process analysis than substantive experimentation. Its main achievement is in the sphere of methodology.  The application of the scientific method to international relations has brought to the field, say Coulombs and Wolfe, not only concepts and sophisticated research tools from other social sciences but also a body of pre-theory that lends itself to testing and verification procedures.

Although the scientists have thus far offered the political science community few fully substantiated theoretical propositions, the promise of their endeavors is worth awaiting, for its fulfillment will mean that theorists in international relations will be able to predict accurately and, by implication, to control the behavior of actors on the international scene.

Post Behavioral School:

The controversy between traditionalists and behaviorists waned in the 19705. In 19805, both schools of thought ceased putting arguments such as politics cannot be studied scientifically or that political science without quantification and value freedom is not very useful. The trend was towards eclectically oriented studies, which were also known as post-behavioral orientation.

It combined elements of the scientific approach with clear value objectives such as the control of nuclear weapons, the substitution of peaceful methods for war for dispute settlement, the control of the population, the protection of the environment, the eradication of poverty, disease, and human alienation and the quest for just international economic order.

Professor Rummel’s study can be cited as a fine example of the latest post-behavioral eclectic approach. In his study, Rummel, a known follower of the behavioral scientific orientation, using well-developed statistical methods to process his data, presented evidence confirming some of the earliest nineteenth-century liberal theory hypotheses regarding war causes.

Contrary to early behaviorists, Rummel stated in his article that he saw nothing incompatible between proposing normative or even ideologically oriented hypotheses, provided they are subjected to scientific testing designed to verify or falsify these hypotheses.

The late seventies and eighties saw the emergence of at least two new schools of thought within the post-behavioral approach involving scholars who have been challenging earlier paradigms of international relations. These two schools emphasized global dependency and interdependence, respectively. The interdependency school deals with the world order.

Both groups of scholars have questioned the studies of traditionalists and behaviorists as they concentrate only on nation-states, their governments, their capabilities, and their interactions in diplomacy, nonmilitary competition, and military conflict. In this way, they eccentrically view the world and ignore nonstate actors and entities.

They have oversimplified the complexity of the international situation and badly distorted reality. World order theorists have pointed out the increasing role of non-state actors, such as multinational corporations, regional and global international organizations, and terrorist organizations and movements. Any analysis that ignores these new actors will be insufficient and incomplete.

Dependency theorists taking inspiration from Marxist premises argue that class is a much better unit of analysis than states that an understanding of the international political economy and the dependencies of the poor peripheries on the rich centers of economic power explain more clearly the global phenomena that have been in the past.

In this way, both dependency and interdependency world order theorists strive for the growth of a well-organized world community regulating itself with effective global institutions that can contain the power of national governments. In a way, these schools are contemporary incarnations of idealism. It will be pertinent to discuss in some detail the major theories of international relations as follows.

Idealist Theory:

The devastating First World War in 1914 stimulated the quest for knowledge that could address contemporary world problems in general and war in particular. A theoretical perspective with sustainable generalizations about the conditions under which war might be avoided and peace maintained was urgently needed. For that purpose, a theory was required to foresee incoming wars reliably, and that could suggest to policymakers how to prevent their outbreak.

The diplomatic historical perspective prevailed in the years after the First World War. Marxist Leninist theory after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia also made a place for itself. However, the dominant theory between the two world wars in the Western world was political idealism. Its main advocates were Condorcet, Woodrow Wilson, Butterflied, and Bertrand Russell.

According to idealist theory, society and state are the outcomes of evolution. This process of evolution is leading us towards perfection from imperfection. At this stage, peace and justice can be established in society. Through the establishment of a family of nations, war, violence, and immorality can be curbed.

Idealism emerged in the eighteenth century and is regarded as the major inspiration behind the American and French Revolutions. Condorcet’s work of 1795 had everything considered the essential basis of idealism in international relations. He was for a world order sans war, Sans inequality, and sans tyranny.

A world of this kind would be marked by constant progress in human welfare brought about by the use of reason, education, and science. The theoretical premise of this is the result of the liberal outlook of the Condorcet type. Idealism envisions the future international society based on the idea of a reformed international system free from power politics, immorality, and violence.

The idealist theory promises to bring about a better world with morality, education, and international organization. The idealists think that political conflict is not for power but between inconsistent principles and ideals. Idealists present different viewpoints about world politics.

Basic Assumptions:

Kegley, Jr., and Wittkopf observe that what transformed their movement into a cohesive paradigm among Western scholars was assumptions about the reality they shared and the homogeneity of the conclusions their perspective elicited. According to them, idealists projected a worldview usually resting upon the following axioms:

  • Human nature is essentially good and capable of altruism, mutual aid, and collaboration.
  • The fundamental instinct of humans for the welfare of others makes progress possible.
  • Bad human behavior is the product not of evil people but of evil institutions and structural arrangements that create incentives for people to act selfishly and harm others, including war.
  • Wars represent the worst feature of the international system.
  • War is not inevitable and can be eliminated by doing away with the institutional arrangements that encourage it.
  • War is an international problem that requires global rather than national efforts to eliminate it and therefore
  • International society has to reorganize itself to eliminate the institutions that make war likely.

To be clear, not all idealists subscribe to each of these tenets with equal emphasis. Many of them would probably disagree with some of them. Nevertheless, these tenets jointly explain the basic assumptions articulated in one way or another by the statesmen and theorists whose orientation toward world affairs captivated world politics in the interwar period. This discussion embraced ideals like moralism, optimism, and internationalism.

Suggestions for Reform:

The idealists offered the following remedies for solving international problems.

1 . Moral nations should act according to moral principles in their international behavior, eschew all kinds of traditional power politics, and follow policies of non-partisanship. Behaving this way may gradually minimize the bad effects of power politics.

2. Attempts should be made to create supranational institutions to replace the competitive and war-prone territorial states system. The setting up of the League of Nations and an insistence on international cooperation in social matters as approaches to peace were symptomatic of idealists’ institutional solutions to war. Many idealists went further in suggesting that power politics could only be abolished by instituting a world government. Thus in the ultimate analysis, this theory aspires to the ideal of world federation or one world.

3. The legal control of war was also suggested. It called for new transnational norms to check the initiation of war and, should it occur, its destructiveness. The Kellogg Briand Pact of 1928, which outlawed war as an instrument of national policy, represents the legal approach’s high point. They also advocated more faithful adherence to international law.

4. Another way suggested by idealists was to eliminate weapons. The attempts towards global disarmament and arms control (the Washington Naval Conference of 19205, for example) were symbolic of this peace path.

5. The efforts should be made to see that the totalitarian forces cease to exist, as the idealists believe that the struggles so far have been between democratic and totalitarian states. Totalitarianism is one of the main causes of war, and it must be eliminated.

6. Some idealists saw the way to peace and welfare in restructuring the international monetary system and eliminating barriers to international trade. Still, others saw in the principle of Self-determination the possibility of redrawing the world’s political map under the conviction that a world so arranged would be a peaceful world.

Critical Evaluation:

Idealist theory can be criticized on many counts. Most of the assumptions on which it is based are only partially correct. Though full of ideas and norms, it is far from reality. No wonder it is dubbed as imaginary, impracticable, and thus utopian. Suggestions given by it to reform the international situation are difficult to implement. For example, at the international level, nations seldom bother to follow moral precepts, nor do they strictly adhere to international law and treaties.

Despite several serious attempts towards disarmament, no spectacular achievement has been made in this field. It is impossible to eliminate totalitarianism. World government or world federation is nowhere in sight. Kegley and Wittkopf rightly remarked that much of the idealist program for reform was never tried, and even less of it was ever achieved. Thus, idealists have enriched man’s thoughts, their ideas command respect, but the same cannot be realized or executed in international relations.

Criticism apart, the theory has its importance because no science, at least no social science, can exist without a normative aspect. It was also realized about international politics by writers like Reinhold Niebuhr, Herbert Butterflied, and E.H Carr. The theory offers solutions to many international problems. If they cannot be followed, the fault lies not in theory but in nations and their leaders who are unable or constrained to put them into practice.

Realist Theory:

Unlike the idealist approach, the realist approach regards power politics as the be-all and end-all of international relations of all the approaches, the one that was widely debated by the students and scholars was the power or realist approach. The theory of realism is an old theory in existence even in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and revived after World War II.

The credit of being the first noted realist of the twentieth century is usually given to NJ. Spykman, who sometime in the late thirties, insisted in his book, America’s Strategy in World Politics, that the “preservation and improvement of its power position about other states” must be the state’s primary objective.

The contribution of reviving the theory more coherently after the Second World War goes to Hans J. Morgenthau. He is regarded as the most persuasive advocate of this theory in the post-war era. Among the other principal prophets of this worldview were E.H. Carr (1939) from the United Kingdom and those writing in the United States, including Morgenthau (1948), Kenneth W. Thompson (1958, 1960), Reinhold Niebuhr (1947), and George.  Kennan (1954 and 1967) and later Herny A. Kissinger (1957 and 1964). Scholars like Harold Lasswell, Quincy Wright, Martin Wight, George Schwarzenberger, and Raymond. Aron, Stanley Hoffmann, and Arnold Wolfers have either supported or critically analyzed this theory.

Meaning and Explanation:

In international relations, realism does not mean either the Platonic doctrine, which attributes reality to abstract ideas, or the political doctrine of expediency with which Machiavelli is so often associated, or the philosophic doctrine of empiricism given by John Locke. Its meaning revolves around security and power factors. These notions are the outcome of an individual’s belief that others are always trying to destroy him, and hence he must be constantly ready to kill others to protect himself.

The realists assume that rivalry, strife, and the power struggle continue among nations in some form or the other, and it cannot be controlled by international law or government. Therefore, diplomacy and statesmanship’s main job is to check the contest for power, and the means to be adopted for it is a new balance of power. As the power struggle is a permanent phenomenon, realism is indifferent to the relationship between means and ends in international politics.

The realist theory explains international politics in terms of the concept of interest defined in terms of power interest guides the statesman more than anything else. It is useless to try and understand his actions in terms of his motives or his ideology. Ideology is only a cloak for power politics. Politicians think and act only in terms of national interest.

Realists put the moral significance of politics differently. To them, morality means weighing the consequences of political action. They do not believe in ethics, which lays down abstract universal principles, and judge all actions by their conformity with such principles.

Most realists express awareness of other standards of judgment, viz the moral or legal, but argue that both history and experience prove that it has paid only to follow the political standard, namely national interest, moderated by legal and moral considerations. Thus, they give first place to the political standard, that is, judging by political action’s consequences.

Tenets and Assumptions:

Kegley and Wittkopf sum up what many realists want to convey in the form of the following assumptions and tenets :

  1. A reading of history teaches that humanity is by nature sinful, and wicked.
  2. Of all of man’s evil ways, no sin is more prevalent or more dangerous than his instinctive lust for power, and his desire to dominate his fellowmen.
  3. If this inexorable inevitable human characteristic is acknowledged, realism dismissal the possibility of progress in the sense of ever hoping to eradicate the instinct for power.
  4. Under such conditions, international politics is a power struggle, a war of all against all.
  5. The primary obligation of every state in this environment, the goal to which all other national objectives should be subordinate, is to promote national self-interest, defined in terms of the acquisition of power.
  6. National self-interest is best served by doing anything necessary to ensure self-preservation.
  7. The fundamental characteristic of international politics requires each state to trust no other, but above all, never entrust self-protection to an international organization or international law.
  8. The national interest necessitates self-promotion, especially through the acquisition of military capabilities sufficient to deter attacks by potential enemies.
  9. The capacity for self-defense might also be augmented by acquiring allies, provided they are not relied upon for protection, and
  10. If all states search for power, peace, and stability will result through the operation of a balance of power propelled by self-interest and lubricated by fluid alliance systems.

Political realism seemed relevant in a world where suspicion of others’ motives was the rule and where prospects for peace were not bright. The development of superpower rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union and its expansion at the global level in the name of the cold war between East and West blocs, the proliferation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction, the seemingly continuous turmoil around the world all these symptoms testify the realist theory.

To many, the opinion that, in a threatening international environment, foreign policy takes precedence over domestic problems and policies was also relevant. Thus in the post-Second World War period, the picture of the world depicted by the political realists obsessed many scholars’ minds.

Six Principles Of Morgenthau’s Realism:

Morgenthau, in his famous book Politics Among Nations, has developed the Realist theory in the form of six principles of political realism. The same is explained in brief:

1. Objective Laws of Human Nature. Political realism believes that politics is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature. The laws by which man moves in the social world are eternal. He cannot get rid of those laws because they are eternal and permanent. Man is a mixture of good and bad, selfishness and altruism, loving and quarrelsome traits, and possessive and sacrificial qualities.

His is the story of the struggle for survival. Human nature has not changed, and this explains the constancy and repetitious nature of political conduct. The complexity of international politics can best be understood only with the help of these objective laws. If one desires to appraise the nature of foreign policy, it can be done only when one examines the statesmen’s activities, who always act in a manner that safeguards their country’s interests.

2. Interest in terms of power, The Concept of interest is defined in terms of power. National interests are the motivating force of a state’s activity in the sphere of international politics. The state meets these interests with the help of power. That is why every nation wants to acquire more and more power.

In this way, international politics is a power struggle. The theory of realism does not bother about what is desirable or immoral. It cares only for the national interests which are desirable under concrete circumstances, time, and place.

In other words, this theory preaches that states should not be led by ideologies, ethics, or motives, as they do not govern the field of international politics. In short, the main function of a state and its state is to protect national interests with the help of power.

3. Interests are dynamic. The meaning attached to interest and power is not static and fixed once and for all. National interests are changed and shaped by the circumstances. If the circumstances make the state a powerful one, its national interests become different from what they had been when the state was weaker. Not only interests are dynamic, but the power position of most countries also varies with time. The content and manner of the use of power are themselves determined by political and cultural Circumstances.

4. Universal mural principles are inapplicable. Realism maintains that universal moral principles cannot be applied to states’ actions in their abstract universal formulations. They must be filtered through the concrete circumstances of time and place.

Prudence is the supreme virtue in politics and political ethics judges actions ultimately by its political consequences. An individual may sacrifice his interests to safeguard the abstract or moral value, but the state cannot and should not sacrifice its interests. On the contrary, the states generally sacrifice abstract or moral laws for the sake of national interest.

5. Moral Aspirations of Nations. Political realism refuses to identify a particular nation’s moral aspirations with the moral laws that govern the nation. This theory considers the nations as actors of international relations that strive to pursue and achieve their national interests with power.

The actions of the states can only be interpreted with this principle. The moral laws that govern the universe do not apply to states. Realism seeks to distinguish between truth and idolatry. Each state is tempted to identify its particular aspirations and actions in terms of universal moral principles.

6. The autonomy of the political sphere. Realism declares the autonomy of the political Sphere. The difference between political realism and other schools of thought is real and profound. A political realist thinks in terms of interest defined as power, whereas an economist thinks about utility, a lawyer in terms of conformity of conduct with legal rules, and a moralist of such conformity with moral principles. He is exclusively concerned about the relevance of a particular policy to national power. Although this theory is aware of other than political thoughts, it regards and puts them subordinate to political science.

Critical Evaluation:

Despite its wide acceptability, the realist theory suffers from many weaknesses and limitations. Many scholars on the ground have criticized it that it is an incomplete theory. The content and manner of the use of power are themselves determined by political and cultural Circumstances. Benno Wasserman said that no scientific progress could be made in studying international politics so long as Morgenthau’s realist theory continues to have influence. Robert Tucker criticized Morgenthau’s theory because it is inconsistent both with itself and with reality.

According to Hoffmann, this theory is full of anomalies and ambiguities and ignores the discussion of ends. Sprout objects to Morgenthau’s theory because it neglects the objectives of national policy. Quincy Wright criticizes this theory for not having considered the impact of values on national policy. Aron objects to this theory for having ignored the relationship between ideologies and policies. Thus various arguments against this theory can be  summed up as under:

1. Power:

Not the only motivation. Man is seldom motivated only by power consideration. There are other drives and urges, like the drive for participation and community. Man is not merely a political being interested only in the control of the actions of others. Realism suffers from the same defect as utopianism. If utopianism wrongly assumes that conditions for permanent harmony already exist, realism erroneously assumes power politics’ permanence.

2. Leads to continuous war:

Morgenthau believes that all nations seek power and persistently struggle for it. This generalization would mean that the states should be in a continuous state of war. The peace era is just a deviation from it. To prove his hypotheses, Morgenthau looks into reality, while he should have done just the opposite.

3. The element of  ‘should’ :

When Morgenthau states that all states seek power, he means that all states should seek power. The element of ‘should’ takes Morgenthau’s theory away from realism and near idealism or to a position where it is not a dependable description of either human nature or the reality of international politics. The element should convert this theory into a normative theory. That is why  “Tucker” and Waltz have found it difficult to accept this theory as a realist.

4. Wrong Concept of human nature:

Some difficulties beset Morgenthau’s concept of human nature. First, he takes a very deterministic and pessimistic view of human nature. Second, in a general sense, human nature is responsible for all human actions. Therefore, to say that international behavior comes out of human nature does not mean anything else’s version of human nature is unscientific because science consists of theories or hypotheses whose truth or validity must be established by critical experiments or testing. But this theory is based not on such hypotheses but on what Benno Wasserman calls absolute and unverifiable essentially law.

5. Full of Contradictions:

If this theory is taken seriously, man’s fate will be a perpetual war. Morgenthau contradicts his views when he revives his faith in man’s honesty by saying that there is the possibility of establishing peace through diplomacy. The high hopes he has pinned on diplomacy are unrealistic.

He suggests that the statesman must shape foreign policy based on national interest and the political scene, viewed by Other nations. These are contradictory ideals divorced from the logical relationships between themselves.

Morgenthau believes that able politicians can successfully carry out diplomacy. These able statesmen are rare. They cannot be produced by education or by anything else. Only the will of God can produce some able statesmen in society. Here he becomes somewhat religious, which again is in contradiction with his theory of realism.

6. Objective interest questionable:

The idea of an objective national interest is also debatable. It makes sense only in the earlier periods in which the survival of international politics units is rarely at stake. Units pursue limited ends with limited means. But in the present world, society’s survival is always at stake.

As such, the concept of national interest is of no use in this unstable period because various courses of action can be suggested as a valid choice for survival in such circumstances. The concept of national interest becomes subjective.

Thus in the making of national policies, there is a greater emphasis on subjective elements of survival than objective factors because it is impossible to examine the objective factors.

7. Ignores non-political relations:

Kaplan rightly observed that Morgenthau’s conception of power would hardly exclude any relationship (not even the relationship in families and business) that does not involve power and is not political. But there are certain non-political relationships and activities. Thus international sports events, circulation of books and other leading matters, private letters and telegrams, etc., are not political activities. However, Morgenthau does not suggest any criterion by which political activities may be detached from nonpolitical activities.

8. One-sided theory:

This theory overemphasizes one single factor to power. That is why Hoffmann calls it power monism which does not account for all politics. According to this theory, the world is a static field in which power remains the perpetual goal of every nation for all times and places. International relations change their character from time to time; this theory’s static qualities lead to confusion.

As such, it is quite logical to assume that Morgenthau’s theory can be stated not for all times and places, but instead for different parts of the world and different historical periods. Moreover, after all, power is an instrument, and therefore, it should not be given a key position and sole importance.

9. Politics not autonomous:

Morgenthau reiterates the autonomy of the political sphere. However, he is not clear in his mind about what type of autonomy he has been talking about. The political Sphere cannot be fully autonomous. A man is an economic, religious, moral, and political man at the same time.

All these fields and aspects of life are interrelated. Long ago, Aristotle suggested that the study of politics should integrate all the facets of human nature. Behaviorist in the modern age also believes in an interdisciplinary approach. No single aspect should be overemphasized, and no single discipline can work in isolation.

10. Raise new questions:

According to Kegley and Wittlcopf, this theory raises many more questions than it could answer. For example, were alliances a force for peace or a factor for destabilization?  Was the United Nations merely another stage for the push and show believed to characterize world politics or a tool for reforming national instincts for pure self-advantage?  Did arms contribute to security or encourage costly arms races that ultimately counter the efforts for security? Were the Cold War and the policies that sustained it a blessing or a curse? Did an ideological contest serve or undermine the national interest?

11. locks methodology:

The above questions are empirical ones. They can be answered only through empirical methods. Political realism fails in this respect. Having a distinctive perspective on international affairs but lacking methodology for resolving competing claims, the realist theory lacked criteria for determining which data would count as significant information and which rules would be followed in interpreting the data.

But despite all this criticism, the realist theory is a pioneer in the development of international theory. Morgenthau’s theory is the starting point for providing us with a theoretical orientation to the study of international politics. Morgenthau can be regarded as a great theoretician and a forerunner in international politics in the post-war period.

It is undoubtedly a partial theory of international relations, yet it interpreted the outcome of the Second World War, which had given a serious jolt to the idealist theory. Its importance and relevance lie in the fact that much of the world continues to think about international politics in terms of this viewpoint. Its intellectual contributions cannot be ignored. On the one hand, its deficiencies and limitations and the emergence of new behavioral theories in the sixties made this theory obsolete.

Systems Theory:

The concept of systems is considered useful for both theoretical and practical analysis. Political scientists like David Easton, Gabriel Almond, and Morton Kaplan have developed the Systems Theory or General Systems Theory. Easton and Almond propounded this theory in the sphere of national politics and Kaplan and McClellan in international politics. It includes general system theory and the concept of international Systems, subsystems, and subordinate state systems, past or present.

A prominent scholar of international systems, James Roseau, has suggested that systemic research be pursued not only in terms of local, national, and international systems that is, actors and their relational pattern as a focal point but also in terms of issue areas.

Before its application by political scientists, the Systems Theory was developed in biology, physics, anthropology, sociology, and ecological studies. Later on, it was applied to behavioral and social sciences. It is a significant development of the behavioral sciences today.

The general conception of an international system and international systems also became a part of many international relations studies, especially undertaken by Morton Kaplan, Karl Deutsch, Raymond Aron, and McClellan.


The theory assumes the existence of an international system at the global level. Aron explains, that there has never been an international system including the whole of the planet, but the postwar period, when for the first time humanity is living the same history, has witnessed the emergence of a kind of global system.

But at the same time, it must be admitted that such a system suffers from great heterogeneity and is perhaps too loose to be properly designated as a system. An international system, in the words of Hoffmann, is a pattern of relations between the basic units of world politics, which is characterized by the scope of the objectives pursued by these units and of the tasks performed among them, as well as by the means used to achieve those goals and perform those tasks.

Actors on the international scene, according to Kaplan, are of two types, National actors or supranational actors. National actors are the nation-states like the Soviet Union, the USA, India, etc. The supranational actors are such international actors as the NATO, Warsaw Pact, the UNO, etc.

This theory also assumes that a theory of international politics normally cannot predict individual actions because the interaction problem is too complex and has too many free variables. However, it can be expected to predict characteristics or model behavior within a particular kind of international system. Thus, this theory analyses international behavior from an empirical investigation of political facts, classified and arranged inappropriate categories.

Kaplan’s Six Models:

Morten Kaplan is the main propounder of the system theory; he has the most comprehensive and successful characterization of international politics in the frame of reference for system analysis. According to him, the international system can be divided into six models based on functions and stability.

Kaplan defines a system of action as a set of variables so related in contradistinction to its environment that desirable behavioral regularities characterize the internal relationship of the variables to each other and the external relationship of the set of individual variables to combinations of external variables. All models of Kaplan are based on this definition of a system of action. His six models are :

  • The balance of power system,
  • The loose bipolar system,
  • The tight bipolar system,
  • The universal system,
  • The hierarchical system in its directive and nondirective forms, and
  • The unit veto system.

Each system has separate rules and principles of operation. These models serve as a useful framework for the classification and analysis of regularities of states’ international behavior patterns at proper levels to formulate a coherent body of timeless propositions.

In a situation where too many actors influence international relations, it becomes difficult to strike a perfect balance of power position, and a loose bipolar system develops. The universal international system grows when the universal actor, like the UN, takes over many of the functions of powerful units in a loose bipolar system.

In such a system, the universal actor becomes powerful enough to prevent a war among nations, but national actors retain their individuality. In the hierarchical international system, the universal actor becomes too powerful, and the international community becomes a sort of world state.

The unit veto system develops as a result of weapons development. When too many national states develop a highly destructive capacity, they create a system of one-level actors, each of whom possesses a veto power by his devastating capability.

In a loose bipolar system, a few nations possess such destructive weapons. In a tight bipolar system, only two nations possess such destructive weapons and immense economic power. The non-aligned nations become irrelevant in this condition.

A system has an identity over time. Its description can be given in its successive states. The state of a system designates a description of the variables of a system. Proper examination of all variables will ensure the formulation of predictable laws of the particular system. Moreover, systems may operate under larger systems, or they may also have their subsystems.

Haas has described twenty international subsystems, ten in Europe (divided chronologically from 1649 to 1963), six in Asia (covering the years 1689 to 1964), and five in Hawaii (between 1738 and 1898). Rosencrance has given a complete volume on nine European subsystems, over the period 1740 to 1960, in one of the well-known international systems studies. Brecher has looked at Southern Asia as a  subordinate state system, and Binder has taken a similar approach to the Middle East as a subordinate international system.

Critical Evaluation:

Many authors have severely criticized Kaplan’s system theory. His typology of international relations into six systems has been arbitrary, and one can minimize or maximize such categories in another analytical framework. Out of his six models, only the first two were in actual Operation.

The balance of power existed mostly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the loose bipolar system became workable in the late fifties and sixties of this century. Now again, there is a multi-polar world. The other four systems never worked at any time in history. He simply predicts the future possibility, which is the toughest task in a theoretical analysis. Thus this theory is inoperative and impracticable.

According to Kaplan, the loose bipolar system was converted into a tight bipolar system in which there would be no non-aligned nations. In previous decades, we witnessed that non-aligned nations became more and more stable when many new nations started following non-aligned policies. There is no possibility of transforming a loose bipolar system into a tight bipolar system in the foreseeable future.

It is an inadequate theory as it ignores many concepts necessary for the completeness of the system theory. Kaplan never explained the forces and factors that determine the behavior of states.

Hoffmann criticizes it as a huge misstep in the right direction in the direction of systematic empirical analysis. He observes that this theory endeavors to make universal scientific laws of international political behavior at the expense of our understanding of the field of political science. What one can aspire to utmost in this discipline is a statement of trends. Too much discussion on methodology and building of models are activities in futility.

The systems theory does not predict what will happen, but it only forecasts what will happen if certain conditions develop, which rarely, if ever, develop exactly as envisaged. The hypotheses cannot be tested correctly based on empirical observation.

Therefore, the models appear to be too far away from reality to be testable. They are based on postulates about the variable’s behavior, which are either too arbitrary or too general. The choice here is between perversion and platitude. Besides, this theory neglects the domestic determinants of the national actors, and Kaplan’s model ignores the forces of change operating within or across the actors.

Despite severe criticism, Kaplan will always be remembered for his contribution to international relations in a highly systematic and comprehensive theory. Through a fairly comprehensive explanation of historical illustrations, Kaplan believes that this perspective will provide a useful guide to developing a general international theory.

Decision-Making Theory:

This theory was developed especially in the sphere of foreign policymaking. It concentrates on the persons who shape international events rather than on the international situation as such. The makers of foreign policies are examined, and national policies and international situations are viewed from this perspective. This theory was initiated in 1954 by Snyder, Bruck, and Sapin. It examines international politics through the analysis of the complex determinants of state behavior.

Meaning and Explanation:

The decision-making approach emphasizes the question of how and why a nation acts in international politics. As the state of knowledge about international politics is not perfect, decision-making as a focus is wise. A good way to study is where decisions are made because much of international politics revolves there.

The best way to understand international politics lies in knowing the processes by which the official decision-maker makes his final choice of a policy out of a series of alternatives. It seeks to identify some of the important variables psychological (individual) and sociological group or organizational that determine national responses to concrete situations. It synthesizes insights and conceptual guides from sociology and social psychology.

Decision-making is a process that results in the selection of a socially defined, limited number of problematical, alternative projects of one project to bring about the particular future State of affairs envisaged by the decision-makers. It results in certain actions and a sequence of activities. The final choice involves valuation and evaluation in terms of a frame of reference. Priorities are given to alternative projects. The action of decision-makers can be described in terms of three basic determinants sphere Competence, communication and information, and motivation.

The foreign policy is examined, and the following factors are studied:

  • Purpose of the Foreign Policy
  • Decision-makers
  • Principles of decision making
  • Process of decision-making and policy planning
  • Means of decision-making and policy planning
  • Internal situations of the state, and
  • External factors.


This approach assumes that activities are more or less explicitly motivated and that behavior is not random. It is based on the assumption that the analysis of international politics should be centered, in part, on the behavior of those where the action is the action of the state viz the decision-makers. It conceives state action resulting from the way the identifiable official decision-makers define the situation of action. It seeks to determine why a decision is made at all and why a particular decision is made rather than some other.

It considers all the elements and factors that enter into the consideration of a decision-maker, such as the internal setting, external setting, and the decision-making process. This official decision-maker takes action in the name of the state. Therefore, his definition of the situation, his expectations, perception, personality, final choice, and the various agencies and processes involved in decision-making.

Critical Evaluation:

This approach, too, has many deficiencies.

First, Hoffmann is doubtful if politics is over really made of conscious movers and choices that can be examined in neat categories. Yet, it is the chief assumption of this theory.

Second, it neglects all those things that are not more in addition to separate decisions made by various units. It is correct for foreign policy analysis, but it is too weak for the rest of International Relations.

Third, this theory gives only post hoc explanations and historical reconstruction of particular decisions. Its conceptual elements fail to make predictions of future foreign policymaking. It has been proved useful only in analyzing past major decisions and not developing a general international theory.

But exponents of this theory like Snyder hope that the analysis of past occurrences will be the stepping stone towards building a predictive theory.

Fourth, this theory is based on the principle of indetermination and fails to suggest which one of the numerous elements that go into the many sides of the box is relevant.

Fifth, the theory goes ahead with a value-free approach since it merely endeavors to analyze the various decisions taken in foreign affairs without caring as to which decisions are right and which are wrong.

Sixth, whatever the circumstances, the focus of decision-making is often obscure as the man in authority

may delegate most of his foreign policy powers to a subordinate or, especially in a weak government, a subordinate may actively take the initiative, a line of action that may be legitimized by the legal authority.

Seventh, causes may sometimes dominate, and man may be compelled to make a certain decision because otherwise, he would face personal risks he dare not take.

In the end, it can be said that this theory has contributed a great deal to the understanding of the process of foreign policymaking, which all other theories have ignored. This theory successfully analyses the deeper roots of states’ behavior patterns; in fact, it greatly improves the institutional approach. Instead of simply describing the interaction of states, it explains diverse patterns of interaction.

Marxian Theory:

Though Karl Marx has written extensively throughout his life and produced numerous works that recognized Turner as a great philosopher and theorist of modern tunes, he did not put forward any international relations theory as Morgenthau, Kaplan, Snyder, etc.,  did. Thus he is not a theorist of international relations in the sense Morgenthau, Kaplan, Snyder, etc.; there is mention in his various works, here and there of wars between states, proletarian internationalism, world change, world revolution, etc., His utterances about world politics and struggles between states lie scattered m his different works, and hence there is no basic text or treatise on international relations by Marx.

However, later on, his followers like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and many other scholars and leaders endeavored to update his views according to changing world scenarios and explained the phenomenon of international relations with the help of Marx’s principles. For example, through his Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin attempted to present a coherent theory of international politics. Scattered views of Marx on international politics and subsequent attempts by his followers towards theorization have been classified as Marxian or Marxist theory of international relations. Despite the constraint mentioned above in subsequent paragraphs, this theory is being explained.

Basic Assumptions and Tenets:

These can be described in brief as follows :

1. Economic factors play a decisive role in international relations. They have been the root cause of many struggles and wars at the international level in the past.

2. Class instead of Nation-states is the basic unit in international relations. First of all, the national interest is the interest of the master class, which changes with the rise and fall of classes.

3. Capitalism culminates into imperialism. That divides the world into imperial powers and colonies in haves and have-nots

4. Wars break out when capitalist nations clash with each other to build their colonies in different parts of the world to serve as markets for their product.

5. Proletariat or working classes do not belong to any other particular nation. They unite at the global level to fight out exploitation. Proletariat internationalism would lead to a world revolution.

6. With the passage of time, imperialism, which is the highest stage of capitalism, the world suffers from three contradictions. First, there would be contradictions and conflicts among capitalists for occupying more and more colonies resulting in world wars. Second, class conflict between capitalists and workers. Working-class would demand more rights and facilities. Third, the struggle between imperialists and the people of the colonies. Colonial people fight for their independence. These three contradictions would lead the world to the brink of revolution, causing imperialism to collapse.

7. The goal is not a balance of power or equilibrium but international disequilibrium to change the world to establish world socialism.

8. Lasting peace can only be established after a world revolution. With the world revolution, imperialism would collapse, and there would be no classes and no states. In such a classless and stateless society, there will be no irritant left for struggles and wars. Such a society will be an ideal world.

9. It may take a long time for the world revolution to be successful globally. In the meantime, the principles of national self-determination and peaceful coexistence will continue to occupy an important place.

Four Seminal Theories:

Arum Bose firmly believes that there is a Marxian analytical framework for analyzing international political conflicts, which serves as a guide to action to work out Marxist strategies. According to him, this framework comprises four seminal theories about international politics in the modern era, which con into ideas that overlap to some extent and may be regarded as offshoots of the primal theory of proletarian internationalism. The four Marxian theories described by Bose are as follows.

Proletarian Internationalism:

Lenin coined this term in his Preliminary Theses on the national and colonial questions, submitted to the Communist International in 1920. However, the basic ideas were formulated by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in the Communist Manifesto and adopted by the First International in 1847. These ideas are :

  • The world proletariat has a common interest, independent of all nationalities.
  • Working men have no country since each country’s proletariat must first acquire political supremacy and must first constitute itself the nation; it is itself national.
  • United action (by the proletariat) is one of the first conditions for the proletariat’s emancipation.
  • In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will come to an end.


According to Lenin, imperialism is the final stage of capitalism. This famous dictum became the basis of his critique of capitalist imperialism as a world system, his prediction of a successful October Revolution, his reformulation and amplification of the Marxian theory of national self-determination, and the Marxian theory of proletarian internationalism. In Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin defined imperialism as the monopoly stage of capitalism and listed its five basic features:

  • The concentration of production and capital develops to such a high stage that it creates monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life.
  • Bank capital merges with industrial capital, which results in the creation of the financial oligarchy’s financial capital.
  • The export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance,
  •   The resulting formation of the international monopolistic capitalist, associations share the world among themselves, and
  • As the final culminating point, the whole world’s territorial division among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.


The main ideas of the anti-imperialism theory are:

(i) Capital has become international and monopolistic, but

(ii) Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism, hence

(iii) The proletarian socialist revolution is possible first not only in several countries of Europe, or at least the civilized countries, as visualized in a somewhat Eurocentric vision of the proletarian revolution in the Communist Manifesto but even in one capitalist country, taken singly, which

(iv) would form the nucleus, the base, the hegemony, of the world socialist revolution, attracting to its cause the oppressed Classes of other countries, raising revolts against capitalism, and engaging in the event of necessity in internationalist defensive and offensive wars against exploiting classes and states in other countries. In re-examining the theory of proletarian internationalism in the context of imperialism of his times, Lenin thus made major new departures in the Marxian understanding of the nature of the national and colonial questions.

National self declination:

The Communist Manifesto stresses a specific Marxian “class” approach to the national question, according to which classes that attain political supremacy constitute the nation. In each country, the working class must acquire political supremacy (later defined by Lenin as the proletariat’s dictatorship) and must constitute itself the nation. Thus the goal of national self-determination was to be realized through proletarian self-determination within each nation.

This basic tenet of the Marxian theory on the national question makes the Marxian understanding fundamentally different from any non-Marxian theory on the national question. Taking a hint from rethinking by Marx, especially on the Irish demand for separation from the UK, which Marx had at first opposed), and based on his analysis of the new, imperialist stage of capitalism, Lenin arrived at an assessment of the arousing of national antagonism instead of their subduing as visualized in the Communist Manifesto, in the days of imperialism and the world socialist revolution in this extension of the Marxian theory on the national question which was now explicitly and emphatically linked with the colonial question Lenin made three mortifications, viz.

(i). A distinction was made between the Oppressed nations and the Oppressor nations,

(ii). The oppressed nations were identified as the victims of imperialism as national revolutionary reserves or allies of the world socialist revolution’s proletariat.

(iii). The recognition of the right of the oppressed nations to self-determination was now explicitly interpreted to mean not only the right of the oppressed nations to secede freely but the desirability of secession to remove “distrust” and prejudices among the oppressed nations.

However, all three modifications were still within the framework of the overall programmatic aim of the United States of the world and not of Europe alone as the state form of national federation and national freedom which is associated with socialism until the complete victory of Communism brings about the total disappearance of the state in later developments, the Soviet voluntary confederation, first of the USSR, and then (by implication) of the Warsaw Pact powers seems to have served as means of transition to the socialist voluntary confederalism of the future.

Bose observes that all this means that although the assessment of the declining importance of the national factor was demeaned, Lenin’s theory of imperialism and the national and colonial question amplified rather than contradicted the Marxian theory of proletarian internationalism.

Peaceful Coexistence of States:

As Marxian theory reiterated by Lenin during the First World War, capitalism means war. The socialist states’ task is to raise revolts against capitalism; it is not evident how a theory of peaceful coexistence of states coincides with the Marxian theory of proletarian internationalism. But once this theory was enlarged by a theory of anti-imperialism, inter-imperialist contradictions, and the uneven development of imperialism, propositions about the chances of peaceful coexistence of socialist and capitalist states had to be sorted out. The law of uneven development of imperialism meant:

(i). The proletarian socialist revolution could be victorious first in several countries, or even in one country

(iii). It had to survive capitalist encirclement by relying on inter-imperialist contradictions over and above its internal and external support from the world proletariat and its “reserves,” and

(iii). The best method to accomplish this was to try to work out relations of “peaceful eta existence” between socialist states and at least some if not all the capitalist states. On the other hand, the Marxian theory of national self-determination had as corollaries

(IV). The possibility of peaceful co-existence of peoples, national freedom and equality within a voluntary union of socialist states, and

(ii). The possibility of peaceful co-existence between the socialist states and the liberated national, sovereign states of the “oppressed nations” after they secede from the imperialist states of the “oppressor nations,” whether or not they become socialist in the process of their national liberation, or even if their political independence is a mere cover for economic-financial and military dependency upon the imperialist states.

Four Model Strategies:

Arun Bose integrates the above seminal Marxian theories in different ways to work out Marxist strategies in international politics, represented by modern communist states’ foreign policies. These four distinct “model” strategies seem to represent the basic, logical thrust behind the foreign policy experiments adopted by modern Communist states. These strategies are :

  • “Transnational” or “cosmopolitan.”
  • The “non-aligned”,
  • “The Soviet-centric” and
  •  The “Sino-centric.”

The last two strategies are geared to the notions that the ”genuine,” “reliable” nucleus or base, or ”protector” of the world socialist revolution is the Soviet Union or Communist China, respectively. The other two “model strategies,” carry no such ”country” labels.

The “transnational” or ” cosmopolitan” model strategy rejects the idea of “socialism in one country.” It leaves no scope for idealizing the role of socialism in any one country or group of countries as the base of the world revolution.

The non-aligned model strategy is also strictly “poly-eccentric,” insisting that each country’s socialism is fighting for socialism only in one’s own country. For want of space, these strategies are not discussed in detail, nor is it necessary either.

Critical Evaluation:

Marxian theory of international relations can be denounced as unscientific impracticable unscientific inconsistent, and utopian. Its shortcomings can be described in brief as follows:

i. All four seminal theories presented by Arun Bose remained in an embryonic state. The propositions or these theories could not Find any further development theoretically or realize practically all these years. Therein lies the failure of these theories.

2. The main theory of proletariat internationalism proved wrong as the proletariat of different states thought about their nationality and national interests. During different wars and struggles, working men worked for the victory of their own country, setting at naught Marxian dictum that working men have no country. It seems that the proletariat of the world has ignored Marx’s call for “united action” at the global level for their emancipation.

3. Lenin’s theory of imperialism is historically wrong because historical facts contradict Lenin’s famous saying: “Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” Imperialism existed even before the advent of capitalism, e.g., Roman and Greek empires in the ancient period.

4. According to the tie theory of imperialism, every capitalist country must grow into an imperialist country. However, in reality, many capitalist countries e. g. Switzerland. Canada, Australia, etc., did not indulge in empire-building.

5. Economic factors are not the exclusive factors accounting for imperialism and wars. Empires were built, and wars were taught for several other non-economic reasons such as religious, cultural, political, military, personal ambitions of rulers, etc.

6. Nation-states remained the basic unit of international relations analysis despite Marxists’ insistence on the class as its basic unit.

7. Imperialism collapsed after the Second World War but not capitalism as predicted by Marxist theory. Contrarily, in many countries, capitalism gained strength after that. Moreover, after decolonization, imperialism again raised its ugly head under the garb of nee colonialism, economic imperialism, and Red imperialism. In other words, old and overt imperialism re-emerged covertly.

8. With the failure of proletariat internationalism world revolution became a far cry. It has been relegated to the realm of impossibility.

9. Marxian theory of national self-determination is also fraught with contradictions. It could not be practiced even by socialist countries themselves. For example, the Soviet Union’s hold over East European countries for many decades and the unwilling Republics and nationalities within the Soviet Union made this a futile theory.

10. Peaceful coexistence at times proved successful and, at other times, futile. The long Sino-Soviet and Soviet-American rivalry belied this theory.

11. Marxian theory also suffers from subjectivity and inconsistency. Later on, Marx was propounded and revised and revised by Lenin, whose theories were, in turn, reformed by Stalin. After Stalin, a process of DE-stabilization took over. Later on, Gorbachev restructured everything that his predecessors built assiduously. The same thing happened in China after Mao. Tito, Castro, and Ho Chi-Minh have also interpreted Marxian theory about the situation in their countries.

Notwithstanding the above criticism, the theory is adored by Marxists in Bose’s words; this theory is, first, an action guide based on the dictum that a man discovers the truth in action. Consequently, all Marxian analysis of international relations is meant to change international relations since the basic purpose is not merely to interpret what exists but to change the world.

Such analyses lead to predictions and strategies about the future, which have been tested or are yet to be tested by intent. However, it is agreed by many a scholar that this theory has failed to serve as an objective guide to action; it has failed to change the world and make valid predictions.

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