International Relations

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ESSAY ON THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE 20TH CENTURY DEVELOPMENTS Shreya Ranjan
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS:
It is very recent, youngest discipline to come into existence. For quite a long time INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS or international Politics has been a sub discipline of history or political science. It became an independent entity only after the First World War. Quincy Wright (1940’s and 50’s) said INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS is not only a discipline, but also a condition; as a discipline INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS looks into the formal relations of various govt. of the states. It’s a condition because INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS should actually tell the truth about the relations that the countries conduct and about relations apart from diplomacy. Morgenthau and Hartman looked at INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS as “settling down your national interest” as for them national interest is supreme and going to any extent for national interest is justified. Morgenthau said “when we talk about INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, national interest and the likes, it depends upon the time and place.” Therefore there is no international definition of national interest. Parner & Perkins (1930’s and 40’s) say “although INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS has emerged from its earlier status as a poor relation of political science and history, it is still far from being a well organised discipline.” Alfred Zimmern (before Second World War) said “INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS is not a single subject but a bundle of subjects.” NATURE AND SCOPE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS PRIOR TO THE 20TH CENTURY:

Earlier INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS was Eurocentric, now it is Global Politics. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS between two nations was formalised by signing a treaty or agreement. Modern era of INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS started with the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which comprised of two treaties – Treaty of Osnabruck (15th May, 1648) and Treaty of Munster (24th October, 1648). Some basic principles were extracted from the Peace of Westphalia: * Concept of sovereignty which was non-existent before.

* Non-interference of external elements in the internal matters of the state. * Legal equality of all states.
Battle of Waterloo was ended in 1815 by the Vienna Congress. Numerous treaties came out of it which governed INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS for the next 50 years. In 1823, Munroe Doctrine was signed according to which Concert of Europe was another development that took place after Vienna Congress. It was a rough international organisation, not formal, which was an exclusive club of self-appointed guardians because no treaty authorized them. The major powers namely Prussia, Austria, Russia, Britain and later on France, were a part of this. Their concern was to suppress the independence movement taking place in their territories. This saved Europe from a major war, but it faded after 1848, with Uprising where several countries broke away from foreign bodies. Paris Conference (1856) which ended the Crimean War, Berlin Congress (1878) which was a result of Turkey’s war against the rest of Europe were some of the treaties that governed International politics for the time being. Another significant development was the Hague Conferences (1899 and 1907) that took place when there was no major war in Europe. The Tzar Nicholas II of Russia initiated this to discuss certain issues which could be helpful in resolving disputes in INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. It laid founding principles for the League of Nations. Ideology of a nation plays a very important role in shaping the type of relations it has with other nations. More importantly, the internal leadership determines how you interact with the outside nations. In the 19th century there were two types of nationalism. They were antagonistic and made INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS very complex. One was the desire of the rulers (major powers) to have more territories to feel more superior. Whereas, another was the desire of the...
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