Meaning, Nature and Scope of International Relations

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Meaning

No nation is an island. Because domestic policies are constantly affected by developments outside, nations are compelled to (rather than sit on the fence or out-rightly isolate themselves) enter into dialogue with target or initiating entities or form alliance(s) for the purpose of enhancing their status quo, or increasing their power or prestige and survival in' the international system.

Because international relations is in transition following emerging realities in the international system, it has become complex and even more difficult arriving at a more universally acceptable definition of the subject. But this is not peculiar to international relations as there are more intense disagreements over the definition of political sciences itself. Nevertheless scholars have persisted in their attempt to define international relations.

Trevor Taylor (1979) defines International Relations as

"a discipline, which tries to explain political activities
across state boundaries".

According to Ola, Joseph (1999),

"International relations are the study of all forms of interactions that exist between members of separate entities or nations within the international system".

Seymon Brown (1988) thus defines international relations as

"the investigating and study of patterns of action and “reactions among sovereign states as represented by their governing elites.”

Some scholars see power as the key to International politics. Thus, they define International relations as the subject that deals with those relations among nations, which involve power status.

As Stanley Hoffman writes

“the discipline of international relations is concerned with the factors and the activities which affect the external policies and power of the basic units into which the world is divided.”

Thus, international relations is concerned with all the exchange transactions, contacts, flow of information and the resulting behavioral...
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