Radicle Perspectives in International Relations

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Radical Theory of International Relations

Radical Theory derives its views from Marxist Theory. It is therefore sometimes referred to as Marxism, Socialism or Socialists internationalism. Radicals believe that the state is nothing more than a machine for the oppression of one class by another. Although they consider the state to be an important actor in world affairs, they emphasize the conflicting interests of social classes. Classes (capitalists, workers, and peasants), clash for control of state policy within countries, and the government pursue not some overall national interest but the interest of the dominant class. States are not unitary actors. Classes exist within societies but they also span national boundaries. Capitalists for example, may co-operate internationally to maintain a political and economic environment that is hospitable to investment by multinational corporations. Unlike realists who see anarchy, radicals see a hierarchy of social classes and nation states in which the weak are subordinated to the strong. But like realists, they see individuals as acting from a kind of rationality; but one that is often distorted by false consciousness regarding their interests through acceptance by the weak of perspectives and values propagated by the strong. Like many liberals, radicals are dissatisfied with the global status quo and hope to transform world politics so as to make the system more equitable and just. Radicals believe that imperialism and wars have often been caused by capitalist’s attempts to maintain their economic advantage by their competition with capitalists in rival states; and by their efforts to preclude challenges to the international rules of the game upon which the global capitalist system rests. To have genuine and long lasting peace, the most extreme adherents of this view believe that capitalism must be abolished; others advocate less extreme measures to curb its excesses. Few consider the radical model of the organization...
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