Why war is central to the academic study of international relations ?

Topics: Capitalism, Marxism, Karl Marx Pages: 8 (2449 words) Published: December 5, 2014

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Why war is so central to the academic studies of international relations?

War has been far too common in the history of mankind. Since the beginning of mankind, it has always been the central issue for tribes, clans, cities, countries etc. Human beings have always been in a state of competition and cooperation individually or collectively. War is basically the conflict which can be structured and extended, carried out by state and non state actors. Hedley bull explains War as organized violence waged between political entities (bull, H. 1977). Thucydides in his historical account “The history of Peloponnesian war” explained conflict among individuals thoroughly in the 5th century B.C. In the current times, from Thomas Hobbs to Hans Morgenthau, we can see that war and its causes have been and continue to be one of the most important issues of the social sciences academia (Baldwin 1979, p.161). Some scholars of the international politics see warfare as an inevitable reality; they also explain it as the essential feature of human nature, while other scholars argue that it is only escapable by social interaction and environmental circumstances. Now talking about the other perspective, power shapes conflict and the international system, which lead to a lack of cooperation, eventually leading to war. The study of international relations mainly focuses on power politics and conflict among states. Power is inevitably the force that moulds the social world. In relation to the states, power has been traditionally interpreted from a structural perspective, focused on material quantification and ultimately centred upon military capacity (Baldwin 2002, p. 177). War has always played a vital role in international relations. It is viewed as the constitution of international politics: when diplomacy between the states fails they tend to use power or force which eventually leads to war. Now after explaining the concept of war it is necessary to explain how different international relations theories explain war. To get a better understanding of the issue it must be explained in terms of theoretical perspective. In order to explain why war is central to the academic studies of international relations, this essay is structured in three parts. The first part explains the concept of war and gives a brief introduction to it. The second part explains war in terms of different international relations theories. Basically this paper aims to explain the possibilities, argument, and rationale of realist, liberals and Marxist outlook of war and its centrality to the academic study of international relations. The third part deals with the conclusion, which will answer the main questions and discuss the centrality of war in international relations studies in terms of international relation theories.

Realist view:
Realism tends to explain war in the most accurate approach. A realist approach is considered to be the most leading theoretical perspective in the field of international relations. Realism offers a more definite set of arguments about the foundations of war. Realism can be further explained in terms of three categories: classical, modern and neo-realism. All these sub branches are based on the same core principles. When we talk about classical realism, it basically starts...

Bibliography: BROWN, C. and AINLEY, K. (2009) Understanding International Relations. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.
DOYLE, M. (1986) Liberalism and World Politics. American Political Science Review. 80 (December). p. 1151-1169.
DUNNE, T. (2008) Liberalism. In: Baylis, J., Smith, S., and Owens, P. (eds). The Globalization of World Politics. An introduction to international relations. New York: Oxford University Press.
DUNNE, T. and SCHMIDT, B. C. (2008) Realism. In: Baylis, J., Smith, S., and Owens, P. (eds). The Globalization of World Politics. An introduction to international relations. New York: Oxford University Press.
HOBDEN, S. and WYN JONES, R. (2008) Marxist Theories of International Relations. In: Baylis, J., Smith, S., and Owens, P. (eds). The Globalization of World Politics. An introduction to international relations. New York: Oxford University Press.
LENIN, V.I. (1994) Socialism and War. In: Freedman, L. (ed). War. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
WALTZ, K.N. (2001) Man, the State and War, a theoretical analysis. New York: Columbia University Press.
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