International Relations Theory Summary

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Tim Dunne’s article laid out the emergence and the very core and context of the English School of international relations theory. It discusses the main proponents of this school of thought and gave an extensive discussion of international society and how this is fundamental in our understanding of contemporary world politics. The English School of international relations conceptualized the central idea of society of states at the international level. This theory does not complete reject realism and its concept that international system is characterized only by anarchy, but instead, it provides an argument that while anarchy exist, there can still be cooperation among states. Ergo, the international society of states. However, while the idea…show more content…
It provides us with the understanding of world society based on first, the classical interpretation – which is hinged on the cosmopolitan influence of non – state actors, here being individuals, groups or institutions – and second, the Buzan’s interpretation that world society is the simultaneous existence and interplay of ideal type non – state transnational and interhuman societies free of cosmopolitan influence. Central to the two distinct interpretations of world society is the idea of cosmopolitan conception of humanity, or the lack of it, and how it might influence international society as a whole. The problem with these two concepts is that both do not provide an encompassing analytical clarity on how to best conceptualize world society when put in contrast with each other as in the case of slavery and abolition issue. This leads to the possibility of an alternative suggestion that has ideology as the central and fundamental idea when explaining world society. It suggests a concept of shared ideology from which individuals may…show more content…
In an attempt to make his point, he started by examining the traditional international theory using the three competing traditions: the Hobbesian or realist tradition, the Kantian or Universalist tradition and what stands in between is the Grotian or internationalist tradition. These three traditions gave the fundamental basis on the conceptualization of the idea of international society which draws back many years ago. In the article, Bull mentioned how the anarchical nature of society and the absence of rule, disproves the existence of international society. This idea was countered by establishing that the modern international system is an international society. The most widely recognized and cited cases of international society are those of classical Greece and modern Europe during their imperial glory. As such, the idea of cooperation between states and the existence of “unwritten laws” with which states abide by has been in existence long before the concept of the “anarchical structure of international society” has been put into the context of international relations. This is one argument against realists’ claim that international society is characterized only by anarchy and as such, any form of order in international
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