International Relations

Henry Vaule



Memo #15

With an increase in nuclear and terrorist threats, multiple theories have been created and used to deal with this international relations dilemma. In an attempt to repress these threats, some countries have used realism, the theory that states act out of self-interest in international relations, to dictate their actions. Within this theory there are defensive and offensive prompts depending on the state’s attack plan. This theory is most challenged by liberalism and Constructivism. These theories look at the state’s social and political interactions as a guide to their international influence. Finally, the most unpopular theory, Marxism, emphasizes the role of social classes in controlling a state’s international affairs.

Although a nuclear holocaust has not been at the forefront of people’s worries today, radical terrorist groups have become a major concern in international security. In recent years, The United State’s war against terrorism had led to ISIS, a radical Islamic terrorist group based across the Middle East. According to the New York Times, ISIS has lost a majority of its territory. This is mostly due to the U.S.’s aggressive attacks, which have been prompted by an offensive realist mindset. Instead of waiting for a possible terrorist attack, the U.S. decided that the easiest path to peace would be through further invading the middle east and the territories held by ISIS.  

With the complexity of today’s international relations and conflicts, how can these theories be used together?

While Liberalism, Constructivism, and Marxism can be used to originally view other states and their actions, realism and it’s relative branches, often drive the actions the state takes based on their initial outlook of another nation. However, the many factors influencing a state’s international presence can greatly sway their perspective.

Dickovick, J. Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Schmitt, Eric, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Helene Cooper, and Alissa J. Rubin. “Its Territory May Be Gone, but the U.S. Fight Against ISIS Is Far From Over.” The New York Times. (March 24, 2019.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s