About This Chapter
Theories of International Relations - Chapter Summary
In the world of politics, the ability to think globally becomes more essential each day. This chapter introduces you to basic concepts related to international politics. You can expect to develop a full comprehension of international relation theories, including the political realism theory, rational choice theory and regime theory. Each lesson comes with a short quiz, and we encourage you to take the accompanying chapter exam to retain the information you study. The chapter is available at any time, and you can use a computer or mobile device to study. When you reach the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
- Define the concepts of polarity and power in the international system
- Assess the principles of the rational choice theory, the political realism theory and liberal internationalism
- Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of regime theory
- Explain Thucydides' views on political realism and ethics
1. Thucydides' Views on Ethics & Political Realism
Who was Thucydides? How do you even pronounce that name? And what made his views of ethics and politics so important? Explore the life and theories of Thucydides, and test your understanding with a brief quiz.
2. Political Realism Theory: Definition & Principles
Actions of states on the world stage can affect billions of people, which is why understanding international relations is so important. In this lesson, you'll learn about one theory that attempts to explain international relations - political realism.
3. Liberal Internationalism: Definition & Principles
One of the great debates in the study of international relations is between the realism school of thought and liberal internationalism. In this lesson, you'll learn about liberal internationalism and its core principles.
4. Rational Choice Theory: Definition & Principles
When we get down to it, states can only act through people. Consequently, if we want to understand state behavior in international relations, we need to understand human behavior. Rational choice theory attempts to do just this.
5. Power & Polarity in the International System
In the world of international affairs, international actors vie for the power to pursue their interests and stop those actors who are a threat to their interests. In this lesson, you'll learn about power, the balance of power and polarity in the international system.
6. Principles of Regime Theory: Strengths & Weaknesses
International relations theorists attempt to explain how actors on the world stage gain security in an environment of anarchy. In this lesson, you'll learn about regime theory and its explanation of how actors try to create order out of chaos.
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Other chapters within the Political Science 101: Intro to Political Science course
- Basic Terms and Concepts of Political Science
- Political Ideologies and Philosophy
- Forms of Government
- Electoral Systems
- The Branches of Government
- US Federal Bureaucracy
- The History & Role of Political Parties
- Interest Groups in Politics
- Mass Media and Politics
- Political Culture, Public Opinion & Civic Behavior
- Public and Social Policy
- Fiscal Policy in Government & the Economy
- Foreign Policy, Defense Policy & Government
- Concepts of International Relations
- International Actors in Political Science
- International Law in Politics
- Global Issues and Politics
- Studying for Political Science 101