International relations theories analyze international relations by attempting to provide a conceptual model. Each theory is useful in analyzing different sets of data and assumptions. These international relations theories help in varying degrees in small business enterprises.1
Two positivist schools of thought are prevalent: the realism and liberalism theories. This article will discuss the realism and liberalism theories as well as the popularly-known theory on Marxism, functionalism and constructivism, and their impacts on small businesses.
The realism theory has several assumptions. Among these is the unitary form of nation-states with geographically-based actors having no authority above capable of regulating relations between states, hence, the assumption regarding the non-existence of a true world government. Further, the theory assumes that the sovereign states are the principal actors in international relations rather than non-government organizations. This leads to a situation where states compete with one another. The state also acts as the main actor for its own security and economic interests with a view that international corporations have little long-term independent influence. Moreover, there is a general distrust for long-term cooperation and alliance. In sum, the realist view that man is self-centered and competitive.2
The effect which this theory has on small businesses may be discussed in the micro and macro level. In the micro level, small businesses view themselves as competitive and self-centered. ...