International Relations deal with human behavior in the largest of all social groups: the international society. International Relations theory is an intellectual treasure trove of Weberian ideal types of phenomenon, structures, processes, causes, effects and outcomes. These theories have been used to describe and explain the phenomena of regional integration, regional organization, and illustrate the role of individuals within this system. Its approach is both traditional and non-traditional. It is traditional because it is organized around the major traditions of international relations theory – realism, idealism, historical materialism, constructivism, gender and globalization. It is non – traditional because it re-examines these IR traditions by asking about the truth which lies in the facts and figures being provided. The two major theories that examine the notion of regional organizations are realism and liberalism. Realism has been the dominant theory of world politics since the beginning of academic International Relations. The unifying theme around which all realist thinking converges is that states find themselves in the shadow of anarchy with the result that their security cannot be taken for granted. In such circumstances it is rational for states to compete for power and security. On the other hand, liberalism is a theory of both government within states and governance between states and world wide.
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“The starting point of international relations is the existence of states, or independent political communities, each of which possesses a government and asserts sovereignty in relation to a particular portion of the earth’s surface and a particular segment of the human population”. Hedley Bull (1977), …
Critics of the rational choice paradigm generally indicate that their is no objective knowledge. This is key because if there is not such thing as objective knowledge, one cannot be said to arrive at a correct conclusion through being rational. In this paper I will provide a brief description of Rational choice before discussing the debate of rational choice in reference to ontology, methodology, and epistemology.
What is rational in Rational Choice Theory? Critically assess its applications.
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Realism has been the dominant theory of world politics since the beginning of academic International Relations. The unifying theme around which all realist thinking converges is that states find themselves in the shadow of anarchy with the result that their security cannot be taken for granted.
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