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With a global economy and spreading conflict across the globe, international relations is an essential concept that should be considered and addressed in all governmental proceedings. International relations accounts for a broad range of programs, events, and connections. Aiming to better understand the scope of international relations can demonstrate its importance.


What is International Relations?

The simple definition of international relations entails the consideration and acknowledgment of international proceedings and communication. Because this definition is broad, it can be beneficial to identify some international events and issues with which international relations encounters. They include:

  • War
  • Peace
  • Nuclear Weapons
  • World Leaders
  • Globalization
  • International History


This list is far from complete. However, with these examples, it is clear to see that international relations is involved with anything that can affect more than a single nation and, in extreme cases, the world at large.


In Practice

Employing international relations is beneficial in many applications. From globalized media and international corporations to humanitarian initiatives and government agencies, the practices of international relations are plentiful and varied. A majority of these applications strive to provide peace, safety, security, and humanitarian aid to the global population.



At its core, international relations strives to achieve goals like maintaining peace, improving state relations, and promoting human rights. To accomplish these endeavors, international relations employs two distinct approaches. The first approach is primarily analytic. Assessing the behavior of the global system of nations, individual states, organizations, and individuals help international relations determine how states are conducting themselves in regard to foreign policy.


Theories of International Relations

There are two predominant theories pertaining to international relations that warrant attention. International relation studies depend on these theories when predicting states’ future actions based on the available evidence. The first theory is that of realism. This theory proposes that world power and military might are major forces in the decisions and actions of individual nations. For the sake of self-perseverance and power, states will resort to displays of military prowess in order to achieve authority or victory. Foreign leaders with power, according to this theory, should not allow their own individual morality to dictate their actions. The second theory is that of liberalism or idealism. This theory suggests that nations are tied together due to economic and humanitarian connections, so it is difficult to identify individual motives and interests. This theory addresses the increase in communication across nations as well as globalization and surmises that a decline in military power is beneficial for every party involved.


Because the world is so connected, international relations is essential when striving to promote and maintain peace as well as defend human rights and encourage information sharing. The role of international relations is broad and somewhat undefined, but it is ingrained in the way the world operates.