International Relations Glossary

Last Updated: 08 Apr 2020
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A form of political organization under which a relatively homogeneous people Inhabits a sovereign state Sovereignty Denotes a single, supreme political decision-making authority. In early modern Europe the Monarch was the Sovereign. In modern states sovereignty tends to lie with the executive arm of government. A controversial term, sovereignty relies on authority, not power. That is, the sovereign claims the right or authority to decide matters of interest to the state, even if it cannot control everything that occurs within its territory. Medieval

Of or relating to the period of European history from about A. D. 500 to about 1500. Feudalism Feudalism was the medieval model of government predating the birth of the modern nation-state. Feudal society is a military hierarchy in which a ruler or lord offers mounted fighters a fief (medieval beneficial), a unit of land to control in exchange for a military service. The individual who accepted this land became a vassal, and the man who granted the land become known as his liege or his lord. Individualism A social theory advocating the liberty, rights or Independent action of the Individual.

Liberalism A political theory that prizes Individual freedom. It believes Individuals should be free to do as they please, without the interference of others. So long as they don not harm or limit the freedom of others. In IR it has tended to focus on the development of international law, the spread of democracy and the expansion of free trade, in which Emmanuel Kant is one of the leading theorists. Communitarian's A political theory that emphasizes individuals' attachments to the community in which they grew up.

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The communities in which we grow up are thought to be the resource of moral values. Communitarian's adopts the ethical position that a person's moral obligations are always first and foremost members of our own community and that they cannot be extended beyond that communities boundaries. Liberal Internationalism Woodrow Wilson, thus sometimes being referred to as Williamson'. Wilson suggested that the cause of instability and conflict was the "undemocratic nature of international politics", particularly in regards to foreign policy and the balance of power.

Having identified the cause of conflict, it is possible to suggest that the aims of Iberia internationalism are expanding democratic practices and free trade, defending democracy from its rivals while protecting and promoting human rights. Harmony of interests The idealist concept of the harmony of interests is based on the notion that human beings can rationally recognize that they have some interests in common, and that cooperation is therefore possible. Democratic Peace Theory The theory that democratic states do not fight war against each other.

A good amount of empirical evidence has been collected indicating that war has never been fought teen two stable democracies. Closely associated with Michael Doyle. International Institutions International institutions be defined as relatively stable sets of related constitutive, regulative, and procedural norms and rules that pertain to the international system, the actors in the system (including states as well as non-state entities), and their activities. Interdependence The mutual dependence developed among states by utilizing new technologies and through the growth of international cross-border commerce. Communication and travel.

A term used before globalization became popular. Anarchy The absence of rule or government. In international relations it does not mean disorder and chaos. Power Classically defined as the ability to get an actor to do what they would otherwise not do. This is power in the sense of domination or power over others. But power can also be thought of in terms of capability or power to do or act. Realist theories hold the belief that international relations are a constant struggle for power, usually defined by material terms. National Interest A notoriously plastic term that refers to the states foreign policy aims.

The national interest is said to be the same regardless of the government in power, but different governments will hold different ideological agendas and priorities, meaning that national interest will change accordingly. Refers to a mechanism that operates to prevent one state from achieving such a preponderance of power that it is in a position to lay down and enforce the law over all such others. Central to realist theories, it can be viewed as the deliberate product of foreign policies, or as the unintended consequence of several states seeking to protect themselves.

In any case, states align with others to counter-balance the growth in another's power, seeking to preserve international order and a degree of equilibrium. International Community vs. international system An international system exists when two or more states have sufficient contact with each other that they become conscious of existing in the same environment and conscious of the need to consider other states interests and capabilities in the pursuit of their own interests.

Globalization The stretching and intensification of social and economic relations across the globe dad possible by new communication and computer technologies and advances in transport. It is thought by many to inaugurate an unprecedented degree of global interconnectedness, although some deny its novelty by pointing to similar levels of interdependence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Still others criticism globalization for being a vehicle of inalienable theory. Non-state Actor An actor not part of the official state or governmental apparatuses.

Non-governmental organizations Specializes not-for-profit non-state actors that seek to raise consciousness and hanged the activities of governments and populations on a variety of issues. Nooks have proliferated over the last century, advocating and lobbying on issues such as human rights, landmines, poverty, animal rights and the environment, among many others. Civil Society Simply refers to those who act in international politics but are not a member or representative of any particular state. Social Movements. Denotes some kind of collective action, driven by a particular set of social concerns and emerging from society at large.

Modernity A modern way of thinking, working etc. The schism between domestic and international politics in international relations. The clash of civilizations The cause of conflict in the 21st century will not be political or economic, but cultural. Different cultures have different ways of organizing society and this will be the cause of conflict. He cites Western, Slavic Orthodox, Hindu, Islamic, Japanese, Latin America, African and Confucian as the main civilizations. Cosmopolitan Democracy Cosmopolitan democracy is a political theory which explores the application of norms and values of democracy at different levels, from global to local.

It is about what global governance of the people, by the people, for the people can mean. Asian Century The dominant role that could be played by Asia in the 21st century, because of its growing economic clout and global demographic trends. "Asian Century" as a theme, has gained credence following the rapid economic growth of China and India since the asses, which has propelled them to the top ranks of the world's biggest economies Mercantilism The main economic system used during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

The main goal was to increase a nation's wealth by imposing government regulation uncovering all of the nation's commercial interests. It was believed that national strength could be maximized by limiting imports via tariffs and maximizing exports. North-south gap The North-South divide is broadly considered a socio-economic and political divide. Generally, definitions of the Global North include the United States, Canada, developed parts of Europe, and East Asia. The Global South is made up of Africa, Latin America, and developing Asia including the Middle East.

Unilateralism An approach to economics and social studies in which control of economic factors is hefted from the public sector to the private sector. Drawing upon principles of neoclassical economics, unilateralism suggests that governments reduce deficit spending, limit subsidies, reform tax law to broaden the tax base, remove fixed exchange rates, open up markets to trade by limiting protectionism, privative state- run businesses, allow private property and back deregulation.

Focuses on the interplay between political power and economic forces from the national through to the international and global level, whilst also taking account Based on liberal theories of economics, 1944 saw the meeting of 44 states at Breton Woods, where the new economic order was constructed and the multilateral institutions of the WEB, MIFF and GAIT were established.

Hegemony Domination by a great power and its allies Washington Consensus This is the set of 10 policies that the US government and the international financial institutions based in the US capital believed were necessary elements of "first stage policy reform" that all countries should adopt to increase economic growth. At its heart is an emphasis on the importance of macroeconomic stability and integration onto the international economy - in other words a neo-liberal view of globalization.

Rationalization The process of dividing an area into smaller segments called regions. One of the more obvious examples of rationalization is the division of a nation into states or provinces. 1951 Refugee Convention The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is the key legal document in defining who is a refugee, their rights and the legal obligations of states. UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an international document that states Asia rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled.

Negative Rights and Positive Rights Positive Rights are rights that can only be enjoyed through positive intervention on the part of government, often linked to the idea of freedom to', whilst negative rights are rights that are enjoyed by virtue of the inactivity of others, particularly government, and are often seen as freedoms from'. Resurrections The application of values and theories drawn from European culture, to other groups or peoples, implying a biased or distorted viewpoint.

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International Relations Glossary. (2018, Jan 04). Retrieved from

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