1. Introduction
  2. Examples of International Theories
  3. The Reflection of the Theories of International Relations on the Developments in the Real World
  4. Conclusion


International relations is defined as the way countries or groups of people within the countries interaction affects the other party. It is the way the worlds governments composed of non-governmental organizations, social structures, geographical and historical structures affect the interaction among its citizens. It is a distinct field of political science, which applies its knowledge to the existing political theories, economy relations, international laws, and feminism to coin its own perspectives in order to aid in international conflict resolution. In addition, it involves various issues on globalization as well as the roles of state and non-governmental organizations. International relations theories provide a platform through which international relations are evaluated. Each of the theories relies on assumptions in the context of international relations. The international theories are divided into rationalist and reflectivity theories, where the former focus on the state level analysis and the latter incorporate a wider meaning of state security. This paper focuses on the extent through which the international relation theories have reflected developments in the real world.

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Examples of International Theories

There are several theories on international relations. However, the realism and several theories are discussed as they will be used extensively to provide examples within this paper. Realism theory is formulated on the assumption that the national states are untied with each of the states existing autonomously. Hence, there is no state with rights or capability of controlling the internal affairs of the other (Adler, 2012). In this case, the state is regarded as the highest order capable of pursuing its own interests when it comes to affairs within its economic and military powers. On the other hand, liberalism theory holds beliefs on the states preferences rather than on its abilities as the fundamental determinant of its behavior. This is opposed to the realism theory, where each state is treated as a unit, and the state in this case is viewed as a multiplicity of actions. In this case, each of the states will have its own preferences depending on the ethnic, geographic, and fiscal factors governing its performance. According to liberalism, interaction among the states is not confined to the political security but rather to the economic and cultural systems through commercial groups or individuals. This theory holds assumptions that there is a wider way of cooperating through interdependence between states.

The Reflection of the Theories of International Relations on the Developments in the Real World

Diagnosis of Issues Relating to International Relations

Theories have played a big role in the diagnosis of issues relating to international relations. When addressing the current problems relating to international relations, policymakers need to have facts concerning a given phenomenon. Theories in this case provide them with a wider net to interpret the issues and the root cause (Baylis et al., 2013). International theories provide guidance in the understanding of the past and the archived historical interpretations, hence influencing the current decisions. For example, the theories provide insights on Cold War and its end, and the information drawn from this can be used by the United States against the contemporary enemies such as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. The theories can be used to nurture the debates on war touching on Iraq. Some of the specialists focused on Saddam Hussein and the constitution of his regime to prove that he was an unreasonable leader who could not be allowed to possess weapons that could be used for mass destruction. However, the researchers that focused on Iraqs situation saw Hussein as a risk taker and a leader who had never used force and therefore could be prevented from owning weapons of mass destruction by the more superior countries. In this case, Iraqs past conduct was shaped by the theoretical view as that which has clear impact on the contemporary international relations (Baylis et al., 2013).

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Prediction of Events

International theories can aid in the prediction of events, hence the modern international relations policymakers can be able to anticipate them. International relation theories offer a picture of the world at a particular period, thus providing the policymakers with a broad understanding of the context in which they operate. The information aids in intelligent preparation, hence preventing unwanted developments of conflicts. For example, different theories of international relations offered information about the conclusion of the Cold War. For example, the liberal theory gave positive forecast suggesting that it marked the end and collapse of communism. It also provided information on the spread of western political forms and style that gave birth to the peaceful era (Baylis et al., 2013). On the contrary, the realistic theory had predicted that the collapse of the threat on soviet would weaken the alliances, thus leading to the anti-United States Predominance, which would cause high-tended international competitions. The other scholars had different views anticipating the clash of civilization or failed states in the developing world. Although these works had different perspectives, they aided in the formation of a picture on the possible trends in order to sketch a picture of the emerging world (Guzzini, 2013).

The international relations theories can also aid in the evolution of different regions over time. The knowledge of the currently foreign policy of a nation does not give exhaustive information on the future behaviors of a nation. However, theories can explain the historical trend of the state evolution and hence ease in understanding the future trends. For instance, Chinas foreign policy is bound to change as it acquires more power with its increase in the worlds economy. However, the prevailing liberalistic and realism theories propose a sharp contrasting theory in forecasting the imminent powers of China. The realist theory predicts that the increase in China power will make it more economically prosperous, hence more industrious and democratic. On the other hand, liberalists have different concern that increasing Chinas power will lower international relations with the other countries in the future through lowered interdependence. Thus, China will most likely be less democratic in the future (Francois, 2015).

On similar trends, there are concerns that the economic development is fueled by the increase in competitive markets, leadership, rule of law and government democracy, and transparency. Regarding these facts, some of the states that have rapidly expanding and proliferating systems are highly likely to expand more than the others. Some of the international relation policies give insights into the dynamic theories of balance of power and the implications of rapid acquisition of these powers. Regardless of the perspective or the position of each of the theoretical arguments proposed, they carry important implications to the future. The relationship between the use of theoretical forecasting and international relations on the real world is not directly outlined. This is because the social science theories are based on probability with even the most powerful theories making some false forecasting. In addition, social scientists are conscious beings with higher likelihood of their decision influenced by their own behaviors.

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Prescription of Events

All international policy actions are based on adopting single or multiple notions in an effort to achieve desirable results. Thus, the international relations theories guide prescription in many ways with an aim to reach an objective policy. For instance, the theory on the Expansion of NATO derives from the belief that it had the potential of stabilizing the emerging democratic nations within the eastern parts of Europe (Viotti & Kauppi, 2012). In this case, the United States government would have had positive benefits by getting the chance to widen its influence in the important region. However, the expansion was not the end of the benefits expected, but it was a means used to achieve the other goals. On a similar case, the decision made to create the World Trade Organization (WTO) was from polygonal agreements that powerful global trade was essential in breaking the remaining barricades on international trade, therefore promoting global development. Furthermore, the theories help in careful scrutiny of the relationship between the theory and the chain of actions to follow. This helps in the anticipation whether the policies might work or fail.

The lack of clear theories explains the chances in which the policy might work reduce the chances in which the policy could be adopted at all. In this case, the theoretical international relation policies can have reason on why some policies will be successful while the others will not. In worst-case scenarios, the theories can help policymakers to prepare in anticipation of the worst possible outcomes in the event of failure of the expected results. For example, most of policymakers and stakeholders are fighting to promote democracy in the Middle East through the normative perspective, which holds beliefs that, since democracy is a human right with better conditions, people of the Middle East are also entitled to the same democracy (Geeta & Nair, 2013).

Evaluation of the Current Policy Decision

The policy will be important in benchmarking if policymakers achieve the desired results. Without the sketchy theories, it is not possible to define success or failure, because there is nothing to use as a benchmark. Based on liberal theory, the grand strategy emphasizes on the spread of democratic institutions, which foster the strength of the bonds between international institutions. On the other hand, the grand theory, according the realistic theory, would devote more attention to the dissemination of power as well as equilibrium by increasing one relative power of a country. The same norm applies in the external interventions of civil conflicts within a country.

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In the effort to build democracy in these nations, high performance measure has to be implemented to measure the outcome of these interventions. The international relation theories provide a pool for sourcing additional information. Both the current policymakers and the international relations theorists understand the fundamental importance of power. However, there is no direct formula of judging the power of a state; hence, it is not possible to judge the power of a state through examining the aspects of their cultural lives. In this case, it combines the information on the population structure, military strength, gross national production, and scientific advances in the country to determine the power of the nation. This is because these features have the ability to affect the other nations, and that is the reason why Asia and the United States are worried about Chinas economic growth without expressing similar concerns to countries such as Thailand (Onuf, 2012).


In conclusion, the impacts of the contemporary international relation theories as well as traditional theories play an important role in shaping the current international relations conflicts. The majority of these assumptions and postulations have been tested through empirical tests and have proved to give results as they directly shape the decisions made by policymakers. However, the currently academic body needs to work hard to bridge the gap between the theory and practice to ensure that all the outcomes of different political scenarios are documented to ease in reference when needed. In this light, policymakers need to pay more attention to literature on the international relations as the theories form essential tool for governments international relations.

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