The study of international relations involves many subjects such as
international and regional peace and security, international organizations,
nuclear proliferation, globalization, human rights, economic development,
intervention, international financial relations, and international trade
The academic field of international relations is a branch of political science
that is concerned with the study of relations between states, the foreign
policy of nation-states, and the mechanisms and institutions through which
The evolution of international relations can be traced back to thousands of
years ago. The history of international relations based on sovereign states and
many more types are often traced back to the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, a
steppingstone in the development of the modern state system.
What is explicitly recognized as international relations theory was not
developed until after World War I. Many cite Sun Tzu's The Art of War (6th
century BC), Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War (5thcentury BC),
Chanakya's Arthashastra (4th century BC), as the inspiration for realist theory
IMPORTANCE OF IR
The world has become a global village due to technological advances.
Therefore, an event in one part of the world has an immediate effect on
the other part. All the states in the world are now under compulsion to
interact with each other.
IR teaches us that peace could only be achieved if the world actors
subjectively solve the problems faced by the world politics like excessive
nationalism and narrow national interest Modern theory of IR demonstrates
that the traditional concept of sovereignty has become outdated and needs
Realism is considered the most dominant school of thought in IR. It is the
exercise of power by state toward each other. (power politics)
Realist share a belief that states are unitary rational actors that are
motivated by the desire for military powers and security rather than ideals
Realist view human nature as selfish, conflictual competitive and the
primary objective is survival, and believe that states are inherently
aggressive (offensive realism) and obsessed with security (defensive
Realist value order and does not welcome change.
Liberalism is the most accepted alternative theoretical perspective to realism
and was developed in 1970s.
Due to globalization, the rise of global communications and an increase in
international trade meant states could no longer rely on simple power poitics.
Cosmopolitan morality rather than balance of power, and humanity bebfits
from peaceful international order
States aren’t the only important actors in IR. Societies an states have become
so connected by end of the 20th century that the way they relate to each other
The behavior of humans is determined by their identity, which itself is
shaped by society’s values, history, practices and institutions
Rise of constructivism : end of the cold war in 1992 – failure of dominant IR
theories to explain the end of cold war, which did not end through conflict
Constructivist argue that “anarchy is what states make of it. That is states
make the world dangerous (or safe) through their perspective
Recognize that material forces matter, but they also believe that it is the
subjective understanding of objective conditions matter equally if not more
The condition of interaction between multiple
individuals without a common superior.
Typically this superior is an institution,
The absence of common government
The absence of common
Absence of state
(centralized government with a
territorial base and population)
The absence of common
authority or a common ruler
(Absence of word government)
In a narrower
In a broader
CONSEQUENCES OF ANARCHY
No suprastate actor capable of enforcing
Primary goal becomes survival
Every government reserves the right to
decide what is just or necessary for itself
The ability of a state to cater for the
protection of its people from outside
The security of each and
every person of the
society of a perticular
Is an internal problem for the international
society as a whole
Refugees, transnational crimes, drug/human
trafficking, cyber crimes
Result Global war on
Use of armed forces in
The right to live in freedom and dignity
free from poverty and dispair
with an equal opportunity to enjoy their rights
fully develop their human potential
Security of the
Security of the
Security of the
society of states
BALANCE OF POWER
It is one of the oldest concepts of international
Several scholars have approached the BOP
Mostly it is defined as a state of dynamic
equilibrium characterizing relations among
MAJOR ASSUMPTION OF BALANCE OF
The Balance of Power rests upon several fundamental postulates and
FIVE PRINCIPAL ASSUMPTIONS:
Firstly, Balance of Power assumes that states are determined to protect
their vital rights and interests by all means, including war.
Secondly, vital interests of the states are threatened.
The relative power position of states can be measured with a degree of
Balance of Power assumes that “balance” will either deter the threatening
state from launching an attack or permit the victim to avoid defeat if an
attack should occur.
The statesmen can, and they do make foreign policy decisions intelligently
on basis of power considerations.
TYPES OF THE BALANCE OF POWER
Local, Regional, and Global.
Flexible and Rigid.
METHOD OF MAINTAINING BALANCE
Alliances and counter alliances.
Armament and disarmament.
Acquisition of territory .
Compensation and partition.
OBJECTS OF BALANCE OF POWER
Preservation of independent of states.
Preservation of peace.
Maintenance of international law.
ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR
A Source of Stability in International Relations
“Balance of Power has many a times prevented war. War breaks
out only when any state assumes excessive power.”
It suits the real nature of International Relations
Counterbalancing actions helps to maintain the stability of
relations between states on the face of rapid changes in
Balance of Power Discourages War
Because each state knows that any attempt
to have excessive power provoke war
hence, it keeps its ambitions under control.
Balance of Power cannot ensure Peace
It suggests that states may secure their survival by preventing any
one state from gaining enough military power to dominate all
Narrow Basis of Balance of Power
It gives near total importance to preservation of self and national-
interest as the motives of all state actions.
Uncertainty and unreality of Balance
Since the evaluation of the national
power of a nation is always uncertain,
no nation can afford dependence upon
the balance of power.
States are no longer unitary actors
State actors represent a government while non-state actors do
not. However, they have impact on the state actors.
Intention : Perceived intention of the major powers in the
system determines whether balancing will be preferred by
secondary states over other options such as bandwagoning.
Preferences of states :
Ever present possibility of war in an anarchic system, states
may not cooperate even with their allies because survival is
guaranteed only with a“proportionate advantage”
ANALYSIS WITH CONTEMPORARY WORLD
End of the European Domination and the dawn of Global
Narrow European dominated international system has been
transformed to a truly global system in which Asian, African and
Latin American states enjoy a new and added importance.
Preponderance of Power between US and USSR
The actual period of strict bipolarity during the Cold War is much
shorter than is conventionally believed.
Balance of Power and stability of International system
Under multi-polarity : threats are more difficult to evaluate,
and states shift their responsibilities and rely on others to
balance against an emerging state.
Under Uni-polarity and Bipolarity : Tendency to fight Proxy
Uneven distribution of power resources
Evaluation of the balance of power in the twenty first century become
difficult because power resources are unevenly distributed among the
Change of Concept of War into Total War
In the twentieth century, the costs of fighting such a war have soared,
while the perceived benefits of winners have abated. Therefore Total
war is not impossible.
The Emergence of Global Actors
The presence of the UN has made a big change in the structure and
functioning of the international system.
“The Structural changes in international politics of post-war
period have not greatly affected the principle of Balance of
Power. It still holds good in respect of regional relations among
With reference to my colleagues……
IR is not a new concept. It has the same history of
modern man, i.e. Homospains, finally ended-up in IR,
human development has made it more complexed,
an obvious result of human development
Man always wants, likes and loves – power, individual
development, self-esteem, individuality, formation of
groups, developing common cultural understandings,
appointing leaders to lead group, formation of states.
IR THEORIES – EVOLUTION OF MAJOR
My colleagues have done an in-depth analysis
and elaborated different IR theories such as
Realism, Liberalism, Marxism, Bi-polar, Uni-
Intentionally or unintentionally different groups
formed as Nations have selected above
approaches or a combination, each selection is
different to anther…..
Which theory is inappropriate, still IR
continues….God knows the best theory, b
National interest and National security– what ever
the theory National Interest matters. Importance of
National and cultural identity developed
Intervention: This happens with good or bad
intensions emphasizing each ones National interests,
a complexed situation as highlighted by my
The goal of the national security strategy is to ensure the protection of our nation's fundamental and enduring needs protect the lives and safety of citizens; maintain the sovereignty of that country, with its values, institutions and territory intact; and provide for the prosperity of the nation and ...
Specific measures taken to ensure national security include: using diplomacy to rally allies and isolate threats; marshaling economic power to facilitate or compel cooperation; ... using counterintelligence services or secret police to protect the nation from internal threats.
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic power, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States after World War II.
The National Security Council (NSC) of Sri Lanka is the executive body of the Sri Lankan government that is charged with the maintenance of national security with authority to direct the Sri Lankan military and Police.
Spending too much wealth on security (i.e., the military) can decrease a nation's productivity and lead to economic decline. Privileging the economy over security, on the other hand, can lead to a state having less influence on the world order in which it operates.
Government economic security programs such as food assistance, housing subsidies, and working-family tax credits — which bolster income, help families afford basic needs, and keep millions of children above the poverty line — also have longer-term benefits, studies find: they help children to do better in school and