A paradigm is a view of the world, a worldview that includes agreement on what the basic units are, what the key problems to be explained are, and a theory to provide the explanation. … The Realist paradigm focuses on states in their relations with one another. Marxist and Neo-Marxist international relations theories are structuralist paradigms which reject the realist/liberal view of state conflict or cooperation.
International Relations Paradigms
By Dr. John T. Ackerman, Lt Col Barak J. Carlson (PhD), and Major Young I. Han
The concept of sovereignty still generates a considerable amount of debate in the discipline of International Relations. Using myth as a heuristic device, I argue that part of this confusion results from a mythical understanding of ‘sovereignty as equality’. Following the myth, sovereignty is seen as playing an equalising role in international relations, while international inequalities are depicted as existing despite the norm of sovereignty (and not as a result of it). The myth of sovereignty as equality thus enables international relations scholars to separate the inequalities instituted and legitimised by sovereignty from the concept itself. As a consequence, sovereignty is considered as normatively desirable since it is the best tool to offset inequalities.
The “Seven Myths” paper sets about puncturing the following tenets of received wisdom:
Europe is united;
The U.S. is exceptional;
The ICC is an International Criminal Court;
China pulls the world’s financial strings;
The U.S. will defend Taiwan against China; and
Casualties undermine public support for war
International Relations Theory Doesn’t Understand Culture. The main schools of thought still cling to an outdated understanding of how civilizations work. BY CHRISTIAN REUS-SMIT
In today’s world politics, culture is everywhere. The rise of non-Western great powers, the return of ethnonationalism, violent extremism justified in the name of religion, and so-called white resistance—the list goes on. Yet those who should be best placed to explain it—international relations scholars—are ill equipped to do so.
Conventional wisdom holds that IR theory has little to say about culture. After all, the argument goes, its dominant schools of thought focus on struggles for material power and treat actors as self-interested egoists. In fact, IR scholars talk about culture all the time. It permeates their arguments about the Western foundations of the modern international order, about China as a civilizational state, and about the fate of the Arab Spring. And if discussions of the Western nature of human rights aren’t about culture, then what are they about at all?…MORE