History of the discipline of International Relations

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In History
  • End of the First World War

    End of the First World War
    in International relations emphasis was laid on outlawing war, disarmament, international law and international organisations as basic problem-solving methods in world politics.
  • Born of the Discipline

    Born of the Discipline
    Aberystwyth- Wales University
    Then spread to British and American universities.
  • Woodrow Wilson

    Woodrow Wilson
    Liberalism “a jungle, where dangerous beasts roam and the strong and cunning rule, whereas under the League of Nations the beasts are put into cages, reinforced by the restraints of international organisations, i.e. into a kind of zoo”
  • Great Economic crisis

    Great Economic crisis
    Criticism of the liberal thoughts
    Emergence of the Realism- Edward Hallett Carr
  • Edward Hallett Carr

    Edward Hallett Carr
    maintained that the liberal thought is nothing else than utopia. „Utopians” were guilty of „naivety” which means goal stood in the way of the analysis. Carr emphasised the importance and necessity of a new theory.
  • Rise of study of international interdependence

    Rise of study of international interdependence
    The chief proponents of the neo-liberal approach were Robert O. Keohane, John Burton, Ernst Haas.
  • Immanuel Wallstein

    Immanuel Wallstein
    Neo- marxism theory emerged
    Robert Cox
    In this approach, the question of what is most important in world politics is not answered by providing a list of the most powerful actors and relationships but by inquiring into the causes of inequalities.
  • Apperance of the neo-realist theory

    Apperance of the neo-realist theory
    Kenneth Waltz in his book Theory of International Politics
  • Alexander Wendt

    Alexander Wendt
    The most important representative of the constructivist approach. He published his book under the title “Social Theory of International Politics” in 1999 and initiated the fourth debate.
  • The fourth Great debate

    The fourth Great debate
    Addressing methodological as well substantial issues. In the 1990s a fourth debate was on its way, which challenged the established traditions in IR by alternative approaches.
    Post-positivist approach.
    Epistemological debate.
    The participants were the constructivism and its counterparts, the rational or positivist approaches (liberalism, realism and Marxism).
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    First Great debate

    Realism and liberalism - The dichotomy between them became known as the double establishment of the discipline. The first debate was an ontological debate, concerning the subject matter of the discipline. Liberals sought to answer the question what ought to be done to avoid war, while the counterpart of the liberals, Realists wanted to understand the nature of power politics “as it is”.
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    Second Great debate

    Epistemological debate in the 1950s and 1960s between ‘behaviourism’ and ‘traditionalism’. At stake was the question, „what is the most appropriate way of pursuing and acquiring knowledge in international relations?”
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    Third great debate

    n the third “Great Debate” the mainstream approaches of neorealism and neoliberalism are engaged in dialogue and at the same time defend themselves against a variety of „critical” theories. The first and the most important was the appearance of neo-Marxism. The debate was an ontological debate concerning the subject matter of the discipline.