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Published On: Tue, Aug 4th, 2015

ACADEMIC ESSAY: Where I Stand from the Global Political Theories

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Global politics is the study of international politics and economic systems of the world’s nation states. Global politics prominences to, or emphasises by studying in what manner the altered states of the world interacts with one another. The discipline also studies the rapport flanked by business corporations that possessed by two or more countries such as the Multinational Corporations and the global market economy.


For instance, the Multinational Corporations are colossal businesses, which registered and operate more than one country, in a way that they are stateless commercial entities. So that the global politics covers not only states, but also other non-governmental organisations, or international non-profit organisations like Oxfam, and other international state bodies such as the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union.


Robert Keohane specified by coining the term ‘’World Politics’’ rather than International Relations, the theorist pointed out, ‘’since the language of International Relations leads to think only about states, which are not central to all interesting questions of world politics’’. This ‘’not central to all interesting questions’’ refers that International relations only cover how states interacts with one another.


Whilst, International Relations squandered the interesting role players of the world politics. For example, the political phenomenon of regionalisation of the world like the European Union, the international body of the United Nations, and other commercial corporations such as the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.


However, Global Politics highlights the core elements of the international politics. According to Heywood, ‘’once you understand how states and other non-governmental organisations, multinational organisations and International Organisations interacts with one another as well as the factors that influence them, you understand how the world works’’ (Heywood 2014, p. 1). Therefore, this essay will cover the theories of Realism, the theory of Liberalism and the Marxism theory of global politics.


The main reason why I have publicised this essay was necessarily to make this scholastic material generally available and easy to be accessed from the context of world politics. Because, most importantly knowledge itself requires a field of academic research in order to fill the gaps of knowledge from the different perspectives of the world’s diverse universities and academic levels when it comes to render politics and international studies.


The essay will lay emphasis on the introduction to the key substantive theories of global politics, it will also explain the historical differences of the theories, and how they help to make sense of the world. The essay will provide some case studies about these theories in order to reflect the importance of the theories of global politics. Due to the complexity of the world. This essay will discuss the three most predominant global theories that currently exist.


The paper will also examine and scrutinise the metamorphoses and the advantages of each by transporting a case study about the competing powers of the world. Examples are China and America in particular, with the intention of examining the current events as well as the past and the future essential backgrounds, arguments and influences behind each theory.


Finally, the essay will come up with the riposte of the query of the essay, by explaining in detail about the most convincing theory of global politics, which is where I politically and metaphysically stand. And that is the philosophical thinking of realism in the global political system of the world. The argument will support how realism proves this, and why it turned out to be the most convincing argument between the three theories of global politics.


The theory of classical realism materialised the dark time era in Europe. There were protracted interstate conflicts ubiquitously in the continent, as there were very little hope for the future, and poverty was playing a vital role within the European and other continents of the world. This resulted that violence became a logic step for survival, while self-egoism and national interest were the core elements to defend for the sake of self-help system.


As the political thinkers and philosophers like Hobbes and Machiavelli explained that ‘’firstly, the essential core of human nature is fixed and given, fashioned by nature rather than by nurture. Secondly, instinct ultimately prevails over intellect. Human beings are driven by non-rational appetites: aversions, fears, hopes and desires, the strongest of which is the desire to exercise power over others.


Intellect and reason may guide us in pursuing these appetites, but they do not define them in the first place. Thirdly, as human beings are essentially self-seeking and egotistical, conflict between and amongst them is an unavoidable fact of life’’ (Heywood, 2014, p. 59). This ‘’human nature’’ refers pessimistic picture of the world where war and instability is inevitable.


It shows no hope for a peaceful future, because human nature is always selfish and evil. So that the nature of the states and the human behaviour prepared the readiness of military power as an essential tool for defence and economic bargain. Realists believe that peaceful cooperation between countries and governments can only be maintained through the balance of power when it comes to the global scale.


A good example of this is how the powerful states of China, Russia, Britain, France and US never got into war since they developed the atomic bomb. They are all members of the Security Council, even though USA and Russia experienced the cold war and the current Ukraine crisis their conflict based on politico-economic rivalry rather than military war.


Whilst, America and Britain invaded countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya that does not have the weapons of mass destruction or competitive military like theirs. This theory believes about human nature, which is evil and anarchy. It delineates that there is no trust between states, for the reason that human behaviour is all about selfishness and relies on a self-help system.


It also states that the mutual cooperation cannot be trusted, as every country runs for its own survival, economic and political interest. So the realistic foreign policy of states depends on self-help and statism strategy. Where the structural realism does not attribute to human nature.


As Waltz defined the structure of the international system into three different elements. Firstly, Waltz stated the organising principle into two separate components, which are the anarchy and the hierarchy. He defined the scenario of anarchy as it is a situation which resembles the decentralised realm of the international politics.


Whilst, hierarchy defines the basis of domestic order. He argues that the units of the international system are functionally similar, sovereign states; hence unit level variation is inconsequential. Finally, he stated the third element, which is the distribution of capabilities across units, according to Waltz ‘’ the relative distribution of power in the international system is the key independent variable in understanding important international outcomes such as war and peace, alliance politics, and the balance of power.


Structural realists are interested in providing a rank ordering of states, so that they can discern the number of great powers that exist at any particular point in time (Baylis, Smith and Owens, 2014, p. 104). This ‘’structural realists’’ refers that competing states can always prepare themselves for any conflict of war.


So building the military strategy is one of the main goals of the states. Realism looks at the world power as an anarchist, so that the relative gain is important for any state. Military power and defence mechanism is more important than economic power, it believes that the military can create economic and social development.


Good examples are the USA, Russia and China because these states want to benefit more than the other, so that they are always competing powers. Therefore, the core points of concentration of realism are the existence of the brutality of the human nature, the structural system of the anarchical state systems as well as the importance of the power of the state, in order to survive, or benefit from the global competing interests of the world.


On the other hand, the theory of liberalism of global politics paints utterly different viewpoint of the world politics. The theory of liberalism wipes out the pessimistic ways of realism, which is the state conflicts and the nasty behaviour of the human nature into a different dimension of peace and cooperation. The discoverers of liberalism, such as Rousseau and Kant, denied to accept as true, that human nature was evil.


In its place, they argued that it is in the nature of the human beings to be cooperative and to be able to achieve solutions in an exchanging of non-violent peaceful means. Consequently, war was not the next logical step to a conflict or disagreement; it was only a matter of providing the proper tools for the individuals and states to be able to come to a peaceful, jointly promoting a resolution to any conflicting state of affairs.


Liberalism encourages world peace through cooperation, democratisation, free trade and globalisation. According to Heywood, liberalism states with emphasis the economic and international benefits of free trade, leading the mutual benefit and general prosperity along with peace amongst the states. Whilst, free trade, which is a system of trade between the states not be restricted by tariffs or other forms of protectionism.


And finally, the notion that there is an intrinsic link between peace and democracy, in particular that democratic states do not go to war with one another (Heywood 2014, p. 66). This ‘’peace and democracy’’ refers that if states become liberal states with elected leaders such as Britain and the US they never go into a war with other democratic states.


Although, Iran is a democratic country in its context where the president and parliament are elected, and at the same time it has problems with the Western countries like US and Britain. However, the pioneers of liberalism believed that democracy and the way of governing should be based on the context of the Western world.


Marxist theory of global politics applies Marxist ideas to the global economic and political conditions. This school of thought revealed how capitalist ideologies caught up the world developed by increasing the inequality between the global East and West plus the North and the South. This global political theory of Marxism is against the doctrine of liberalism, which encouraged free market cooperation, and democracy will bring peace into the world.


Marxism unlike liberalism argues, according to Heywood that the major powers of the world will fight one another by competing world economy and natural resources of the underdeveloped countries. ‘’This, in turn, would bring major capitalist powers into conflict with one another, the resulting WWII is being essentially an imperialist war in the sense that it was fought for the control of colonies in Africa, Asia and elsewhere.


Such thinking was further developed by later Marxists, who focused on the uneven development of global capitalism’’ (Heywood, 2014, p. 72). This ‘’uneven development’’ refers the pressures of economic exploitation of the capitalist countries’ economy develop at different rates. Therefore, this is what creating the conflict of economic interests of the world. So revolution and political instability between economic classes will arise, which will bring violence of war and social destruction of the world societies.


In conclusion, this essay supports by providing a detailed example of the world and how it is today that the theory of realism is the most convincing theory when it comes to the global politics. Although, liberalism promotes openness and agrees more effective use of resources, exchange of technology and greater chance for trade and industrial growth. The approach of realism is more influential when we see how the world politics resembles today.


Realists believe that approach to peace should be done through the equilibrium of power and military readiness and strength. The reality of the international threat cannot be denied, although liberalist and realist have very different approaches of the way in which the world operates or functions.


However, realists proved more realistically their theory along the years with the critical events that occurred both in the past and the present with the proviso that the possibility of the future events, which their signs can be seen in our predictions.


One good example that proves the realist point of view is the competing political and economic forces of the world as it is today. The number of states that have nuclear warheads are snowballing, in addition to the number of states spending nearly 10% of their GDP to build the military defence system. The terrorist attacks everywhere in the world are another signal of instability and uncertainty of where the future of world peace is heading to.


China and America are building their military bases in the region, whilst Russia annexed Crimea and fuelling Eastern Ukraine conflict. Therefore realists proved that state egoism, and that human beings are driven by non-rational appetites: aversions, fears, hopes and desires, the strongest of which is the desire to exercise power over others (Heywood, 2014). Whilst, liberalists failed to explain the occurrences of the above mentioned conflicts and wars that happen throughout the world. The international peace organisations, which the liberalists promoted have also failed to bring peace and stability into the world.


Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud. Department of Politics and International Studies. The Univeristy of Warwick. Email:m.hagi-mohamoud@warwick.ac.uk, mohamedomar1@hotmail.com.


Reference List

Heywood, A. (2014). Global Politics. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Garner, R., Ferdinand, P., and Lawson, S. (2012). Introduction to Politics. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Baylis, J., Smith, S., and Owens, P. (2014). The Globalization of World Politics: An introduction to international relations. 6th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kegley, W. K., Blanton, S.L. (2010). World Politics. 13th revised ed. Belmont, CA: Wadswoth Publishing Co Inc.

Doyle, W. M. (1997). Ways of War and Peace. New York: WW Norton & Co

Gismondi, M. D. (2010). Ethics, Liberalism and Realism in International Relations. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Bilan, Y. and Gazda, J. (2014). Journal of International Studies. Libraries and the Academy,

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