International relations theory for 21st century by Martin Griffiths

By Martin Griffiths

Diplomacy conception has been the location of extreme debate in recent times. A decade in the past it used to be nonetheless attainable to divide the sector among 3 major views – Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism. not just have those methods advanced in new instructions, they've been joined by way of a couple of new ‘isms’ vying for cognizance, together with feminism and constructivism.

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The radical potential of democracy is even more marked, and contra Fukuyama, it is quite likely that alternatives to the secular, free-market model will emerge. There are also good political arguments for a new form of globalism. Mainstream foreign policy debate in the United States is divided not over the question of American leadership, but over the question of whether this be unilateral or multilateral in character. That the latter in practice places greater emphasis upon ‘soft-power’ dovetails with traditional liberal internationalist approaches (Nye 2004).

As the inherent limits and contradictions of the current ideological and militarized approach to IR become more apparent, there is likely to be greater receptivity in the international public realm to creative and innovative approaches to addressing both specific problems and the general nature of world order. This does not, however, mean that liberal internationalism should (or indeed can) expect to operate as it has in the past: grounded in an ethnocentric mode of thought that justifies universal moral and political claims from within its own particular philosophical discourse.

This, however, is a challenge not only for liberals but also for the global community at large. Moreover, the scale of the challenge is of the first order, for globalization – the growth of a world economy, the extent of global communication and information networks, and the proliferation of multiethnic communities – marks the endgame for the Westphalian system, both as an analytical model and as defining a political reality. That this raises serious questions over the meaning of statehood in the twenty-first century presents fundamental challenges to the key political concepts at the heart of liberalism that have traditionally been thought of in the context of the sovereign state: ‘nation’, ‘citizenship’, ‘democracy’, and ‘accountability’.

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