Criticisms Towards Mainstream ir theories

Download 15.38 Kb.
Size15.38 Kb.
Ayşe-Şevval-Raylaz Assignment 2
book assignment, ENG102 Final, IR231 1, adm1122, Adm1122 midterm

Criticisms Towards Mainstream IR Theories
Critical theory refers to the various social theories that have since been developed with the goal of emancipating marginalized groups (Paul et al., 2021, p.206). In all critical theories, change is viewed positively. They also share the belief that the change they seek is fundamental and necessary. Their goal is to transform the underlying structures and processes of international politics. Critical theorists state that ideas aren't always neutral; they always include biases. The way we think and share our beliefs has a real-world impact and can be used as a weapon in power struggles. While not all theories are ideology, they may all be used to promote it. Existing orders are systematized and privileged by dominant IR theories. Robert Cox stated that knowledge unlike realists would want to claim, cannot be objective and timeless. Dissatisfaction with existing methodologies of traditional peace research, most notably the idea of peace as the absence of war, prompted the development of critical peace studies in the 1970s. The most prominent critical peace theorist, Johan Galtung, defined the absence of war as "negative peace," which is not what we should want. According to him, we should strive for "positive peace," which can only be accomplished in the absence of structural, rather than just physical, violence. Structural violence occurs when social systems unintentionally injure groups of people by denying them access to fundamental necessities (as cited in Paul et al., 2021, p. 208). This approach by prioritizing the human being as its unit of analysis revealed that, rather than being the protector of security, the state can frequently be the biggest abuser of it. Economic inequalities, human rights abuses, ethnic conflicts and gender inequalities can all be considered as structural violence. We need to consider that all of these factors affect international politics as well. Gender assumptions influence a wide spectrum of global political events. For example, in 2003, the Iraqi military captured the first group of American prisoners of war. Two of the injured US soldiers were imprisoned by the Iraqi military, while two others were tortured. The fifth, on the other hand, was transported to a hospital and treated, and the Iraqi forces attempted but failed to transfer her to the US military. Jessica Lynch was hospitalized and given medical assistance. According to feminist analysis, the Iraqis had some awareness of the gender, race, and class variables that saved Jessica Lynch. We can conclude from this example that gender is mapped in global politics in complex, surprising, and multifaceted ways. Thus, understanding global politics necessitates an examination of gender roles and their dynamics. The end of the Cold War shifted focus and priorities away from the militaristic and ideological limitations of the East-West divide, allowing for the exploration and consideration of various international relations topics and methods. Considerations of the environment, the drug trade, economic globalization, demographic challenges, and ethnicity are only a few of the "new" parts of this trend (Thorburn, 2000, p.3 )
Marxist IR theory on the other hand, advocates that every social event has an economic foundation. The economy has an impact on the entire society. Capitalism enriches the rich while impoverishing the poor, and the state serves as a vehicle for capitalists to carry out their exploitation. Even though units are different in Marxist and critical IR theories, both do not put state in the center of their theories. The unit analysis in Marxist theory is classes, humans in critical theories. The analysis of World Systems Theory has been widely used to explain not just various economic development strategies, but also social discontent, political instability, conflict, and war. According to this theory, international capitalism is just one stage of economic progress. Capitalism is a historical process that will eventually come to an end. The position of a country in international politics is influenced by whether it is core or periphery in the capitalist system. Colonial history will continue as long as capitalism exists. World systems analysis can be combined with post-colonialism in critical IR theories ,in this case. Both agree that capitalism has been a global phenomenon since its beginnings in the fifteenth century in which disparity between rich and poor, between a "North" and a "South," cannot be eliminated because the system depends on this inequality and the accumulation dynamics it allows for its very survival. Marxist and postcolonial theorists agree that national economies have long been so intertwined that their entire existence is predicated on their position in a capitalist international economy.
To summarize, Marxist IR theory emphasizes that IR is more about reproduction, and labor than it is about states' foreign policy or politicians' behavior. Marxists reject the realist idea that domestic and foreign politics are separate. The emphasis of the Marxist perspective is on classes, implying that a society's internal and economic characteristics determine its international relations with other states. Critical theories also questioned the traditional theories and accused them of serving the interests of some groups. Post-colonialists agree with Marxists in terms of damages of capitalism but add that the West caused the misery of colonies. Colonies are portrayed as weaker,different,culturally and rationally weak. Feminist stated that existing positivist theories reflects a patriarchical structure, gender politics should not be neglected in the international arena to understand the true dynamics of the relations. Therefore, all of these theories in some way challenged traditional theories of IR and brought to the agenda new issues and new methods to study IR.

Paul, T. V., Larson, D. W., Trinkunas, H. A., Wivel, A., & Emmers, R. (2021). The Oxford handbook of peaceful change in international relations. Oxford University Press.
Thorburn, D. (2000). Feminism Meets International Relations. DOI:10.1353/sais.2000.0051
Download 15.38 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2024
send message

    Main page