Theories of international relations

A variety of theories of international relations and geopolitics have been offered in the course of this century to provide overall framework models for the understanding of conflict and cooperation among nation-states. A century ago, Alfred Thayer Mahan, in The Influence of Seapower Upon History, offered a theory of the mutually reinforcing effects of trade and seapower: Whoever ruled the waves, argued Mahan, ruled the world (Kennedy, 1976, pp. 1-9). Not long thereafter, Sir Halford Mackinder offered a rival theory, that whoever ruled the Eastern European and Central Asian "Heartland" would rule Eurasia, and hence the world (Taylor, 1993, pp. 54-56).

Events through most of the century cast doubts upon both theories. In 1914, Britain had ruled the waves for a century, but it did not rule the world; in dealing with its powerful neighbors across the English Channel it was just one Great Power among several. In that year, a balance of power that operated for a century with relatively little war, and no general coalition war, broke down; two great coalition wars followed in a generation. At the end of the Second World War, Mahan's theory and Mackinder's were poised in a sense directly against one another; the US ruled the waves and the USSR ruled the heartland. Nearly half a century of uneasy bipolar equilibrium followed, ending abruptly in the years around 1990 when the Soviet Union disintegrated -- not from defeat in the global struggle, but from internal collapse.



Related Essays

Underlying Theories of International Relations Underlying Theories of International Relations. International relations remains to date an academic discipline in search of itself. .... (1299 5 )

Theories of International Relations and Cypurs Theories of International Relations and Cypurs. To Nicosia and Back: A Latter Day Excursion Through the Inglorious Arts of Peace .... (9832 39 )

International Relations Theories International Relations Theories. International relations remains to date an academic discipline in search of itself. The discipline .... (1275 5 )

International Relations Dougherty, James E. and Pfaltzgraff .... The authors argue that it is an important attempt to isolate and focus on key variables essential to theories of international relations. Carr, Edward Hallett. .... (2735 11 )

Approaches to International Relations .... (47; 60). It is the view of Waltz that reductionist theories are not effective in dealing with international relations. He .... (7527 30 )

Category: History - T
Common Topics
Click Here to Get Instant Access to over 32,000 Professionally Written Papers!!!
Join Now  
Saved Papers  
Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly!
"This site is an excellent vehicle for quick referrences. Thanks a bunch!"
Carla T.
"Great site, I got a lot of new ideas I would have never thought of before."
Nate A.
"I love this site!!!"
Marie H.
"Thank you for making such a high quality site! Your papers are the best I have seen around"
Debbie B.
"Your site was very helpful and gave me the details I needed in order to complete my essay!!!"
Mike F.
Copyright © 2007 - 2014 Lots of Essays. All Rights Reserved. DMCA