Theories of International Relations (China and USA)

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Internal relations can be defined as many things. The definition is dependent on the branch of knowledge that is applying it. However, for this paper, international relations shall be defined as an international system that is made up of many states that have no bigger authority to which they answer when it comes to matters that they consider important to the state (LSE, 2016).

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International relations should, however, be seen as it is, not as a static entity, but as a dynamic entity that is ever shifting with the sands of time. Theories that are relevant now in international relations may be rendered obsolete in the years to come. The theories have been shaped by history and various cultural norms and biases. One of the things that international relations deal with is conflict. Serious conflicts that may lead to war and conflicts between two big countries that just want to emerge on top. For this research paper, the conflict between the US and China shall be looked into. The relevance of looking into the conflict between the US and China is so that one can understand the conflict as looked through the prism of international relation theories. By understanding the conflict one will be able to mitigate any effects that may arise or have arisen because of the ensuing conflict and thus help in preventing any further conflict that may arise in the near future.

Research Question

The research question that was looked into in this research paper was: ?· What are the theories that address the conflict between two powerful nations when it comes to international relations?

Theoretical Discussion

When it comes to international relations, there are contending theoretical perspectives. Realism which has been dubbed political realism is a theoretical perspective that brings to the fore the competitive and the conflictual side. The main actors as portrayed by the theoretical perspective of realism are states. States are not considered altruistic, but they are after their interests, Galston (2010), regardless of whether they align with the broader international relation theme that is abroad in the world at that particular era in time. As implied in realism, states will pursue their national interests, their security and they will struggle for power. Therefore those that subscribe to realism are often skeptical about the place of ethical norms in relations among states. Whereas most internal politics within countries are characterized by law, order, and justice, realists view the international political arena as one that without justice and filled with potential if not an active conflict between states. Realism is not completely Machiavellian in nature where all is justified because of the state; there is a place for moral judgment when it comes to international relations.

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