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Part II: Conclusions and Implications

The behavior that each theory explains best

Realism predominantly aims at conducting an analysis of the constraints that become evident politically owing to the egotistical nature commonly associated with human beings (van Munster & Sylvest, 2018).  Realists indicate that human selfishness and the quest for power breaks down the capacity of the parties involved to trust others (Aydın, 2020). As such, it culminates predictable outcomes characterized by war. For instance, colonial wars came about as a result of the competition among various powers to assert their dominance in a given region. More specifically, the 15th century became rife with colonial warfare. The period became extensively characterized by Europe’s seizure of various territories in different global regions.

Liberalism focuses on ascertaining that it upholds behaviors that encourage individual well-being (Bell, 2017). It encourages reciprocity that provides an avenue of building trust. Additionally, it also emphasizes on interdependence highlighting the importance of cooperating with others. For instance, the Republican Party initially ascribed to the classical liberalism concept. Its establishment in 1854 came about as a result of the opposition indicated by its members to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Additionally, it sought to eliminate the slavery institution prevalent in various parts of the United States at the time. The Emancipation Proclamation became operational in 1863 under Abraham Lincoln’s leadership. It granted freedom to the individuals subjected to poverty in the U.S.

Essentially, radicalism predominantly focuses on the tendency among people to clamor for extreme governmental changes (Grabowski & Pugacewicz, 2019). In most cases, it endeavors to facilitate some transformations to catapult an overhaul of the principles that fundamentally accrue to a given society. For example, radical groups affiliated with the Islamic religion became extensively involved in terror attacks that affected different nations globally. Their primary motivators underscore a need to cause some revolutions attaining some specified political goals without engaging in negotiation procedures.  In 2001, al-Qaeda members comprising of 19 militants targeted the Twin Towers. The incident catapulted the death of an estimated 3000 individuals. In most cases, terrorist groups abhor western ideologies and instead emphasize on appearing to the prerequisites of the Sharia.

Lastly, constructivism predominantly emphasizes on cooperation which emanates from the values that individual share (Guilhot, 2016). Under such circumstances, it culminates in a scenario where friends can transform into enemies. In addition, it becomes possible to acquire friends from enemies. The theory underscores the prevalence of some power in balance pitting one party in a dominant position as opposed to others (Lukić, Žeželj & Stanković, 2019). For example, World War II resulted in the formation of collaborations that facilitated the formation of some alliances. The primary factor that enabled the countries involved to act accordingly involved the value station that indicated some similarity. Allied powers during World War II included China, Great Britain, the Soviet Union as well as France.

The behavior that each theory misses

The concept fails to take into account circumstances where individuals deviate from their human-nature that underscores their unchanging conflict-prone tendencies. Additionally, it fails to elaborate on the behavioral aspects anticipated where states engaged in politics without necessarily competing to obtain a specific advantage (Hoffman, 2017). A review of world history indicates that some nations resolved to collaborate with each other as opposed to engaging in baseless competition. More specifically, the United States teamed up with other nations such as Great Britain, Japan, France, Romania, and Italy in addition to Russia. Under such circumstances, it becomes possible to evaluate a scenario in which all the parties involved work towards the achievement of a single goal (Lukić, Žeželj & Stanković, 2019). As such, the theory fails to adequately address the propensity of nations to act in accordance with their shared-values.

Liberalism predominantly shies away from exploring the roots of the interest that different states indicate and their accompanying social behavior. More specifically, it refrains from conducting an exploration to determine whether the theory can survive well the powers involved indicate some illiberal behavioral tendencies (Joseph & Kurki, 2018). The countries under the category include Russia as well as China. More specifically, China has embarked on developing policies that seek to assert its position externally while maintaining an authoritarian position internally. Moreover, Beijing has an impact on challenging the de-facto prerogative that assumed a critical role in system shaping by adopting Western policies (Lukić, Žeželj & Stanković, 2019). On the other hand, it engages in geopolitical initiatives with an economic agenda.

Radicalism predominantly emphasizes on behavioral tendencies with negative connotations. However, the theory fails to address behavioral tendencies that facilitate focus on achieving some desired change albeit the fact that they occur in a non-institutionalized manner.

Constructivism focuses on recruiting obvious facts. More specifically, it explains that actions, perceptions as well as interactions assume a critical role in shaping reality (Klos & Roggenkamp, 2020).  Thus, it emphasizes on norms that assume a critical role in determining the conduct evident from actors operating in a group. However, constructivism indicates a reduced capacity to evaluate the behavioral aspects evident in circumstances that lack some social interactions which contribute to the formation of collective identities.

An evaluation to determine whether there is a “best” theory? Why or why not?

There is no best theory. All the theories used in international relations have some weaknesses. Under such circumstances, it becomes difficult to subject global economics to a single international relations theory (Lukić, Žeželj & Stanković, 2019). Thus, the formulation of international agreements can rely on the concepts that align with the norms or values of the parties involved. Additionally, each model becomes beneficial to an economy where it indicates an ability to resolve any prevalent problems efficiently.

The conclusions I can draw about IR theory as it helps us to understand world politics

IR theories attend to explain the operations of international systems. Additionally, it incorporates some concrete evidence as a means of ascertaining its credibility (Qin, 2018). Thus, it provides an avenue of highlighting the motivators that influence the decisions made by nations with regard to their interactions with others.


Aydın, G. Ş. (2020). The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) From the Perspective of International Relations (IR) Theories. In Regional Integration and Future Cooperation Initiatives in the Eurasian Economic Union (pp. 37-55). IGI Global.

Bell, D. (2017). Political realism and international relations. Philosophy Compass, 12(2), e12403.

Grabowski, M., & Pugacewicz, T. (2019). 2. Western IR Theories: Analytical Patterns.

Guilhot, N. (2016). The Kuhning of reason: Realism, rationalism, and political decision in IR theory after Thomas Kuhn. Review of International Studies, 42(1), 3-24.

Hoffman, B. (2017). IR Theory in Practice Case Study: Gender and Terrorism. Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 4, 5.

Joseph, J., & Kurki, M. (2018). The limits of practice: why realism can complement IR’s practice turn. International Theory, 10(1), 71-97.

Klos, F., & Roggenkamp, D. (2020). Realizing IR theories by projections in the UV. Journal of High Energy Physics, 2020(1), 97.

Lukić, P., Žeželj, I., & Stanković, B. (2019). How (Ir) rational Is it to Believe in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories?. Europe’s journal of psychology, 15(1), 94.

Qin, Y. (2018). A multiverse of knowledge: Cultures and IR theories. The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 11(4), 415-434.

van Munster, R., & Sylvest, C. (2018). The thermonuclear revolution and the politics of imagination: realist radicalism in political theory and IR. International Relations, 32(3), 255-274.