Review – Ross, Andrew: “The Theory and Practice of International Relations”

Three analytical perspectives – Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism – guide the international relations paichillnai theorist throughout the world. Realism focuses on war and peace and it contends that politics determines economics. The central problem within Liberalism is conflict and cooperation. Liberalist believe that war is not the only form of conflict, peace is not the only form of cooperation and that socio-economics is no less important than national security. Liberalist also believe that the interrelationship between economics and national security determines state interest. Marxism is based solely on domination and subordination; The ‘have and the have-nots.’ Economic issues drive the Marxist agenda; they conclude that economics determine politics. Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism are not mutually exclusive approaches to understanding international relations. Though there are linkages between the three perspectives, those linkages are few in number.

U.S. decision-makers are most influenced Realism and Liberalism. The fact that political, social, economic, and security issues have all vied for top billing on the U. S. agenda leads me to believe that Liberalism has had the greatest impact in the U. S. decision making process. This depends on the President and Party in power. We can look back and see that a Carter is clearly a liberalist and a Reagan is definitely a realist. Even in the last election there were clear indications that Bush is a strong realist and Gore a strong liberalist. A hybrid like Clinton is harder to sort out he started out to the liberal side but ended up on the other. It is difficult to say which perspective should have the most influence. However, the extensive agenda of Liberalism would best fit our needs due to the economic and social diversity of American society. The main point of these readings is to show that there are strict differences in these perspectives and they will affect your view of the world coming together or coming apart. This kind of view will therefore influence what you think we will need for future forces.

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