This research paper tries to outline the broad parameters of the English school’s approach to International Relations. I have explained the meaning of rationalism in this research. This paper also discusses about the International relations theory. This paper illustrate that rather than linking the English school to a via media and, in particular, to the idea of international society. I have also explained that world society can significantly be discussed only by depicting a critical theory that identifies the direction that the society needs to take for human values to be realized. In this paper, I have tried to explain the importance of degree of order. In this paper, I have mentioned the importance of degree of order in International System. This paper also includes the views and ideas of different theorist as well as their criticisms.
Rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of information or explanation. In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory in which the standards of the truth are not sensory but they are intellectual and deductive (The Progressive Living Glossary 2008).
Rationalism is sometimes said to stand in opposition to idealism with its preference for emotion over reason, and also in opponent to the concept of ‘exposure’ as a sufficient ground for (usually religious) beliefs. Though, in particular, rationalism stands in comparison to totalitarianism. There is a view that belief should be grounded in respect for the views of the powerful, influential or charismatic (The Progressive Living Glossary 2008).
Rationalists concord their respect to logic and evidence and are doubtful not only of would-be authorities, but also of ‘visions’, drug-induced revelations, and any form of mysticism that asserts the existence of what cannot be observed, or at least reasoned to from observation. To differentiate rationalism in this way is perhaps to draw too strong contrast between it and the rigorous views (The Progressive Living Glossary 2008).
For example, most rationalists, for both emotions and intuitions would accord a place of respect, though the proper role of these tends to be controversial. Rationalism is often contrasted with empiricism in the framework of philosophy; according to their view the knowledge can be derived only from observation (The Progressive Living Glossary 2008).
By contrasting to other self-effacing sort of thoughtful rationalists, it can be elucidated that they have a tendency to point out that we can hardly arrive at knowledge without employing any cause to deduce, assume, assess, categorize, compare and describe. Besides this, the rationalists would indicate that there is a strong difference between unevaluated knowledge and simple ; well-justified knowledge, According to them, there are several forms of knowledge like knowledge about knowledge, which have nothing to do with observation.
There can be some tendency among empiricists to deal with philosophy in a very minor role. And for this minor role, rationalists take a diffused view and have the suitable right to ask the empiricists what scientists are doing when they argue; for instance, in relation to any scientific technique or a statement that has little to do with particular scientific interpretations, which is related to the limits of philosophy of science (The Progressive Living Glossary 2008).
In the 20th century, American philosopher Brand Blanshard was the leading promoter of rationalism. His book “Four Reasonable Men” gives an explanation of rationality and a broad rationality as the greatest of all the virtues. John Macmurray’s “Reason and Emotion” gives a detail about the discussion of the role of reason and emotion in life (The Progressive Living Glossary 2008).
Therefore, we have a number of characteristics that are common in all forms of realism. They are:
· Emphasis on the significance of the position: According to Buzan, Realism mainly highlights the situation that is derived from the sense and tells us that the position is the leading wielder of power in the international system.
· The Balance of Power mechanism (Realism and Non-realism 2008).
· Dilemma related to security
· Stability of the Human Condition: for realism, the condition like stability of human is personified within Human Nature and for Neo-Realism; this is centered on revolution as the ordering principle (Realism and Non-realism 2008).
· For realism and non-realism, revolution is important and this leads to no constraints on situations, which ultimately mean that conflict is the natural state of affairs (Realism and Non-realism 2008).
Definition of Rationalism
Rationalism is an approach that allows the dominance of a cause and intends at creating a structure of philosophy and moral principles that are verified by knowledge and independent in nature for all illogical assumptions of authority (Hurst 1865). Rationalists argue for a balanced approach to human problems and recommend rational substitutes to spiritual code of belief (Realism and Non-realism 2008).
They protect freedom of thought and civil liberation and strive for the secularization of politics, society and educational system (Hurst 1865). Rationalists contradict misleading notion and intend to support an open and unlocked society. They support logical methods and also identify the significance of feelings and thoughts (Hurst 2008).
Rationalist International is a group or association that asserts to protect the thoughts of rationalist. Its affirmed objective is to characterize a rational view of the world, making the voice of reason heard and measured where communal belief is formed and decisions are made (Rationalist International: An Introduction 2008). Realism mainly puts emphasis on power and is possessed with international disorder, rationalism pressures on cooperation and is obsessed with diplomacy and commerce and revolutionism has a mission for international revolution; it is obsessed with a society of states (Rationalist International: An Introduction 2008).
Rationalist International is a debate for rationalist thoughts and situations of global concern. In general, it aims at representing the view of rationalist, where public opinion is formed and where decisions are taken, which determine to shape the future. During the First International Rationalist Seminar at New Delhi, in December 1995, Rationalist International was founded (Rationalist International: An Introduction, 2008).
The president of the Human Etisk Forbund of Norway, Lorentz Stavrum inaugurated the International treaty in opposition to Fundamentalism in the existence of international spectators with delegates from 28 countries. This Fundamentalism was the original name of Rationalist International. Sanal Edamaruku was the secretary general as well as the founder of Indian Rationalist Association and became the president of the treaty (Rationalist International: An Introduction 2008).
At the start, focus was on the operation against fundamentalism; the treaty was soon expanded by its base and twisted a front line of the rationalist movement. Thus, its Board of Directors decided to change its name into Rationalist International (Rationalist International: An Introduction 2008). Rationalist International planned the Second International Conference in January 2000 at Trivandrum, Kerala in which well-known rationalist philosophers from diverse parts of the world opened the conversation about the Rationalist Agenda for the new century (Rationalist International: An Introduction 2008).
International relations theory
The theory of International relations efforts to put forward a theoretical model on the basis of which international relations can be evaluated. To different point of scale each theory is reductive and essentialist and rely on diverse sets of hypothesis respectively (Coughlan 2008). According to Ole Holsti, international relations theories proceed as a pair of colored sunglasses, permitting the wearer to observe only the most important events related to the theory (Coughlan 2008).
A supporter of realism may entirely pay no attention to an event that a constructivist may seize upon as essential and vice-versa. The figure and quality of the assumptions prepared by an international relations theory furthermore establishes its efficacy and effectiveness. Realism is an economical and very essentialist theory (Coughlan 2008).
It is useful in accounting for chronological events (for example why did S attack B), but at some point of time, it is inadequate in both elucidating systemic change (for instance the end of the Cold War) and forecasting the events of future. Liberalism, in general, studied a very large amount of conditions (Roberson 2002). It is less practical in building predictions, but can be very perceptive in evaluating ancient time’s events.
Traditional theories may have less to say on the subject of the behavior of previous settlement. International relations theories can be divided into “positivist/rationalist” and “post-positivist/reflectivist” theories (Roberson 2002). Rationalist theories focus on a state-level analysis whereas Reflectivist theories include extended meanings of security ranging from class to gender and to post-settlement security.
International Rationalism theories are frequently contradictory approaches of philosophy, which includes institutionalism, neo-gramscianism, Marxism, constructivism and others (Roberson 2002). Though, the most widespread positivist schools of thought are: Realism and Liberalism. Though more and more, constructivism is becoming distinctive and post-positivist theories are increasingly popularly and predominantly outside the United States.
The members of the British committee were the Herbert Butterfield, Kenneth Thomson, Hedley Bull, Morton Kaplan, Williams Armstrong, Geoffrey Hudson and many more. According to them, the criticisms charges against the idealist approach to the International theory are largely valid (Roberson 2002). Their conclusion left them with a perspective that viewed the relations of states are driven by power politics (Roberson 2002).
English School of International Relations
The ‘English School’ of international relations theory is also identified as International Society, Liberal Realism, Rationalism or the British institutionalists. It sustains that at the international level, there is a society of states, despite the condition of revolution. An enormous deal of the work of the English School concerns the assessment of traditions of the past international theory (Linklater & Suganami 2006). The London School of Economics is divided into three partitions: realist or Hobbesian, rationalist or Grotian and revolutionist or Kantian.
The English School itself has supported the rationalist or Grotian tradition. In broad terms; they have sought a central way or media between the ‘power politics’ of realism and the ‘utopianism’ of revolutionism (Linklater & Suganami 2006). It is argued that the school, from an early stage, has been dedicated to increase a pluralistic approach to the subject matter articulated in both ontological and procedural terms.
As a result, associates of the English school not only distinguished ontologically between international societies, world societies and international systems but they have also tacitly recognized that diverse methodologies are necessary to take hold of the unique features of each of these ontological components (Linklater & Suganami 2006). The English school favors a pluralist approach and aims to characterize the different cross-currents that avoid International Relations from moving in any one direction.
At the present time, all businesses are being affected by globalization in one way or another (Linklater & Suganami 2006). The Businesses are also affected through the rapid advance of technology and particularly through the area of communications. To gain the advantage of such process, numbers of businesses are trying to expand their markets. However, the use of English by entrepreneurs from the United States is only to communicate with stakeholders and is taken as an ethnocentric attitude all the way through the world (Strauss 1997).
The study of international relations has historical, sociological and normative dimensions (Linklater & Suganami 2006). The author of the school relations uses some idea types as a means of describing the international relation with the help of international system and with international society. The English school of international relation has done less work on the mechanism of political change. As per the view of historical study, the school of relation has to do a lot hard work (Linklater & Suganami 2006).
In explaining the view of English school’s attitude towards normative questions, it should be kept in mind that the authors of English school see no problem in identifying the existing framework of international relations. The English School of International Relations gives the idea that international society is a cultural achievement that needs to be kept alive and extended by a concerted effort, especially from its leading member states.
Degree of Order
The degree of Integration is very much related to the keenness and dedication of autonomous self-governing states to share their sovereignty. The capacity of a system urges its members to behave in mutual advantageous ways toward each other, so as to develop the efficiency of each other’s behavior (UNO- CRIS definition of Region 2008).
When any individual discusses about the international system’s measure of integration, it means that the discussion is related to the level of order of a system. Because it is the system’s degree of order, which determines the capacity of an international system to make its members behave in mutually beneficial ways and to assemble, utilize and direct the efforts and resources of its member effectively (UNO- CRIS definition of Region 2008).
The order of level is a crucial component. It gives a system, the needed foundation for its survival and forms the prerequisite for its wealth and cultural development. The order of level raises the power of an international system because order provides an organization a fundamental ingredient of effective collective action and thereby; it improves the capacity to protect its members from the risks and uncertainties of outside world (UNO- CRIS definition of Region 2008).
Order renders the social, political and economic life more transparent and predictable; it limits the risks and hazards involved. It provides the information, which people simply need to know before they can commit themselves to more productive and cooperative relationships. Level of order contributes to the production of additional resources as well as the scientific or other information (UNO- CRIS definition of Region 2008).
The members of highly ordered International system become more influential because they are facilitated to put the information and the resources that they possess to profitable use. The level of order represents the temporary conclusion of the member’s effort to realize their interest whereby the condition of the system as a whole is made as beneficial to them as possible (UNO- CRIS definition of Region 2008). The process outcome represents a situation of social or political equilibrium in which the member accepts the current state of international system. An international system’s order also implies the capability to deal with these changes in a productive and peaceful manner.
Degree of Order in International System
International systems are associated with recurrent patterns of behavior that can be identified most effectively using positivist tools of analysis. By contrast, international societies need to be explored using interpretive or hermeneutic methods that focus on the language that lies behind the rules, institutions, interests and values that constitute any society.
The concept of international system is the over whelming choice among the analysts. A system is a set of interrelated entities and their interrelationships. An international system is set of nations and the networks that link together. International disorder means the tragedy, in a form of unnecessary but unavoidable war. It is the essence of international politics. The most impressive theory regarding this system is described and analyzed in term of a balance of power.
The basic conception of international system consists of states living in semi anarchy, with a structure that is the distribution of power among those states. Therefore, in the international system, balancing of power represents the equilibrium tendencies.
One of the contributors to the literature of international political and system was Morton Kaplan. His primary concern was an analysis at the level of the international system, which according to him was distinguished as more or less subsystem- dominant. To evaluate chances for stability, Kaplan sought out different outline for international systems (Morgan 1987).
According to the Kaplan, the international system can be judged under five sets of variables. In the first set of variables, important rules are included. They are:
· Be active to increase competence and include negotiation rather than fight
· Fight rather than leaving behind an opportunity to increase the competence (Morgan 1987).
· Take actions to oppose any partnership that tends to assume a position of predominance with respect to the rest of the international system (Morgan 1987).
· Act to restrict the persons, who subscribe to supranational organizing principles.
The second set of variables embraces the transformation rules which explain about the system change. The other set of variables includes the rules like capabilities and armaments. The final set of rules includes the information variables like information about each other’s goals and objective, capabilities and actions (Morgan 1987).
According to a British scholar, Evan Luard, a comparative analysis involves the international system ranging from states to the contemporize world (Morgan 1987). The key factors in each international system comprise of the nature of the leaders, motives of the elites, stratifications, which involves the degree of dominance and dependence, type of interaction among system members, roles to be performed and the standards of code o conduct (Morgan 1987).
An international system in which high degree of order is allocated is to be more powerful and economically more developed nations. According to the perception of Hedley Bull, the Grotian conception of International system should be preferred. According to him, the major object and regular product of the society of the states is order. Order results from the application of various rules (Morgan 1987).
A dominant rule says that the governments are the major actors. They are not the international organizations but are treated as such. These rules include coexistence, cooperation and the balance of power mechanism (Morgan 1987). The existence of regimes is treated as evidence that states readily cooperate on any matter and patterns of cooperation that represent a good deal of stability and order. It has been discussed that the relationships among states have a high degree of orders (Morgan 1987).
The distribution of power among major states gives the international system its characteristic features. It is important to have the degree of order in the system; the order should be associated with the dominance of the state.
The important and interrelated issues in the literature are to distinguish between the various paradigms in international relations. International theory has been traditionally revolved around three questions (Lugo 1996). These questions comprise of:
· Cause of war and the conditions of peace, security and order and the subsidiary problematic nature of power (Lugo 1996).
· The important and essential units of analysis.
· Image of the world system or the society of states (Lugo 1996).
According to the entire category of the assumptions, it can be identified that the degree to change and continuity are likely to mark the course of events. The variations between three examples can be typically distinguish according to their conflicting premises, which are concerning toward the central issue of the units of analysis on the basis of international system and the potential for change (Lugo 1996).
Hobbessian realists are distinguished from Grotian realists in the assumptions regarding the nature of the state and along with the degree of order that they perceive to characterize the international system (Lugo 1996). The approach of Hobbessian realist emphasizes on the autonomous character of the state as well as of the state sovereignty. The contributor of literature, Hedley Bull, described the contradictory image of international relations in an anarchical state of society (Lugo 1996).
On the other hand, the globalists share a point of departure of dissatisfaction with the balance of power as a description as well as the prescription for the international system. The resulting image of the international system can be described as a global community of the individuals as well as communities, which are not only characterized by the balance of power but also with the rule of law (Lugo 1996). The approach is clearly based on a presupposition of the need for and possibility of radical change and transformation of the international system.
It can be concluded after analyzing the entire process of the international system that this system is quite stimulating. But still there are some problems and drawbacks. According to Kaplan, international system can be defined as the sets of variables, which are related in contradiction to their environment. An international system is a power structure in which the weight of the external pressure approaches the vanishing points (Lugo 1996).
It is important to have the proper degree of order. The international system should follow the order propounded by the international society. The Authors of school were more concerned about the possible deterioration of international order; they emphasize on the prevention rather than the speculation of the casual mechanism that might bring a more cooperative international environment (Lugo 1996).
If everything falls within the international system, few of the persons will be arrogant with regards to the prospects. There is no overwhelming evidence that shows that the concept of an international system is analytical. The commencement of the system seems to be simple to do the justice. It is not at all surprising that the various system approaches have inflammation at the hands of critics (Morgan 1987).
The concept of the international system as a society of states, through rules, conventions and regimes is eye-catching in various ways. According to the contributors, it is important to begin with the elimination of the nation-states as the primary unit of analysis in support of some central structure of global scope. Thus, it is important and essential to understand what is international system and why it is important (Lugo 1996).
It can also be stated that the idealist-realist debate has come to dominate the international relation by theorizing the primacy of power in the politics of survival against the pursuit of values in international relations. It has been observed that despite the nature of the international system, there is a clear evidence of some degree of co-operation (Linklater & Suganami 2006).
International theories are met to reflect on the nature of the international state system, the degree of order that should be appeared and the prospect of an international society emerging in the current order of the system (Lugo 1996).
According to some theorists of the international society, these international relations comprised an incipient form of an international society. According to the rationalism, international relation is the way to look at the international system that contains the components of both realism as well as the idealism whereas for some international society theorists, considerations went beyond the attempts to understand societal developments in the internal system of the states (Lugo 1996).
These theorists also considered the possible eventual emergence of a world society that would be based on the common values of humanity (Roberson 2002). The international society approach retains its potential in international relations. The criticisms have flown specifically around the concepts of international system, international society and world society. The critics who have made these concepts a prime concern in the analysis of the efficacy of the English school to understand the international relations are Alan James, Martin Shaw and Barry Buzan (Roberson 2002). The concept of the International society can be viewed as the international relation theory, if it is explored more significantly and meaningfully (Linklater & Suganami 2006).
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