International Relations Theories provide a conceptual framework through which various global events can be analysed from a theoretical perspective. This field of study is relatively young and the three most prominent theories that have emerged are Realism, Liberalism and Constructivism. It is pertinent to note that International Relations as a field of study is significant in the contemporary times because of the progressive globalization, interconnectedness and the interdependence among countries. Ole Holsti describes this field of study as a pair of coloured sunglasses that allows its viewer to only see the events that are essential to the theory, for example, an event that may be relevant to constructivism may not be relevant to realism. There are various International Relations Theories like Marxism, Securitization, Green Theory, Realism, Idealism/Liberalism, Constructivism, Feminism, etc. The two theories that will be analysed further are Realism and Securitization Theory.
Realism or Political Realism is an International Relations Theory that stresses on the conflictual and competitive side of the international politics. It is a theory that is directly contrasted with Idealism or Liberalism because the latter stresses on cooperation as opposed to the conflictual side of international politics. Realism is a theory that seeks to emphasize the role of the state and its national interest coupled with military power, in global politics. It can be considered as one of the earliest International Relations theories to emerge in the global forum. Realist theorists condemn the practice of idealism, and instead advocate that the global politics should be viewed and analysed as it currently exists as opposed to viewing it in the perspective of how one wished the global politics were.
Securitization is in International Relations theory that seeks to transform every subject into a matter of ‘security’ for the state. This theory traces its origin to the Copenhagen School and is considered as a synthesis of classical political realism and constructivism. Securitization would allow the state to use extreme or extraordinary measures to protect the state from the ‘security’ threat. It results in ultimate politicization of every subject matter. Issues that are branded as securitized do not necessarily represent issues that are significant for the object survival of a state, but rather, they represent issues that someone has convincingly converted into an existential threat, thus making it a securitized issue. The outcome of branding an issue as a securitized one is that the said issue would receive unsurmountable attention and disproportionate resources that would result in loss to the economy and the human resource strength of the state.
Theories of International Relations are essential to analyse any global event in order to understand the underlying international politics surrounding the said event. Realism is a theory that emphasizes on the non-cooperation aspect of the conflictual and competitive side of global politics. Securitization theory emphasizes on declaring a certain issue as a securitized issue that would cause potential harm to the survival of the state. Upon comparison of both these International Relations theories, several similarities and differences can be noticed between the two. Therefore, it is pertinent to establish that International Relations theories must be applied to global politics in order to comprehend the complications of an international forum and it is a significant mode of being able to predict possible solutions and future actions by the states.
Author: Akshita Goyal