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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

International Relations, Principal Theories

Anne-Marie Slaughter, Thomas Hale

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 September 2021

Subject(s):
General principles of international law — Sovereignty

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The study of international relations takes a wide range of theoretical approaches. The major schools of thought differ principally with respect to the factors and processes they emphasize as explanations for world politics—eg military power, material interests, or ideological beliefs. Some theories emerge from within the discipline itself, via a series of ‘great debates’ that have defined the intellectual history of the field. Others have been imported, in whole or in part, from disciplines such as economics and sociology. Indeed, few social scientific theories...
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