The modern subject is the subject of the sciences.

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THE COMING OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

THE FIRST GREAT DEBATE

The background to this phenomenon begins with the appearance of social science: economy, sociology, Political science and international relations came together and greatly Influenced modern IR. A group of men called liberals and idealists, also called Wilsonian and utopians believed in the creation of international institutions, International trade and public (or open) diplomacy guided by experts. This is The reason why international relations was created as a science. They Attributed the cause of war to the wrong thinking of bad politicians or Diplomats. Secrecy and the work of diplomats ought to be replaced by open public discussions. For these men The balance of power was a failure: It was one of the primary causes of WW1. It produces an escalation which leads To total war. The solution to this was international institutions. The reaction To all these ideas produced what we call “The First Great Debate”.

 The first important IR book to Open the debate was The Twenty-Year Crisis was written by the realist Edward Hallet Carr and published in 1939. He thought that history was not the product of intention of politicians but Rather power. States are power maximizing units: they do this with the Objective of securing their survival. IR hence consists on survival. The Dynamic of power is superior to the Intention of actors. He sought the objective reality of IR which he found Out to be power. For him, liberals where wrong thinking national interest could Be harmonized between states. Good ideas, harmonic interest, good politicians And open diplomacy are not enough to avoid wars. He opposed idealists which he Thought disguised national interest in moral arguments. For Carr, every Country’s national interest is equally valuable.

The Role of positivism
Positivism also played a big role in the coming of international relations. August Comte was a major philosopher in the XIX century, he is considered to be The creator of positivism. He divided humanity into different stages: 1. The Theological Stage = humans do not understand reality so they explain it with Imaginary entities (gods). 2. Metaphysical Stage = Life in not explained Anymore by imaginary entities but rather by abstract concepts. 3. Positive Stage = humans stop giving abstract responses and let science explain things. With positivism the more complex the subject of a science is the later it is Created and therefore emancipated from speculation. The object of society is Extremely complex to understand: the last stage is the creation of social Science.  For Comte, the culmination of The positive stage would be the creation of sociology, which came from his Hand: he is the creator of this science. This idea emancipated political Science from the pure speculation of philosophy.

During the 50s and 60s there Was an uprising revolution in social science which responded to the need of a Pure political science. The only exterior observable thing in humans was Behavior. Interior emotions and feelings were un reliable because the results Were uncertain. For positivists, political science had to imitate real science And stray away from being a pseudo-science. Science as a discipline is Value-free: it is impartial and not based on people’s values or beliefs, it is Objective. Science is also verifiable: it can be proved. Thirdly, science is Accumulative: new knowledge is based on older knowledge. There is a consensus Unlike with philosophy. It is also predictive: it has the ability to predict Things (this was one of social science’s biggest issue). Science is Parsimonious: the less laws that are provided to explain something the better. Science is instrumental: it gives working theories rather than giving strong Affirmations. From their perspective this is one important difference between Science and philosophy. In social science operationalism is extremely Important: since there are no real objective measures operationalization is its Only invented measure (made up arbitrary measure which enable to operate Statistically and logically). These ideas gave life to what we call “The Second Great Debate”.  

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