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Title :

Critical Reflections on the Relevance of Theories and the Concepts of International Relations

Authors :

Mujitaba Liman Arabu

No single theory reliably explains the wide range of international interactions, even though theoretical framework has traditionally held a central position in the study of international relations. Hence it becomes necessary to have such a framework for; otherwise, one may easily loose direction and once the ideas and the facts cannot be presented mutually the whole work loses meaning. Theories are therefore, necessary in intellectual and academic pursuits. It is because of this that scholars belonging to different camps write on the same thing differently. This is also why there are many models, methods and circles of thought as there are as much conflicting interests. Theories are developed in order to understand the causes of events that occur in international relations. Although theory depends on a logical deduction of hypotheses from assumptions and a testing of the hypotheses, as more and more data are collected in the empirical world, theories have to be improved and regulated by the analyst. This is for the avoidance of ambiguity which will probably create wary situation. Instrumentalist theorists believe that ?theories are useful tools for making predictions but cannot be literally true or false?. This paper has identified a number of concepts that are considered important in any meaningful study of international relations. It is pertinent therefore to highlight their theoretical meanings as this would enable us to appreciate their practical applications in everyday use in the relations between States over a long period of time. These concepts include: a variety of theories in international relation studies; the state; national interest; foreign policy; diplomacy; the international system; balance of power and so forth.