Understanding the current contemporary global politics can be a little bit difficult based on the huge amounts of resources or materials available. However, experts and scholars have adopted some theories that play very important roles in as far as discussing some of these political processes are concerned. International Politics as an academic discipline was established in 1919 by David Davies as a means to study and understand some of the world's main political problems scientifically and come up with solutions with the main aim of preventing war. The opponents of this termed it idealism since it emphasized more on how the world ought to have been. Those who preferred this approach became the realists which emphasized on seeing the world as it really is.
Realists do not see the world as a pleasant place but a place that is full of cruelty where human beings are directed to act upon issues based on their own selfish interests or desires. Self-preservation according to realists is the single most important aspect of existence. Despite the debate going on for a very long time, it is arguably correct that realism continues to have an upper hand because it provides more common sense. Terrorist actions have done very little in portraying human nature as that which is good as it continually shows how merciless humanity can be.
States are the major actors in the international systems according to realists and they are also the legal actors. This legality is drawn from the fact that states are sovereign and this attribute makes states to be the highest actors and no other actor can compel it to act it any other specific way. Any other actor such as the multinational corporations have to function within the framework of inter-state relations
Human nature is central in the arguments of realists and the selfish nature of human beings forms the basis their critic against the liberalists. As such world politics is dominantly characterized by the struggle for power between states with each trying to maximize benefits for their national interests. The power struggle is as a result of the need for the balance of power where states act so that they can prevent one state from dominating.
Global politics is therefore about negotiations and formation of alliances with diplomacy being a very important tool for engagement. However, the most important tool for implementing state policies in the international system is the military force.
Liberalists have a totally different view of global politics. This theory is anchored majorly on the belief that human nature is good and for this to be perfectly exploited democracy must become an important driver for progress to be realized. Liberals strongly reject the notion that war is a natural condition of global politics. They also emphasize the role of other non-state actors at the international level and reject the singularity of the state as the only actors although they acknowledge its importance. Multinational corporations, transnational actors such as terrorist organizations and transnational organizations are very central to the international system.
Liberalists argue that the state is not a unitary and as such there cannot be issues such as national interest since foreign policies at the international system only represents the results of whatever bureaucratic organizations dominate the domestic politics or decision-making processes
Liberals emphasize the possibility of states to cooperate. This form of cooperation can be achieved although through a complex system of political, social and economic interactions.