“Theory is always relevant—indeed, essential—for policymaking.” – this statement by Stephen Walt during his interviewhere underscores that as a passionate MUNer, engaging in exercises of policymaking during their negotiations, theories of international relations can become vital in understanding the complexities of decision-making. Ultimately, theories are part of our courses in university, but even if you are not a student of international relations or political science – there is no need to be afraid of theories. Theories, such as realism, liberalism and constructivism, the so-called Big Three, help to make sense of the world and sharpen our eye to look through its lens.
There is a few core features about theories to keep in
·Theories are THE way to understand
international relations - how one understands them, depends on the theory
·Theories develop – With the progress we experience in the world, so do we see new developments in theories, neo-liberal theories have developed alongside scholars focusing on neo-realist views but the basis lies with the Big Three
·Theories have flaws – One theory is only one of many ways to understand the reality around us, it is not perfect, but only a model to make sense of situations that have occurred. A perfect theory is not existent. Yet.
·Theories are not complicated, the world we live in is – many students hesitate from studying theories in depth, many non-IR MUNers have no idea about them altogether. However, the theories can help us reduce complexity and shape our understanding. We live in a hectic, fast-changing world – use theories to your advantage!
·No fear of theories – there is no need to be afraid of theories, they help us to understand but also sharpen our critical mind when scrutinizing their content against the real world – so how about it?
A quick overview of the Big Three
With the basics in mind, explore theories; this is only a rough overview! And explore how they can help you to shape your very own views on the world and its complexities!