The Shift in the Concept of State in International Relations

Document Type : Research Paper



International relations field is crafted to study interactions among the states and to explain and to predict their conducts. Perhaps this is the reason why some have described international relations theory as the theory of relations among the states. What is discussed in international relations includes a wide range of varying subjects comprising of the states’ foreign policies within the international system, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and multinational companies, proliferation of nuclear weapons, environmental questions, nationalism, international political economy and issues related to economic development and human rights all of which have a bearing on the state.   The state, if not as the single actor rather as one of the most important concepts in international relations, possesses a critical status in the discipline’s theories, and it has passed considerable transformations. All of the international relations theories have dealt with the subject and each of them presents its particular outlook on the nature, domain, range of activity and power of the state,Considering the fundamental assumptions of each of the international relations theories, this article examines the concept of state and its change in a variety of theories in this discipline.


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