Introduction and Background
The study of international relations represent the of foreign affairs and global issues as it obtains among states operating within the international system. These include the role of state, intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Multinational Corporation (MNCs). International relations allowed as an academic field of study as well public policy discipline. International relations is both positive and normative in that it seeks to influence the formulation of the foreign policies of states as well as provide analytical explanations upon which such policies and actions are based. The study of international relations is an intellectual effort aimed at bringing order, reason and normally into the chaos and near state of anarchy that characterised international politics in the part.

Though international relations is often considered a branch of political science, many scholars prefer to view it as an inter disciplinary field of study, because if its relationship across the board. Despite its relationship with political science, international relations draw much relevance and strength across diverse fields of human sociology, anthropology, international law, social works, psychology and cultural studies. International relations cover a wide range of issues including globalization, regional integration, sovereignty of states, ecological preservation, nuclear proliferation and threat, nationalism, racism, economic development, global finance, international terrorism, organized crime, human trafficking and modern slavery, foreign intervention and human rights.
The history of international relations could appropriately be traced back to the “peace of Westphalia” of 1648 hence modern states system was developed. Prior to this era, the European medieval organization of political authority was based on a vaguely hierarchical religions order revolving around the imperial domination of the Catholic Church.
Westphalia brought about the legal concept of sovereignty which essentially that rulers and sovereigns hold absolute power within the defined territory they rule and no other power, either within or outside their territory shall hold supremacy over them. Kings and sovereigns and Monarchs shall maintain absolute sovereignty within their territorial borders.
Westphalia encouraged the rise of independent nation states, the institutionalization of diplomacy and the establishment of national armed forces. This European invention spread across the world to the Americas, Asia and Africa through the system of colonization, empire building and standards of global civilization. The two major wars of twentieth century eventually led to the establishment of the contemporary international system brought about by decolonization and the rise of new nations.

Theoretical Bases:
The theoretical bases of international relations aims at providing explanation, predictions and analytical understanding of the complex actions and events taking place within and across national boundaries. These actions and events have had serious effects on the direction of human evolution and development. It impacts have been felt most particularly in areas of law, politics, economics, diplomacy, military strategy, science and technology. Other areas of human interaction affected by cross-border interaction include health, tourism, sports, commerce, human rights culture and the environment.
            The study of international relations has undergone several revolutionary stages in the last decades. With the use of social science techniques in order to establish verifiable propositions, theorizing has become a ready tool in the study and understanding of international relations. For greater relevance, these tools are employed by social scientist, analyst, theoreticians, political realists, statesmen and political idealists alike in their various levels of explanation and analysis.
            Levels of analysis comprises various ways of looking at the international system. These includes the individual level, the group, the domestic level, the nation-state as a unit, the international level, intergovernmental affairs and the global level. The major functions of theory are to:
a.         Describe events.
b.         Explain events.
c.         Analyses events.
d.         Predict events and outcome.
            The quadruple function of description, explanation, analysis and prediction are undertaken on a global level. Theory tries to explain patterns of events on its raw and first hand basis. It also provides the necessary yardstick for future patters of development and assessment. Despite differing view points on the level of approach to the study of international politics, there is a common agreement on the existence of and indeed the importance of international politics as a human phenomenon. To this end, theories of international relations try to provide answers to questions bordering on the achievement of order, peace and stability in an otherwise unregulated, ungoverned and unpredictable world environment. Theories try to provide answers to numerous problems which have thwarted the efficiency and growth of the international system in the past. Such problems which hinders growth and universal development include.

1.         War and aggression.
2.         Racism and racial prejudice.
3.         Nationalism and ethnocentrism
4.         Alliances, collective action and integration.
5.         Ideology, doctrine and dogma.
6.         North-South dichotomy i.e. economic imbalance.
7.         Human rights violations including poverty and abuses.
8.         International law – its successes and constraints.
9.         The absence of a credible empire i.e world government.
10.       Power and the use of power.

            Providing answers to the above questions will enhance the capability of actors in the system to pursue, with greater vigor and clarity, the quest for lasting solutions. Such answers will provide a better understanding of the world system and streamline collective efforts at managing events and their outcomes with a view to promoting world peace, security, co-existence and universal progress.
            Theories of international relations when fully developed and effectively applied would represent a set of doctrines with which order would be achieved in the world system. This is particularly important in view of the fact that the world system is full of complex problems brought about by the perceptions of mis-perceptions of the major actors in the system and even the minor ones.
            Historically the idea of international relations as a distinct field of study originated almost entirely from Great Britain. The chain of international politics was established at the University of Wales in 1919. in the early 1920s the London School of Economics created a department of international relations at the instance of Philip Noel Baker, a Nobel peace prize winner.
            The first university entirely dedicated to the study of international relations was the graduate institute of international studies founded in 1927, to train diplomats accredited to the league of nations. The graduates institutes produced the firs Ph.D degree in International relations. In 1919, the Georgetown University became the first university in the US to establish a faculty of international relations. Today, international relations has become a major field of study, research and development in almost every university in most countries of the world.
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