chapter  4
31 Pages

Critical Theories and Approaches

ByKelly-Kate S. Pease

Critical theories and approaches to international relations are useful for reevaluating commonly held views and beliefs. Marxism, feminism, and constructivism offer alternative ways of understanding and assessing the role of international organizations in world affairs and are critical reactions to realism and liberalism. Dependency theorists analyze the impact of capitalism on developing states; hence, it is fair to say that they consider states as important in international relations. The right to property is considered a basic human right, whereas the rights of workers to organize, collectively bargain, and to work for a living wage, if even accepted as human rights, are subordinate to other rights. Feminist theory has been indirectly influenced by the international women's social movement. In the US, the women's movement has been closely related with the civil rights movement, which seeks equality of rights regardless of race, sex, creed, or culture. The constructivist approach shows how key concepts used to explain international relations have changed over time.