Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Normative Theory in International Relations
The theory of international relations (IR) is subdivided into an analytical field, which describes and explains international events, and a normative field, which prescribes conduct and formulates moral judgments. This second field aims at producing ideals regarding what IR ought to be. This entry first reviews the evolution of normative theory as technological advances and the emergence of nation-states created the need for new norms to govern IR. During the past 3 decades, norms in IR have undergone a second period of expansion, as a result of increased interest on the part of academics, along with factors outside academia, including globalization, the end of bipolarity, and terrorist attacks. After exploring this development, the entry examines the dilemmas associated with war, including the question of how to define war and issues related to decisions in the aftermath of war. Is a military intervention necessary to protect victims of genocide? Should innocents ...