There are those that argue that the international system has changed following September 11. If so, then in what ways has it changed?

There are those that argue that the international system has changed following September 11. If so, so in what ways has it changed? Use International Relations theory to endorse up your averments.

The terrorist onslaughts of 11 September 2001 of course and logically altered the modern-day international political clime across the Earth. It was non so much the nature of the onslaughts or the culprits of them that has made September 11 a watershed in international dealingss so much as the individuality of the mark ; the fact that it was the United States that was attacked has made the event a extremely of import planetary phenomenon. Not merely did it represent the first clip since the Civil War ( 1861?5 ) that the US had seen big scale destruction of its ain belongings and landscape, but September 11 besides occurred at a polar minute in modern American history. Whether it was planned or non, the timing of the onslaughts to co-occur with the unsure, early period of the new Bush Presidency has proved to be vastly important for the subsequent manifestation of international dealingss that has been witnessed since so.

To outdo answer the inquiry within the rubric of the essay we must foremost analyze the generation of modern international dealingss theory, utilizing historical illustrations to demo how a certain type of international position quo had become the norm before 11 September 2001. We must besides analyze how the terrorist onslaughts against the East Coast of the USA has changed the modern-day political landscape, while trying to foreground future developments for international dealingss in visible radiation of recent international policies in the Middle East.

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Throughout the essay we must try to remind ourselves that it is the United States that is taking the manner in footings of foreign policy across the Earth, led by an economic and cultural every bit good as a militaristic type of imperialism. We must likewise effort to remember that it was America that was attacked on September 11 and that Washington remains the beginning of much of the international hostility across the Earth. Therefore, much of what we will term ‘western’ policy will in fact simply be the foreign policy solutions of the current US disposal disguised as one-sided action.

The individual greatest misnomer of the modern-day international dealingss scene is the ‘war on terror’ . Although a signal of requital was inevitable in the aftermath of 9/11, the declaration of ‘war’ versus the terrorists responsible and the provinces that are supposed to be harboring them is a changeless in domestic and international personal businesss, dating from the clip of the contemplations of Thucydides (degree Celsiuss.455?500 BC ) , the first great theoretician in international dealingss that we must discourse. His analysis of international personal businesss ( 1970:455 ) was written within the context of the Peloponnesian War, of which he was a portion, until he was removed from his station as an Athenian commanding officer: “This is the safe regulation – to stand up to one’s peers, to act with respect towards one’s higher-ups, and to handle one’s inferiors with moderation.” [ 1 ]

Basically, Thucydides’ position has been accepted by international solons until the coming of modernness. What he describes here is the theory ofpragmatism; viz. , that, without a pre?determined set of Torahs to order the footings and conditions of foreign personal businesss, a grade of world is required in covering with exterritorial activity. Realism pertains to weaponries, military might and the changeless menace of armed struggle, as Scott Burchill ( 2001:70 ) explains.

“Realism is widely regarded as the most influential theoretical tradition in International Relations, even by its harshest critics. Its ancient philosophical heritage, its powerful review of international liberalism and its influence on the pattern of international diplomatic negotiations have secured it an of import, if non dominant place in the discipline.” [ 2 ]

Throughout history, war and pragmatism have been cardinal to international dealingss theory. Machiavelli’sPrince( 1513 ) , for case, typifies the belief that swayers must be perpetually geared for warfare to defy being usurped by alternate cabals that harbour designs of power. The USA has systematically used the paradigm of pragmatism to keep its place of pre?eminence in the international domain. With respects to 9/11, we see a mere prolongation of this construct.

Yet, to assume that international dealingss have ever existed beyond the kingdom of jurisprudence and order would be wrong. The cardinal papers which the West has used as a design for inter?state battle has been thePeace of Westphalia( 1648 ) which brought an terminal to the Thirty Years War in Germany. As Chris Brown ( 2002:26 ) attests,Westphaliarepresented the terminal of mediaeval type political relations in foreign personal businesss and the beginning of modernness in the domain of international dealingss, in the form of the construct of the nation?state.

“The significance of the Peace of Westphalia is non so much that it established new rules instead that, after 1648, challenges to the rules that had been established over the old century became few and far between.” [ 3 ] Since September 11 the impression of Westphalia been challenged with the break?down of the traditional nation?state.

A sort of suspended jurisprudence presided over international personal businesss until the Great War ( 1914?18 ) , which altered everlastingly the argument pertaining to carry on in international dealingss. The unprecedented degree of slaughter and devastation led international relation theoreticians, such as E.H. Carr, to regenerate and revisit the philosophy of pragmatism over the liberalist thoughts promulgated by Woodrow Wilson and the Ivy League alumnuss, which resulted in the League of Nations. Writing on the Eve of the Second World War, Carr’s landmark book,The Twenty Years Crisis( 1992:292 ) displays a deep?seated contempt for broad foreign policy. “To effort to disregard power as a decisive factor in every political state of affairs is strictly Utopian. It is barely less Utopian to conceive of an international order built on a alliance of provinces, each endeavoring to support and asseverate its ain interests.” [ 4 ]

World War I was besides extremely important because it marked the point in history where the fiscal capital of the West moved inexorably from London to New York, signalling the beginning of what many term, ‘The American Century.’ With the constitution of the League of Nations in 1919, America retreated within itself and pursed a policy of isolationism in foreign personal businesss. This inter?war period is important to the comprehension of international personal businesss in 2005 and Washington’s reaction to 9/11 because it instilled the firm belief that America was someway impenetrable, bing beyond the boundaries of familiar European and world-wide wrangles. This smoke screen was shattered with the Nipponese onslaught on Pearl Harbour ( December 1941 ) . We still often read and hear the similarities that many Americans see between the onslaught on the Hawaiian naval base and September 11, viz. many feel that both weremotivelessonslaughts. The consequence, in the United States, has been a regurgitation of traditional right?wing positions with respects to international dealingss, the sentiments of Republicans such as Fox News’ Sean Hannity ( 2004:1 ) more widespread than at any clip since 1945.

“Three old ages ago evil surfaced in the Western universe in a manner that it had non in six decennaries, since the twenty-four hours of opprobrium at Pearl Harbour. Americans were forced to face pure human evil in a manner we had non in generations.” [ 5 ]

Therefore we find ourselves back at the ‘war on terror’ . The bombardment of Afghanistan was widely supported by a scope of international powers, gelled by the backup of the UN. Sympathy for September 11 was widespread and the Taliban were without uncertainty a government that offered no positive solution to the long agony people of Afghanistan. But it may be argued that 9/11 helped the USA to spread out its current foreign policy solutions, with the illustration of Iraq standing tall – a position which has been championed on many occasions by Chomsky ( 2003:13 ) . “The end of the imperial expansive scheme is to forestall any challenge to the power, place and prestigiousness of the United States.” [ 6 ] Therefore, September11 permitted the Republican Government to utilize military force in add-on to economic musculus to increase the pragmatism and might of American foreign policy.

We should, nevertheless be careful, non to over?state the international dealingss policy of the United States since 9/11. Cox ( 2005:21 ) underscores the self-contradictory nature of America in the international domain.

“One of the more obvious expostulations to the thought of a specific American imperium is that, unlike the ‘real’ empires in the yesteryear, the United States has non acquired, and does non seek to get, the district of others. Therefore in bend has been allied to another obvious expostulation: that the United States has frequently championed the cause of political freedom in the universe. How so can one talk of imperium when one of the United States’ obvious urges abroad has been to progress the cause of national democracy and self?determination? ” [ 7 ]

The effects of the addition in profile of the United States upon the international phase since 9/11 has clearly been felt most profoundly amongst the peoples of the Middle East. Without wishing to dig into the moral issues behind the ‘war on terror’ it must be pointed out, specifically within the bounds of our treatment, that September 11 straight affected the single lives of people populating in the Arabian part. Not merely has a alteration of power been seen in both Afghanistan and Iraq, an wholly new manner of life has been proposed by the occupying power, which pre?supposes the significance of capitalist economy and democratization over faith and patriotism within the part. And the issue is, of class, a inquiry of objectiveness: though it may look to politicians in the West that the current foreign policy quandary is a necessary journey upon a long route to province and single freedom, the same phenomenon appears in the eyes of many Muslims as an insult to their civilization and manner of life. Regardless of such concerns, an busying force is ne’er welcome in any autonomous district, a fact underpinned clip and once more since the enlargement of the Roman Empire.

In existent footings, so, a big portion of the universe has changed inexorably as a consequence of September 11. But developments in the Middle East besides have wider deductions for international dealingss theories across the Earth. The coming of a more incorporate, enlarged Europe has of import undertones for the issue of security in the Middle East ( and by association, national security in the West excessively. ) 9/11 has created a chasm in Europe between states wishing to prosecute an independent European docket, possibly in tow with Russia, and states such as the UK, that would prefer to keep its ‘special relationship’ with the USA. Henry Kissinger ( 2001:34 ) , one of the great foreign policy diplomats of the 20th century, highlights the new order emerging from a more confident EU.

“During the Cold War, European integrating was urged as a method of beef uping the Atlantic partnership ; today many of its advocators view it as a agency of making a counterbalance to the United States.” [ 8 ]

The function of the EU in the future administration of security and diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East will be important to the building of the post?September 11 universe order. A common foreign policy consensus amongst the 15 member provinces appears progressively likely, which is the first measure in footings of the EU offering a liberalist attack to international dealingss to counter America’s dominant pragmatism, as Dosenrode and Stubkjaer ( 2002:159 ) attest.

“The decision is that the EU possesses autonomy, as it appears clearly as an entity in the international environment. The EU is seen as an histrion in its ain right by all provinces in the Middle East, and they all have diplomatic dealingss with the Union.” [ 9 ]

Though pragmatism remains the dominant paradigm in international dealingss, liberalism and neo?liberalism are given hope by the EU. Marxist theory can likewise offer a long term solution to post?September 11 international dealingss although its academic place has been tainted by the ultimate licking of communism in the Cold War. Hazel Smith ( 1994:196 ) explains the impression of Marxist international dealingss theory.

“Neo?Marxist accounts of international political relations provide a wide model of analysis which considers category as a major factor in international dealingss, economic relationships ( although non specifically or merely the relation of production ) as the key kineticss and international justness and equality ( non by the way the normative focal point for Marx ) as the most of import normative concerns.” [ 10 ]

Therefore, Marxist theory remains relevant in the Middle East and other parts of the universe, such as Africa, that have taken a back place since 9/11. The issue of international justness and the regulation of jurisprudence will non lessen, as the current Blair authorities in the UK is happening out to its considerable humiliation, though it would be wrong to presume that Marxist international theory holds much sway in the West at present. Realism remains the dominant paradigm.

Positivist and post?positivist theoreticians have similarly been shunted aside in the aftermath of 9/11 as the USA openly pursues a bilateral policy in the Middle East that makes a jeer of the construct of the United Nations and the regulation of international jurisprudence. Anthony Carty ( 2003: European Journal of International Law Website ) explains the modern-day job of comprehension refering to international personal businesss.

“The important inquiry is merely whether a positive system of cosmopolitan international jurisprudence really exists, or whether peculiar provinces and their representative legal bookmans simply appeal to such positive discourse so as to enforce a particularist linguistic communication upon othersas of if were a universally recognized legal discourse.” [ 11 ]

Therefore, a post?modern type of international dealingss theory appears progressively likely in aftermath of 9/11, peculiarly with respect to the dislocation of international jurisprudence, the disused nature of the UN and the changing nature of the province, as Richard Devetak ( 2001:204 ) explains.

“A more comprehensive history of modern-day universe political relations must include an analysis of those cross histrions and motions that operate outside and across province boundaries. Postmodernism seeks to rethink the construct of the political without raising premises of sovereignty and reterritorialisation. By disputing the thought that the character and location of the political must be determined by the autonomous province, postmodernism seeks to broaden the political imaginativeness and the scope of political possibilities for transforming international relations.” [ 12 ]


Without uncertainty, the ad hoc nature of American?led Western international policy since September 2001 has contributed to a re?think in footings of the nature of the person, the province, national security and independent sovereignty in international dealingss. More significantly, a inquiring of the current set?up with respects to international jurisprudence, order and justness has gathered impulse since 9/11 with a turning realization that the current model, established in visible radiation of the unprecedented horrors of World War Two, is anachronic. Future arguments will center on the post?structuralism, post?modernism stance refering to sovereign provinces as outlined above.

The West, peculiarly the USA, though dogmatic and resolute in its realist class, must likewise accept that declaring war on panic is an equivocal statement that has small significance ; a state can non declare war on trans?national terrorist act, merely on another autonomous province. Equally long as this position prevails the war can non be won, which would be to the hurt of all states and finally to the subject of international dealingss.


C. Brown,Sovereignty, Rights and Justice: International Political Theory Today( Polity ; Cambridge, 2002 )

S. Burchill et Al,Theories of International Relations: Second Edition( Palgrave Macmillan ; Basingstoke & A ; New York, 2001 )

N. Chomsky,Hegemony or Survival? : America’s Quest for Global Dominance( Hamish Hamilton ; London, 2003 )

S. Dosenrode & A ; A. Stubkjaer,The European Union and the Middle East( Sheffield Academic Press ; London & As ; New York, 2002 )

R. Foot, J.L. Gaddis & A ; A. Hurrell ( Edtd. ) ,Order and Justice in International Relations( Oxford University Press ; Oxford, 2003 )

T.G. Fraser & A ; D. Murray,America and the World Since 1945( Palgrave Macmillan ; NewYork, 2002 )

A.J.R. Groom & A ; M. Light ( Edtd. ) ,Contemporary International Relations: a Guide to Theory( Pinter ; London, 1994 )

S. Hannity,Deliver us from Evil: Get the better ofing Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism( Harper Collins ; New York, 2004 )

K.J. Holsti,International Politicss: a Framework for Analysis( Prentice Hall ; Englewood Cliffs, 1992 )

H. Kissinger,Does America necessitate a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21stCentury( Simon & A ; Schuster ; New York, 2001 )

E. Luard ( Intro. )Basic Texts in International Relations( Macmillan ; London, 1992 )

M. Nicholson,International Relations: a Concise Introduction( Palgrave Macmillan ; New York, 2002 )

Thucydides,History of the Peloponnesian War( Penguin ; London, 1970 )

Selected Articles

S. Burchill,Realism and Neo?pragmatism, in, S. Burchill et Al,Theories of International Relations: Second Edition( Palgrave Macmillan ; Basingstoke & A ; New York, 2001 )

R. Devetak,Postmodernism, in, S. Burchill et Al,Theories of International Relations: Second Edition( Palgrave Macmillan ; Basingstoke & A ; New York, 2001 )

H. Smith,Marxism and International Relations Theory, in, A.J.R. Groom & A ; M. Light ( Edtd. ) ,Contemporary International Relations: a Guide to Theory( Pinter ; London, 1994 )


M. Cox,Empire by Denial: the Strange Case of the United States, in,International Affairs Journal ; Volume 81 ; Number 1( Blackwell ; London, January 2005 )

Web sites

A. Carty,Critical International Law: Recent Tendencies in the Theory of International Law, quoted in, European Journal of International Law Website ; hypertext transfer protocol: //


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