The Study of IR
Our world is large and complex. International realtions is a fascinating topic because it concerns peoples and cultures thoughout the world. The scope and complexity of the interactions among these groups make international relations a challanging subject to master. There is always more to learn.
Strictly defined, the field of International relations (IR) concerns the realtionships among the worlds govenrments. But these realationships cannot be understood in isolation. They are closely connected with other actors (such as international organization, multinational corporations, and Individuals); with other social stuctures (including economics, culture, and domestic politics); and with geographical and historical influences. IR is a large subject that overlaps several other fileds.
IR and Daily life
Sometimes international relations is portrayed as a distant and abstract ritual conducted by a small group of people such as presidents, generals, and diplomats. This is not accurate,. Although leaders do play a major role in international affair, many other people participate as well. College student and other citizens participate in international relations everytime they vote in an election or work on a political campaign., every time they buy a product or service traded on world markets, and every time they watch the news. The choices we make in our daily lives ultimately affect the world live in. Each person faces unique choices as and individual human being. Through those choices, every person makes a unique contribution, however small, to the world of international relations.
In turn, IR profoundly affects the daily lives of college students and other citizens. The prospects for getting jobs after graduation depend on the global economy and international economic competition. Those jobs also are more likely than ever to entail international travel, sales or communication. And the rules of the world trading system affect the goods that students consume, from electronics to clothes to gasoline.
Athough international economics pervades daily life, war dominates daily life only infrequenty. Still, war casts a long shadow. In major wars, students and their friends and famiy go off to war abd their lives change irreversibly, But even in peacetime, war is among the most pervasive international influences in daily life. Children play with war toys; young people go into military service; TV and films reproduce and multiply the images of war; and wars distrupt economic and social life.
As technology advances, the world is shrinking year by year. Better communication and transportation capabilities are contantly expanding the ordinary person's contact with people, products ad ideas from other countries.
(Pearson International Edition, Joshua S. Goldstein* Jon C. Pevehouse)