Liberalism, realism and Marxism are some of the proposed theories applicable in the explanation of the international political economy. The three theories attempt to explain the forces which are at work in the international arena and highlights on how the factors interact to create the state of affairs in the international political economy. The theorists have made it easy for individual actors to understand the relationship between the human nature, the society, the states and the markets and how each of them relates with and enhance the working of the economy. This write up will expound on these three theories and further explain the way in which the believer s of each of them views global integration.
The Differences between Realism, Liberalism and Marxism
These three theories differ in the way in which they explain the concept of global integration. They use varying thoughts and principles to explain development, trade unions, international organizations, multinational corporations, international crime and the sovereignty of the states versus the globalized economic system.
Liberalism is a political theory founded on the basic principle of the need to provide the natural goodness and the autonomy of all human kinds. It is characterized by civil and political liberties, the rule of law which seeks the consent of the governed, and finally protection of the citizen from any form of arbitrary authority. Marxism on the other hand emphasizes on the dialectical unfolding of various stages historically and the role played by the economic, material forces, and class analysis. Finally, even more different is realism. It is a paradigm which assumes that the international realm is anarchic and that it consists of the states which are viewed as independent political units. The states seek to protect their own interest in their dealings with other states.
Theoretical Assessment of Global Integration
The Liberalists assessment of global integration is based on a very broad perspective. This ranges from idealism to the contemporary neo-liberal theories and the democratic peace thesis proposed by different scholars. The liberals consider states as the actors in the world politics. They share a belief that states are embedded in domestic and international civil society which limits their actions. The liberals also assess the level of cooperation that exists between different states by analyzing the various existing institutional mechanisms and the bargaining processes. They analyze the extent to which the existing relationship between states has given space for a section of the states to act on the basis of their own military interest.
This means that, according to the liberals, the states should be independent from each other. Liberals believes that the use of force in international politics can and should be eliminated or minimized through human appeal. The liberal internationalists also assess the significance of the state. Of interest to them is whether the state is losing some roles to other actors. The liberals also considers in their assessment of the global integration, the roles played by other key actors like the Transnational Corporations and the United nations. The liberals try to find out how the state share their initial roles with these dominant societal international actors and how these actors are in turn getting strengthened at the expense of the state.
The Marxists on the other hand assess the global integration based on the kind of class struggle that goes on in the society. These theorist view the society as made up of people, nations and organizations of different classes. The classes are basic to the determination of the kind of interaction going on between the individuals, states, regions and even continents. According to Marxists the society is dominated by the bourgeoisie. The product of this domination is always the proletarian or the working class. In analyzing global integration, Marxists therefore analyzes the relationship that exists between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. They also analyze the kind of revolution that is likely to result from this kind of arrangement.
In terms of the states, Marxists are keen on the way in which the developed states which have the ownership of the means of production interact with the developing and the underdeveloped states. Marxists use such terms as exploitation and domination to explain these relationships. According to Marxists, the long term effect of this domination results into a states of classlessness and a communist society in which the state will be used as a mere tool to serve the interest of the dominant class. This means the states is likely to be symbolic. The Marxists are therefore keen to find out the extent to which the poor countries are being exploited by the richer countries.
According to the proponents of realism, the states are the primary actors and have some offensive military capability or power which makes them potentially dangerous to one another. The realists therefore assess the extent to which different states use power to achieve their interests of making of wealth, access power, and protect their national interest. This means that the relationship between various states is that of different competitors and potential enemies. The proponents of this view therefore assess the nature of this relationship and its effect on different states. Marxists, in their assessment put efforts to find out the extent to which the state players are driven by the inherent need for survival and maintenance of their sovereignty at the extent of keeping peace with the other states. The states are basically acting rationally in the interest of their own survival.
In conclusion, it is therefore clear that the three theories employ different approaches in analyzing global integration.