Test Your Knowledge of International Relations with Our Quiz!



9 Questions

What is international relations?

Which of the following is NOT a school of thought within international relations?

What is the fundamental assumption of realism?

What is liberalism in international relations?

When did the field of international relations become a discrete field and where?

What is international society theory?

What is polarity in international relations?

What is the current polarity of the international system?

What is the role of international institutions in contemporary international relations?


Overview of International Relations

  • International relations is the study of the interactions among sovereign states.

  • It encompasses war, diplomacy, trade, foreign policy, and relations with international actors such as intergovernmental organizations, international nongovernmental organizations, international legal bodies, and multinational corporations.

  • There are several schools of thought within IR, including realism, liberalism, and constructivism.

  • IR is a major subdiscipline of political science, but it draws heavily from other fields such as anthropology, economics, geography, law, philosophy, sociology, and history.

  • The field of IR did not become a discrete field until 1919, when it was first offered as an undergraduate major by Aberystwyth University in the UK.

  • The establishment of modern sovereign states as fundamental political units traces back to the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 in Europe.

  • Realism is a framework of IR that rests on the fundamental assumption that the international state system is an anarchy, with no overarching power restricting the behavior of sovereign states.

  • Liberalism, in contrast, emphasizes that states are institutionally constrained by the power of international organizations and mutually dependent on one another through economic and diplomatic ties.

  • The study of international relations began in Britain, and the first IR professorship was established at Aberystwyth University in 1919.

  • The lines between IR and other political science subfields are sometimes blurred, and some scholars have called for an integration of the fields.

  • Critical scholarship in IR has explored the relationship between the institutionalization of IR as an academic discipline and the demands of national governments.

  • The ability of contemporary IR discourse to explain the relations of different types of states, such as pre-modern and post-modern states, is disputed.Overview of International Relations Theories

  • Liberalism arose after World War I in response to the ability of states to control and limit war in their international relations.

  • Liberal institutionalism highlights the role of international institutions and regimes in facilitating cooperation between states.

  • Regime theory argues that international institutions or regimes affect the behaviour of states.

  • Constructivism assumes that the international system is built on social constructs such as ideas, norms, and identities.

  • Critical theory explores how the construction of concepts such as "power" and "agency" shapes international relations.

  • Marxist theories of IR reject the realist/liberal view of state conflict or cooperation; instead, focusing on the economic and material aspects.

  • Feminist IR considers the ways that international politics affects and is affected by both men and women.

  • International society theory (The English school) focuses on the shared norms and values of states and how they regulate international relations.

  • The systemic level concepts are those broad concepts that define and shape an international milieu characterized by anarchy.

  • Sovereignty is a state's absolute power over its territories.

  • Power in international relations can be described as the degree of resources, capabilities, and influence in international affairs.

  • National interest is a state's action in relation to other states where it seeks to gain advantage or benefits to itself.

  • Non-state actors have the potential to significantly influence the outcome of any international transaction.

  • The existence of power blocs in international relations is a significant factor related to polarity.

  • Polarity in international relations refers to the arrangement of power within the international system.International Relations: Polarity, Interdependence, Dependency, and Institutions

  • The current international system is characterized by unipolarity, with the United States as a sole superpower, and growing interdependence with mutual responsibility and dependency on others.

  • Several theories of international relations draw upon the idea of polarity, including the balance of power, power transition, and hegemonic stability theory.

  • Dependency theory, most commonly associated with Marxism, states that a set of core states exploit a set of weaker periphery states for their prosperity.

  • The unit level of analysis in international relations refers to the state level of explanation, including the role of regime type, democracy, and revisionism versus status quo.

  • Religion is a major organizing principle for Islamic states, whereas secularism sits at the other end of the spectrum, with the separation of state and religion being responsible for the liberal international relations theory.

  • International institutions, including the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and other generalist inter-state organizations, regional security arrangements, economic institutions, and legal bodies, form a vital part of contemporary international relations.


Test your knowledge of international relations with our quiz! From the basics of sovereignty and power to the different schools of thought in IR theory, this quiz covers a wide range of topics. You'll also be challenged with questions about the current international system, including polarity and interdependence, as well as the role of international institutions. Whether you're a political science student or just interested in global affairs, this quiz is a great way to test your understanding of international relations.

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