International Relations are at the centre of many important topics of the world today, and if it had to be summed up in one sentence, the importance of IR stands in the cooperation between nations and entities around the world. The benefits of such cooperation are immense and can shape global policies. But why do international relations matter? Below you can find 10 reasons:
#1 IR empowers humanity to better manage challenges and crises
Many people who pursue international relations and diplomacy degrees do so because they have a deep vested interest in making the world a better place, regardless of specific career goals. Those who utilize their degrees to work in policy (e.g., diplomats, activists, and ambassadors) can achieve their personal goals by developing and implementing relevant strategies that have the potential to enhance lives around the world. By working together and sharing resources, nations can better manage the effects of crises such as natural disasters, droughts, floods, famine, and even diseases such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
#2 International relations are a promoter of peace
International Relations introduces you to a world of politics and the social-historical implications of global development. Through both communication and cooperation, nations can resolve their problems peacefully and come to an agreement that can create lasting peace. Things don’t always go as smoothly as would be ideal, however, and there are still many conflicts that go unresolved, but large IR “arenas” like the UN give each side the opportunity to make their case and have their voices heard, ultimately forcing you to resolve your differences with your rivals through words.
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#3 International relations enable better organization of human capital
We currently live in a world in which the general standard of living is greater than ever before. However, despite our constant technological advances and discoveries, humanity faces numerous problems and challenges. These problems require professionals, scientists, technocrats, diplomats, and capable people in every position, and it is the goal of many organizations, both governmental and international structures such as the UN, to organize the best of the available human capital. International Affairs can be seen as promoting this initiative, which aims to bring the best that each nation has to offer into key decision-making positions.
#4 International relations promote cooperation, exchange and cultural development
To be an impactful international diplomat, ambassador, lobbyist, or business leader focused on a particular country or region, you must immerse yourself in a different culture. However, part of that job is to master the language, culture, and traditions of another country. In this way, countries can better understand and cooperate with each other. This positive effect also transfers to the population, because two states that maintain friendly relations can become two peoples that are closely connected and thus share ideas, cultures and traditions.
#5 International relations encourages you to travel and gain new experiences
Cultural collaboration not only makes you more effective at your job, but also allows for profound personal growth and discovery that many find incredibly fulfilling. Having new experiences, visiting new places, seeing new things and meeting new people can open up new horizons and opportunities for many people. By building and fostering relationships with one another, the nations of the world can provide these above opportunities to many more people than they would without the help of cordial international relations.
#6 International relations promote faster proliferation of technological innovations
Countries that have good relations with each other tend to share their inventions and innovations more quickly, and this has been the norm among civilizations since the dawn of time. This close cooperation between nations on technological issues has not only made human life easier and safer through developments in medicine, housing, and infrastructure, to name a few, but has also encouraged countries to build closer relationships with each other.
#7 International relations are essential on matters of security and stability
International relations among others can promote law enforcement cooperation between nations. Issues of jurisdiction and sovereignty have been raised repeatedly since the emergence of nation-states in the 19th century and are more important than ever in today’s world, where globalization has taken hold everywhere and international criminal organizations, terrorists, human traffickers, etc. have gained much more power than in the past. By working together, states can reach beyond their national borders and enforce their laws much more effectively to ensure accountability and justice and provide stability and security for their citizens.
#8 IR promote trade and financial interdependence among nations
By working closely together financially and integrating their respective economies, nations can ensure that their populations thrive and that free and equal trade takes place between their peoples through close international ties. Close political ties are always a precursor to strong economic dealings and financial interdependence among nations and are a critical component of international politics.
#9 IR create the conditions for democracies to flourish in developing countries
A country with many friends and strong international ties is a country with many opportunities. Developing countries are always in a precarious position because they seem to never choose between their past and their future. Corruption seems endless and progress unattainable, but a country that has friends can always find a helping hand in times of need. There are many examples of developing countries that have received assistance, professional guidance and, most importantly, funding through their IR to achieve their goals and significantly shorten the road to democracy.
#10 International relations promote the rights of women and children
For better or worse, most, if not all, international institutions that exist today originated in the West and have been influenced by Western values, even those that were developed relatively recently. Concepts such as democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and equality have so far resisted the test of time quite successfully and have spread throughout the world through the medium of international relations. Many countries have made efforts to actively spread these ideas and this culture, including ensuring that the rights of women and children are recognized and respected. On the contrary, many reactionary countries have resisted this change as well, but the world of international relations is a big stage, and if countries want to enjoy the benefits that come from cooperation with other countries, they are also obliged to provide certain guarantees for the advancement of the rights of the more vulnerable strata of society.