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10 International Relations Quotes That Made History

There are several reasons why International Relations Quotes are important. First, they provide a concise way of conveying complex ideas. Second, they can help to crystallize an argument or position. Third, they can be used to rally support for a cause or policy. Finally, they can simply be inspirational or thought-provoking. In short, International Relations Quotes serve many purposes and can be extremely useful in persuading others to see things your way. Here are 10 quotes for your consideration.

“Thus shall we live, because we will have created a society which recognizes that all people are born equal, with each entitled in equal measure to life, liberty, prosperity, human rights and good governance.” ― Nelson Mandela

During his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Nelson Mandela states the obvious, but still unfulfilled path towards a better society. While being one of the most-known revolutionary fighters against the apartheid, and becoming the first black President of South Africa, he has had the chance to bless the world with his eye-opening speeches. Through this quote, he intends to point out that simply existing in this world is not enough for a person to live, the basic rights and liberties must be respected too. What makes this quote differ from others is the hope that it is a vision and prediction, that the perfect society is close and easy to achieve.

“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon was a French political and military ruler who came to power during the French Revolution, controlled European and global affairs, while leading France. He had a significant effect on the contemporary world, introducing liberal reforms to the many lands he occupied and ruled. It might be surprising to see that even one of the most notorious emperors in history, has prepared the set of civil laws such as the “Napoleonic Code” and believed in good deeds more than war. In other words, it is easy to use force in order to succeed, however, the spirit will always prevail.

“If it’s wrong when they do it, it’s wrong when we do it.” ― Noam Chomsky

What makes this quote by Noam Chomsky (a well-known political activist, linguist, historian, philosopher and social critic) great is the fact that it can be interpreted in infinite ways. When it comes to equality and justice it sends a short, but concise message. No matter what is done by who and why, true justice is when everyone that has done the same thing will get the same treatment. On the other hand, those fighting for LGBTQ+ rights might interpret these words differently. If two individuals from the same sex are in love and it is wrong, then all other kinds of love should be considered wrong.

”Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” ― Charles de Gaulle

These words come from Charles de Gaulle, who during World War II, commanded the Free French troops in fighting German defeat, and soon was elected as a President of France. Even nowadays, not many people can grasp the difference between patriotism and nationalism, and Gaulle’s words explain these concepts perfectly.

“Today the real test of power is not capacity to make war but capacity to prevent it.” ― Anne O’Hare McCormick

Being the first female to win a major Pulitzer Prize in journalism, and the first lady to make it to The New York Times editorial board, has helped Anne O’Hare McCormick deliver powerful and meaningful messages. It seems that during those times war was inevitable, and everyone was preoccupied with ways to win. Instead, Anne had the intention to point out that conflicts can be easily avoided through diplomacy and understanding.

“When diplomacy ends, War begins.”  ― Adolf Hitler

Since these words are coming from one of the biggest villains in history, they should serve as a short but straight-forward lecture to people in power. Hitler’s words in this case, emphasize the power of diplomacy and everything that comes with it. Maybe if there was a way for the Allied Powers to help Germany (and other countries) repair instead of suffer, the tragedies that followed might not have happened.

“Be a craftsman in speech that thou mayest be strong, for the strength of one is the tongue, and speech is mightier than all fighting.” ― Ptahhotep

Ptahhotep was an ancient Egyptian vizier who reigned in the late 25th and early 24th centuries BC. The Maxims of Ptahhotep, an early work of Egyptian “wisdom literature” designed to teach people about good and acceptable behavior, is attributed to him. Many diplomats and professionals can be encouraged by this quote, because it teaches that even during those ancient times, the mind and speech held more power than force.

“With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism.” ― Malala Yousafzai

The youngest awardee with a Nobel Peace Prize – Malala Yousafzai, has a heart-breaking life story, which has served as a major example and gift to contemporary humanity. She became famous through her fight for human rights and for being the voice of many. Not only that Malala’s discussion and speech topics often include women’s rights, education, equality, but also, she is able to propose ways that the society can get rid of all current global issues such as terrorism.

“Change takes courage.” ― Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

As a famous American politician and activist, Alexandria is continuously fighting for sustainable development, women’s rights, human rights, educational reforms and better treatment for the Hispanic population. Ocasio-Cortez was inspired to represent and run for government after witnessing the reality of New York’s increasing growing inequality as a child. AOC aims to convey with this statement that while the agony of the current position may make change easier, taking the first step toward a brighter future nevertheless requires bravery.

“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” ― Irina Dunn

Irina Patsi Dunn is an author, activist, and cinematographer from Australia who represented in the Senate. Her quote from above is a well-known feminist slogan that playfully expresses the notion that a female may enjoy a perfectly happy life without a male. The phrase is one of the most clever and blunt statements representing feminism in the 1970s which were consisted of the increase in activities related to the women’s rights movement.

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About the author

Antonela Jaki

Antonela Jaki is a Political Science graduate and the former President of the Student Assembly at the University American College Skopje. Having graduated with a Magna Cum Laude degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, Antonela specializes in Balkan and Middle Eastern politics, Sustainable Development and International Organizations.