Meaning, Nature And Scope Of International Politics

Image Source: School of Political Science


International politics is one of the rising stars of political science. It is sometimes interchangeably used for foreign affairs and geopolitics. It’s usually concerned with the power struggle that is going on all around the globe. However, its nature is changing and its scope is expanding. Now, major world organisations, corporate houses, etc. are also becoming significant players in this game. Global issues like terrorism, environmental degradation, world peace, etc. are some of its chief components.


Meaning and Definition

[1] Politics is usually concerned with power struggles. This struggle at a global level is called international politics.

[2] This field emerged at the dawn of the 20th century but gained more importance after the failure of the League of Nations. So after World War II, a greater need to thoroughly study the reasons for conflicts and find ways to avoid them arose. Hence, international politics came into the limelight.

[3] At its core, it is a subject that pulls from many different fields, such as politics, history, economics, geography, philosophy, law, and sociology.

[4] Aberystwyth University defines it as understanding and explaining global challenges and coming up with ideas for change at the international, state, and sub-state levels.



[1] SOVEREIGN STATES: Only autonomous states can participate in geopolitics because if a state is not independent, its foreign policy is controlled by the mother country, and thus participation by that country is limited. So, sovereignty is very important.

[2] NATIONAL INTEREST: Every country in the world is first concerned about its own national interest. The US gives aid packages to Pakistan, China gives huge loans to developing countries, and India helps Afghanistan with food, medical supplies, etc. All of these packages and assistance are provided to gain favour from other countries, and they are always beneficial to national interests.

[3] STRUGGLE FOR POWER: The main objective of countries is to gain more power and to diminish the power of their enemies. For example, the continuous race to create better weapons is deliberately going on. At the moment, the US is the leader in fighter jets and Russia is the leader in missiles.

[4] POWER BRINGS POWER: Powerful countries will naturally fight for it because they can.Countries that are not powerful usually don’t play any great role in geopolitics. Powerful countries include the ones present in groups like the G7 or G20.

[5] CONFLICT: Where there will be a struggle for power, there will be conflicts. Due to this, the world witnessed two world wars and many small-scale wars in the previous century. Even today, a huge conflict is going on between Ukraine and Russia. This is an important part of international politics.

[6] COOPERATION: Every coin has two sides. If there are conflicts, then there are ways for cooperation and peace also. Many organizations, like the U.N., work to maintain international peace and security.

[7] DELIBERATE: It is an endless process.Even after World War II ended, power struggles continued. The USSR and the US fought proxy wars by supporting various countries. Then the USSR disintegrated after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Russia took its place in competing with the US. Today, China is the US’s biggest competitor, and this struggle will never end.

[8] Behavioural Analysis: It has been observed that various countries’ behaviour patterns change over time. During the Cold War, India was a little bit pro-USSR, but there was never an official alliance. After the USSR fell, India kept getting closer to the US, and now the US calls India one of its most important strategic partners.

[9] SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS: Data science and statistics are used sometimes to study and predict international politics. In a recent article, an American journalist has shown with the help of a graph that inflation is going up in Britain and going down in Russia. This was a bit ironic because Britain has imposed sanctions on Russia but not vice versa.

[10] INTER-DISCIPLINARY NATURE: International politics is absolutely inter-disciplinary. It depends greatly on other subjects like history, geography, economics, etc.



[1] POWER: As international politics is all about power, it is necessary to study different types of powers. Power is of two types—hot power and soft power. Hot power is the military capacity of any given country, and soft power is the influential capacity of the same. Both of these are important and need to be studied.

[2] NATIONAL INTERESTS Every country has different national interests, and it is very important to study them in international politics. India is trying to keep good relations with Afghanistan even after the Taliban came to power again, and China keeps good relations with Pakistan. In both cases, national interests are the main driving force.

[3] ENVIRONMENT: Environmental problems have become an important part of geopolitics these days. The Kyoto Protocol was signed by more than 150 countries in 1997, and today the number has reached 192. This protocol is very important to curb global warming. Similarly, other agreements have also been made to save the environment. Some of the other environmental issues include deforestation, water crisis, ozone depletion, etc.

[4] INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS: The role of international organisations is quite significant in international politics. In 1945,  UNO was formed to maintain peace in the world. Other countries form other groups for regional cooperation, trade, etc., such as the EU, SAARC, ASEAN, BRICS, QUAD, I2U2, etc. Then we have organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is a part of the UN and helps bring development and stability to the world.

[5] INTERNATIONAL LAWS: These laws are derived from international treaties, agreements, or are passed by the UN. They are also of many types, like civil, criminal, and human rights laws, etc. They are very important in studying geopolitics because, in a way, they are the legal backbone of the world.

[6] Foreign policy is the root of a country’s behaviour toward other countries. India has followed the policy of nonalignment since independence. Today, India has good relations both with the West and the Russia-China block.

[7] WAR AND PEACE: Even with all the agreements, treaties, etc., wars are sometimes inevitable. So the wars, the reason behind them, and how to avoid them are studied in geopolitics.

[8] ECONOMIC FACTORS Your economy plays a significant role in measuring your power in international politics. The US has the biggest economy in the world, which helps it maintain influence in geopolitics. The US has the most voting power in the IMF, which it uses sometimes to achieve its goals.

[9] DISARMAMENT: This word is generally used for the idea of diminishing or completely removing the weapons of mass destruction from the world. It emerged during the Cold War period but has lost some of its significance today.

[10] TERRORISM: This is also becoming a prominent topic of discussion in international politics. Countries are now coming together to face this issue. The attack on the World Trade Center, also known as the 9/11 attack, forced America to start the war on terror in Afghanistan.

[11] IDEOLOGIES: Every country on Earth has an ideology.Although there might be some small shifts from time to time, the basic foundation is always there. China is a Communist state, the US is a democracy, Saudi Arabia has a monarchy, and so on. Ideologies have a big impact on a country’s foreign policy, so they are important in international politics.

[12] DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS: Demography is the study of the population of any given country. This includes local problems like poverty, unemployment, etc. Reports such as the human development index, happiness index, press freedom index, etc. are some parameters by which a country is judged by the world.



So, international politics is an ever-changing and complex piece of study. Its domain is too large and is getting larger every day. With increasing global challenges, which include wars, unemployment, water crises, climate change, poverty, etc., international politics might become one of the most important topics of discussion in the future!

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Saad Ahmad Khan a.k.a. Poet Saad is from Lucknow (India) and is currently doing graduation from dr. Shakuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University, Lucknow. Saad is suffering from vision impairment and kidney disease for a long time. However, even with all the issues, he maintains a positive attitude towards life. He loves to write a lot of things which include articles, poetry, essays, quotes and novel. Along with that he likes to sing, dance, play guitar, listen to audiobooks and he's always on the lookout for new opportunities. Saad has an Instagram page called - Poet Saad @the_words_of_fire, where he shares his thoughts.



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