Portal:International relations

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Introduction

In 2012 alone, the Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, hosted more than 10,000 intergovernmental meetings. The city hosts the highest number of International organizations in the world.

International relations (IR) or international affairs (IA) — commonly also referred to as international studies (IS), global studies (GS), or global affairs (GA) — is the study of interconnectedness of politics, economics and law on a global level. Depending on the academic institution, it is either a field of political science, an interdisciplinary academic field similar to global studies, or an entirely independent academic discipline in which students take a variety of internationally focused courses in social science and humanities disciplines. In all cases, the field studies relationships between political entities (polities) such as sovereign states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs), and the wider world-systems produced by this interaction. International relations is an academic and a public policy field, and so can be positive and normative, because it analyses and formulates the foreign policy of a given state.

As political activity, international relations dates from the time of the Greek historian Thucydides (c. 460–395 BC), and, in the early 20th century, became a discrete academic field (no. 5901 in the 4-digit UNESCO Nomenclature) within political science. In practice, international relations and international affairs forms a separate academic program or field from political science, and the courses taught therein are highly interdisciplinary.

For example, international relations draws from the fields of politics, economics, international law, communication studies, history, demography, geography, sociology, anthropology, criminology, psychology, and gender studies. The scope of international relations encompasses issues such as globalization, diplomatic relations, state sovereignty, international security, ecological sustainability, nuclear proliferation, nationalism, economic development, global finance, terrorism, and human rights.

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Flag of the United States

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization established 24 October 1945 to promote international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was created following the Second World War to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The headquarters of the United Nations is in Manhattan, New York City, and enjoys extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict. (more...)

Selected biography

Hans Kelsen

Hans Kelsen (German: [hans ˈkɛlzən]; October 11, 1881 – April 19, 1973) was an Austrian jurist, legal philosopher and political philosopher. Due to the rise of national socialism in Germany and Austria, Kelsen left his university post because of his Jewish ancestry, and departed to Geneva in 1933, and then to the United States in 1940. In 1934, Roscoe Pound lauded Kelsen as “undoubtedly the leading jurist of the time.” While in Vienna, Kelsen was a young colleague of Sigmund Freud and wrote on the subject of social psychology and sociology.

By the 1940s, Kelsen’s reputation was already well established in the United States for his defense of democracy and for his magnum opus Pure Theory of Law (Reine Rechtslehre). Kelsen’s academic stature exceeded legal theory alone and extended to political philosophy and social theory as well. His influence encompassed the fields of philosophy, legal science, sociology, the theory of democracy, and international relations.

Late in his career while at the University of California at Berkeley, Kelsen rewrote Pure Theory of Law into a second version. Kelsen throughout his active career was also a significant contributor to the theory of judicial review, the hierarchical and dynamic theory of positive law, and the science of law. In political philosophy he was a defender of the state-law identity theory and an advocate of explicit contrast of the themes of centralization and decentralization in the theory of government. Kelsen was also an advocate of the position of separation of the concepts of state and society in their relation to the study of the science of law.

The reception and criticism of Kelsen's work and contributions has been extensive with both ardent supporters and detractors. Kelsen's contributions to legal theory of the Nuremberg trials was supported and contested by various authors including Dinstein at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Kelsen's neokantian defense of continental legal positivism was supported by H. L. A. Hart in its contrasting form of Anglo-American legal positivism, which was debated in its Anglo-American form by scholars such as Ronald Dworkin and Jeremy Waldron.

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Allied Occupation of Austria

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