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Sociology Assignment: Key Historical Developments That Shaped International Society


Task: Write a well-researched sociology assignment on the topic “What key historical developments have shaped the international society?”.


Background Of Sociology Assignment
The English School has articulated the expansion of the international society. It is considered as one of the well-acknowledged and effective narrative, which is prevailed in international relations. The expansion of international society is facing huge criticism in recent years due to its distinctive biasness towards Eurocentric thoughts. According to the argument of a powerful school of thought, such criticism can be predicted (Rengger 2020) . The new agreement across the global social science is helping to establish a meta-narrative. It is deeply regressive in nature. Andrew Linklater has acknowledged the importance of grand narratives in the recent years (Rengger 2020). The importance of these grand narratives has been reasserted. Therefore, it is important to consider timely reassessment of such grand narratives. International society is considered as the term of art. It was introduced in the study of international relations by group of important scholars working in the UK in between 1950s and 1960s. It is identified from the legal and historical study of human interactions that international society has its origin in the growth of European Diplomatic System after the 15th century. Works of the thinkers of 17th and 18th century, and codification of the International Law in the 19th century have proved that international society has its origin in the growth of European Diplomatic System (Rengger 2020). Some renowned constructive writers, some radical scholars of world politics, and some communitarian writers have used the notions of international society in different ways. In addition, the English school also has a strong influence in the broad philosophical approach of the writers. The approach of English School towards the evolution of International society is highly notable. Major objective of this assignment is to discuss about important historical developments, which have significantly shaped the international society.

The concept of international society is considered as an important part of the concept of European States System. It is different from the characteristics of Notion of System, which has gained currency in the scholarship of the United States of America in between 1940s and 1950s. This idea of international society was greatly developed in the United Kingdom in between 1950s and 1960s. This concept of international society has greatly emphasized on centrality of the philosophical, legal, and historical frames of references for the studies of international relations. The narrative of international society is strongly associated with the English School because Adam Watson and Hedley Bull edited a seminal text, which provides an extensive and detailed examination of evolution and emergence of the modern international society. The expansion narrative and the standard European views are not distinctive to the thinking of the English School. Most importantly, the historical records suggest that the concept of international society is largely associated with different Eurocentric views. However, Watson and Bill failed to determine the constituent elements of the standard account. The contemporary international society is originated in Europe. The evolution of international society took place for more than 700 years (Beretta 2021) . According to the views of Bull, any society needs to have rules about the restraints on the use of force, about property rights, and about sanctity of agreements (Rengger, 2020). Expansion of the concept of international society cannot be possible without rules about the restraints on the use of force, about property rights, and about sanctity of agreements. Most importantly, these rules are shared in a particular set of institutions, which capture the normative structure of any international society. These are diplomacy, war, international law, and great powers.

There are differing accounts within the school of thoughts regarding the evaluation of the ideas. Some critics argue that the origin of international society can be found in the remnants of medieval conceptions. Basically, the base of international society is developed on the bases of different theoretical concepts of international relations. There are different concepts and theories of international relations. Study and evolution of the international society is enhanced throughout the years with the help of the bases of different international relations theory. First of all, realism theory of international relations can be discussed here. Realism is considered as one of the dominant thoughts within the section of international relations theory. It theoretically formalises Realpolitik Statesmanship of the early modern Europe. This theory is comprised of different bodies of diversified thoughts (Mayhew et al, 2019) . Major principle or statesmanship of this theory is that the global politics is a field of conflict in which different actors are pursing power and wealth. The theory of realism is distinguished by the co-operative idea of liberalism. Realism theory of international relations entails a range of ideas. These ideas usually revolve around different central propositions like Anarchy, Power, Rationality and State-centrism. In terms of State-centrism, states are considered as the central actors in the international politics. In such cases, global leaders or international organisations do not have the rights to make strategies in the international politics. In terms of anarchy, the global political system in anarchic in nature and there is no multinational power to enforce regulations and laws. In terms of rationality or egoism, states usually act to satisfy their self-interest and rationality within the global political system. In terms of power, states seek for control and power to enhance effective self-preservation. Realism is generally linked with realpolitik. Both realism theory and realpolitik deal with possession, pursuit, and application of people (Sunar 2021) . There are different kinds of realism concepts, such as liberal realism, classical realism, neoclassical realism, structural realism, left realism, and realist constructivism. There are different challenges of this realism concept as it is criticised that consideration of realism can have a negative impact on hegemonic peace, democratic peace, state-centrism, appeasement, and inconsistency with non-European politics.

Liberalism is another school of thought within the field of international relations theory. The development and application of this theory depends on certain principles, which are revolving around three interrelated principles. First of all, elimination of power politics can be considered as an only possible result of the international relations that raises questions on warfare or security principles of realism. Secondly, liberalism accelerates international co-operation by enhancing mutual benefits. Thirdly, it is also important to accept that liberalism implemented nongovernmental players as well as international organisations in order to shape state preferences, policy choices, and international cooperation (CASLAVOVA 2021) . The liberalism school of thought generally focuses on three important factors to reduce the possibilities of interstate conflicts and encourage mutual cooperation. First of all, international institutions like United Nations offer an important forum to resolve existing disputes between different states in a non-violent way. Secondly, international trade is an important factor because when the economies of the countries are interconnected through commercial and trade activities then the possibilities of war between two countries due to any conflict is limited. Thirdly, democracy is another important factor. When the spread of democracy among the established democracies is significant, then the possibilities of conflicts and tensions can be reduced. Different liberals believe that international institutions have important role to play in co-operation between two or more than two states through the factor of interdependence. Liberalism is considered as one of the major schools of thoughts in the section of international relations (Pfister 2019) . It has played an important role in developing and shaping international societies across the globe. The principles of liberalism want to address the central issues or problems of achieving long-term and long-lasting co-operation and peace among the countries in international relations. The roots of liberalism strongly lie in the broader liberal thoughts and it has originated from the concept of enlightenment. Supporters of liberalism in the global regions believe in significant spreading of democracy through peace and co-operation.

Constructivism is also an important social theory in the grounds of international relations. This constructivism theory declares that international relations and international societies are effectively shaped and developed by the ideational factors. These ideational factors are not simply material factors as these are socially and historically constructed. Variants of liberalism, realism, and rational choice strongly emphasize on materialism. Unlike individualist as well as materialist analysis, constructivism philosophy does not take interests and identities of actors. Generally, constructivists see interests and identified of social actors as these are socially changeable and socially constructed. Constructivism can only offer substantive predictions and explanations once the important relevant actors along with their interests are identified (Sourak 2017) . The most essential ideational factors are collectively yield factors. The major principle of constructivism theory is to demonstrate the core aspects of international relations. According to the principle of this theory, the degree and level of human associations are primarily determined through shared ideas. In this case, sharing of the material factors is not acknowledged. It does not mean that international political activities are only sharing of ideas. The constructivists also feel that the importance of material factors should be considered while developing policies on international politics. The concept that international relations are not only hampered by power politics, but also poor sharing of ideas can hamper the international relations and international societies. Social constructivism is highly essential for the states and international bodies to ensure great international security, which is essential for development and shaping of international societies. The theory of constructivism can be applied on three important norms, such as regulative norms, perspective norms, and constitutive norms (Sengupta et al., 2019) . Most importantly, the specificity, universality, longevity, and prominence of these norms are highly essential to consider.

Rational choice is another prominent theoretical framework in the international relations field. Rational theory is not a substantive theory in the study of international politics. It is considered as a methodological approach that mainly focuses on some notable types of social explanation phenomena. The rationalists mainly analyse the conditions, which extract the patterns or outcomes of the behaviours if the relevant actors behave rationally. Important aspects in rational choice research in the field of international relations include credibility, transaction costs, incomplete information, trust, signalling, and costs of audience. A rational choice research project requires some important factors for proceedings. First of all, the analyses determine a pattern of behaviour or event that they want to elaborate and explain. Secondly, the analysts postulate a group of relevant social actors. Thirdly, the analysts propose the authentic choices, which are significantly available for the social actors. Fourthly, the analysts interconnect the preferences of the social actors to the bunch of available choices. Fifthly, the rational analysts also evaluate, analyse, elaborate, and analyse the scenarios under which the outcomes take place if the relevant social actors are behaving rationally (Twardzisz 2018) . According to the principles of this theory, the social actors do not have to be fully rational. The scholarship of rational choice might focus on the materialist variables, but these choices as well as materialism are not necessarily identical. There are different challenges of this international relationship framework. The cognitive factors of this philosophy do not force the social actors to bring transformation in their behaviour or believes in a steady way. Most importantly, the rational choice scholars usually warn against the conflating analytical norms in rational choice scholarship with different empirical assumptions. Marxists and neo-Marxist theories are paradigms in the field of international relations, which usually reject the liberal and realistic view of the state cooperation or state conflict. The importance of focus on the material and economic aspects is limited in this theoretical approach. This theory signifies in revealing in how the economy of a country trumps the other matters of concerns. Elevation of class is considered as the major focus of the study. Most importantly, liberals and realists have criticised this theory for the consequentialist and ideological reasons (Sarma et al., 2021) . The post-positivists usually disagree with the elevation of class conflict of the Marxist theory as the most important aspect of the human life is to understand the human behaviour and human history. From the epistemological point of view, the principles of Marxism have created the foundation of the critical theory. The normative limitation of Marxism is that it can be identified as a Eurocentric approach by which it promotes the enlightenment model of cosmopolitanism.

However, an in-detailed reading of Watson and Bull on the Shaping of International Society indicates that their investigation and studies provide substantial views of the Third World States. However, their analysis and evaluation have failed to endorse the standard account. According to their arguments and criticism, it can be stated that Europe did not evolve the institutions and exported them. They never systematically highlight the full implications of this particular position, but the texts illustrated that the interactive process is highly related to the later stages of the European expansion. According to the point of view of the English Social Writers, international society is considered as an important element of international relations. The historical wing of the English school usually focuses on the global international society of this contemporary era. European expansion as well as international expansion is considered as important historical aspects, which have significantly shaped the international societies. The criticism of the classical theory can indicate that the excessive underplaying and Eurocentric aspects are not good because European international societies did not emerge from the fully established Europe. Earlier, the English School authors understood that international society has an essential geographic dimension. International society is an art. The concept of international society is introduced in the study of the international relations by a group of scholars researching in the United Kingdom. However, the contemporary international society is comprised of different important roles, establishment, practices, norms, and institutions. These are considered as essential principles through which the foundation of the international society is created. Most importantly, legal equality and non-intervention in the international relations are considered as some important principles of international society (Sahle 2017) . These important principles of international society reflect the common interest of different states in legitimising and protecting the sovereignty. The early concept of international society does not resemble this contemporary model because nobody has given importance to the sovereign equality. The equal status of all the countries and states in the international laws has emerged through the emergence, development, and acknowledgement of the above-mentioned theories. Slowly and gradually, numerous religious norms are being started to get associated in the international relations. The important elements of the international society have been identified from the times of the first organised human communities. The early forms of treaties and diplomacy are being identified in the ancient Middle East culture and the international society of this particular area is associated with such religious norms. The examples of ancient Greek culture also can be considered here. It is identified that relationship among the cities and states of Greece were characterised by the developed arbitration social characteristics. Ancient China, Ancient India, and Ancient Rome have different distinctive international societies unlike the classical and traditional international societies (Chua et al., 2017) .

The contemporary international society is significantly based on the concept that state is an independent actor and states have the authorities to enjoy the legal supremacy over other types of non-state actors. Three important developments of this modern international society can be considered here. First of all, powerful and larger states like Husburg Empire and France were significantly dominating comparatively smaller states. Secondly, the Protestant Reformation dealt a devastative blow to the catholic churches. In indirectly enhanced the counterclaim of the sovereignty of the states. Lastly, the voyage of Columbus to the New World in the year1492 was successfully followed by the discovery of sea route by Vasco Da Gama. The formation of the United Nation can be considered as a much-improved league of the nations. It is true that international relationship among the states has become healthy, but it is important here to acknowledge that evolution of cold war among some countries is affecting the peace and harmony of some of the nations. The collapse of Soviet Union can be considered as a significant example of this. Now, the idea of globalisation of international society has been emerged. It is true that cold-war is being taking place, but international forums are taking different initiatives to resolve the tension. Successive leaders of the developing nations are taking globalisation very seriously in order to gain international responses. Different revolutions are reasons behind the globalisation of international society in which the successive leaders of third world countries or developing countries are significantly contributing (Garcia-Nunez 2017) . The example of South African Revolution, Indian Revolution, Iranian Revolution, and Bangladesh Revolution can be considered here. These revolutions have significantly helped in giving different aspects of international societies. In different developing countries or third world countries, it can be seen that the dimension of international relationship is different and the characteristics of happened revolutions are significantly identified in the international societies of the respective countries.

Sovereignty in the international relations has become an important as it is highly capable of significant evolution to meet different kinds of circumstances. The concept of sovereignty has come in international relations in order to meet different international society challenges. The integration of the cosmopolitan aspect in the international society has been happened due to the independence of different countries in last few years. In last few decades different countries have got independence. Most importantly, independence struggles and winning sovereign rights have allowed the countries to offer different cosmopolitan concept of the international society (Freitas et al., 2020) . Tackling of global property has become an important aspect for the international societies. The richer states or developing countries are taking positive foot-steps towards the solution of global property. The richer countries are significantly focusing on the involvement with underdeveloped countries to overcome their problems regarding poverty and malnutrition. Now, the degree and quality of the collective decision-making process has been improved and it is important here to acknowledge that every non-state actor as well as developed states are very much keen to maintain the sovereignty of the international societies. There are different possibilities of clash of civilisation, but it is essential here to mention that international institutions like United Nations are created in order to ensure peace and harmony within this region (Liu 2021) . Most importantly, the possibilities of cultural conflicts are getting reduced due to the acknowledgement of sovereignty in the international institutions.

Hence, it is identified that the idea of international society is deeply rooted in the versions of English School. However, this particular concept of internationalisation is extensively Europe centric. Therefore, the concept of internationalisation of the other developing and underdeveloped countries does not match with the thoughts of English School. There are different kinds of international laws, which are derived from the nature of international societies of different countries. Some of the countries have got independence in last few decades. Hence, the norms of revolution and religion also have become important development aspects of international societies in some countries (Engberg 2020) . Overall, it can be summarised that shaped international society in this contemporary era also believes in the importance of sovereignty, religion, and revolution.

The concept of International society was first ever introduced in 1950s and 1960s. The research works of the scholars of 17th and 18th century, and systematization of the International Law in the 19th century indicate that the origin of international society lies in European Diplomatic System. The English School has taken optimistic approach towards the evolution of International society. However, the expansion chronicle and the standard European views are not characteristic of the thoughts of the English School. The historical records advocate that the concept of international society is mostly in line with different Eurocentric views. There are contradictory explanations within the school of thoughts regarding the evolution of the ideas regarding the development of international societies. Some scholars have pointed out that the base of international society can be identified in the odds and ends of medieval conceptions.

Now-a-days, realism concept of international relations plays an important role in shaping international societies across the globe. There are different concepts of realism, such as classical realism, liberal realism, structural realism, neoclassical realism, realist constructivism, and left realism in international relations. These concepts of international relations have effectively shaped international society in this contemporary era. International forums like United Nations play important roles in making resolutions of existing conflicts between different states in a non-violent way. A critical evaluation of the reading of Watson and Bull on the Shaping of International Society indicates substantial views of the Third World States. The early forms of agreements and negotiation are being recognized in the ancient Middle East culture. Most importantly, international society of this particular area is associated with such religious norms. Currently, sovereignty in the international relations has become essential as it is responsible for significant evolution to meet different kinds of circumstances. The concept of sovereignty has been included in the modern international relations in order to meet different international society challenges. It is conclusively stated that shaped international society in this modern age believes in the importance of sovereignty, religion, governance, and revolution.

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