Im­pacts of Nor­ma­tive In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions The­ory on the Third World

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Dl­shad Amin

Gen­er­ally the sup­posed prime ob­jec­tive of the­ory is to pro­vide ex­pla­na­tion of any is­sue through par­tic­u­lar worldview that re­flects the the­o­ries' prospec­tive. In the case of nor­ma­tive the­ory to en­gage with the is­sue crit­i­cally in a way that the is­sue or sub­ject mat­ter ought to have been in a par­tic­u­lar way or ought to be solved in an ideal way. This is the con­ven­tional un­der­stand­ing of the nor­ma­tive the­ory - that it is a crit­i­cal en­gage­ment with the is­sue of the day – hop­ing to em­bit­ter the world through am­pli­fy­ing the is­sue by crit­i­cally en­gag­ing with it. How­ever, as Robert Cox, a renowned IR the­o­rist fa­mously de­clared that "the­ory is al­ways for some­one and for some pur­pose" tes­ti­fies that nor­ma­tive the­ory is noth­ing but great pow­ers' po­lit­i­cal in­stru­ment to con­vey a par­tic­u­lar mas­sage to an in­tended au­di­ence within the con­text of re­alpoli­tik, namely to de­ceive the au­di­ence of the re­al­ity of re­alpoli­tik in po­lit­i­cal af­fairs. When closely ex­am­in­ing the role of the nor­ma­tive the­ory on the po­lit­i­cal elite of the third world, the cyn­i­cism of the nor­ma­tive the­ory be­comes ob­vi­ous. As is self-ev­i­dent, even the very few po­lit­i­cal elite who are ed­u­cated lack the self-es­teem to be­lieve in one­self as be­ing equal to their coun­ter­parts of the First World. This low self-es­teem of the Third World pop­u­la­tion gen­er­ally, in­clud­ing their states­men, is partly due to the mas­sages send by nor­ma­tive the­o­rists that the Third World pop­u­la­tion lack knowl­edge, wis­dom, crit­i­cal think­ing, com­pe­tence and phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance that to be counted as equal as the First World pop­u­la­tion and that they need to be helped by the peo­ple of the de­vel­oped world. Ad­di­tion­ally, the ad­verse ef­fects of nor­ma­tive IR the­ory are the em­pir­i­cal fact of the Third World's in­tel­lec­tu­als' in­ter­est in IR nor­ma­tive the­o­ries and their dis­taste for the pos­i­tivist the­o­ries... Thus, the Third World's dis­po­si­tion of po­lit­i­cal knowl­edge – re­alpoli­tik knowl­edge – has paved for their un­der­dog po­si­tion in com­par­i­son to the West in all realms of pol­i­tics, econ­omy, so­cial re­al­ity ...etc.

Those mas­sages of nor­ma­tive the­ory are im­plicit and res­onated through prac­ti­cal en­gage­ment of es­tab­lish­ments of non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions, gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions, transna­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and so forth that all gen­er­ate the feel­ings that the Third World pop­u­la­tion is not as com­pe­tent as the First World and that the First World does all it can help­ing the Third World to de­velop but their in­com­pe­tence stands ob­sta­cle to their own progress. This typ­i­cal view of our­selves as peo­ple of Third World and the at­ti­tude of the First World to­wards us has no foun­da­tion. First, we need to un­der­stand that all hu­man be­ings are en­dowed with equal fac­ulty with dif­fer­ent cul­tures, hob­bies, ap­pear­ance etc.; sec­ond, we need to know the fact that if the West wants to help the Third World, it has to re­move the trade bar­ri­ers, the heavy terms and con­di­tions of bor­row­ing from IMF and the World Bank, and soften travel re­stric­tions on Third World pop­u­la­tion. Such pos­i­tive poli­cies would ben­e­fit not only the Third World econ­omy but the First World too as they would en­joy greater eco­nomic stim­u­la­tions, bet­ter aware­ness of the world as more peo­ple would travel and in­ter­act with lo­cal peo­ple. There­fore, in all, no in­tel­lec­tual of the Third World should be de­ceived by the cyn­i­cal sub­tle nor­ma­tive the­o­rists' aims and ob­jec­tives, and they need to re­fute their cyn­i­cal aims and ob­jec­tives by pre­sent­ing the Third World as who we re­ally are – noth­ing less than the First World pop­u­la­tion, and we need to demon­strate this on prac­ti­cal level as well.

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