William Shakespeare once said that "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players". It is well-known that it is almost impossible to play a game if one does not fully grasp the rules of such game. That is where the study of world politics comes into action, to help us understand the events happening around us on a daily basis. We develop our understanding of world politics by putting events within the context of theory to see blueprints and make generalizations about the conduct of international affairs. Realism, liberalism, world systems theory, environmentalism, feminism, islamism and constructivism help organize our views of world politics theoretically. What are the differences and resemblances among them?.
According to John Rourke, realism focuses on the self-interested promotion of the state and nation. Realists believe that for that main reason, conflicts among nations are unavoidable and basically only the strong will survive and win. Countries should exercise their power in order to reach physical safety and material well-being. On the other hand, liberalism holds that humans are different from animals in the sense that they are capable of cooperating out of enlightened common interests in an orderly way. Just like the realists, the liberalists contend that the main goals are physical safety and material well-being. The differences among them lie in the means offered by each group in order to achieve these goals. Realists advocate domination and military force, if necessary, whereas liberalists offer structured organizations to avoid chaos.
World systems theory, environmentalism, feminism and islamism (criticalism) are similar to one another in the sense that they all offer criticism to both realism and liberalism. Because those two theories main goals are physical safety and material well-being, criticalism views them as oppressive towards different groups in society.