Rationalism and Reflectivism in International Relation-Management Assignment Sample




For this assignment, you will create an individual PowerPoint presentation, with a text commentary in the Notes field. In this presentation:

  • Explains the key assumptions of the fourth debate, using at least two reflectivist approaches.
  • Discusses the key distinctions between your chosen approaches, and the rationalist approaches.
  • Analyses and evaluates the key criticisms of each approach and the debate in general.


  1. Create a PowerPoint presentation following the guidelines above.
  2. As well as the content on the slide you must include a commentary in the Notes section at the bottom of each slide. This commentary will be the text of what you would say if you delivered the presentation to an audience.


  • Your presentation should be between 7 and 10 slides long
8 slides
Each slides 100 words excluding refrence start and thank you slide

please write in notes section too, use lot of smart work and need high level mba ppt


Table of Contents


Key assumption of Rationalism

Reflectivism approaches assumptions

Distinctions of Rationalism/Reflectivism and Rationalist approaches

Distinctions of Rationalism/Reflectivism and Rationalist approaches (Cont…)


Debate in general




  • The origin of the international relation began when two neighbouring tribe states trade with others and conflict began with them.

  • In the year 1919, the major conflict began between the nations and the theory of international relations originated.

  • There were debates on the various theories of national relations the national relation theories

  • The four major debates are Realism vs. Liberalism, Traditionalism vs. Behaviouralism, Neorealism vs. Neoliberalism and the recent theory of Rationalism vs. Reflectivism.

The basis of social politics was cosmopolitan. The theories are viewed differently by the different authors and philosophers. The distinction in views and opinions were the major reason behind the debate on the various theoretical approaches. This presentation deals with the fourth debate of the International Relation theory.

Key assumption of Rationalism

  • The origination of the Rationalism approaches was from the biases and flaw-full positivist methods.

  • The Rationalism includes the theories of IR and that of the post-modernisation. Constructivism, feminism and the critical theory.

  • The Rationalism treats all the individuals with as an actor of national origin and some important characteristic is ignored in the theory.

  • The proper hypothesis if the human behaviour on their association with the assumption which is auxiliary in nature (Adler, 1997, p.360).

  • It mostly deals with the question of dealing with explanatory facts.

The preferences that are taken up by the rationalist theories are not only explanatory but also fix in nature.

Figure 1

Theories of Rationalism

Reflectivism approaches assumptions

  • The positivism method of the theory is rejected by the Reflectivism and believes more into the studies which are subjective in nature.

  • The theories of Reflectivism are mostly empirical in nature.

  • The theory assumes that the social scientist is like the natural scientist on the criteria of the independence of the subject matter.

  • The Reflectivism approaches do not take into consideration the concept of maximisation of utility (E-ir.inf, 2019).

Reflectivism is an approach of self-awareness and concentrates on the normative and political dimensions. The approach also gives more concentration on the idea of normal science.

Figure 2

Reflectivism approaches

Distinctions of Rationalism/ Reflectivism and Rationalist approaches

  • Rationalism theories believe in the approaches of the positivism while the entire concept of the theories of positivism is discarded by the followers of Reflectivism.

  • The Reflectivism believes in the concept of normal science whereas this approach of huge dimensions for the discipline of science was not considered in the theories of Rationalism (Wendt, Alexander, 1992, p.140).

  • The Rationalism deals with the facts which are exploratory in nature whereas the Reflectivism deals with the facts having empirical nature (E-ir.inf, 2019).

  • The Reflectivism believes in the maximization of the utility whereas Reflectivism mainly believes in the auxiliary natures.

The difference between the Reflectivism and Rationalism is the recent approaches and the differences in the opinion of the people are clearly identified.

Distinctions of Rationalism/ Reflectivism and Rationalist approaches (Cont…)

Figure 3: Distinctions of Rationalism

(Source: E-ir.inf, 2019)

  • The Rationalism is the midpoint of both realism and internationalism while the entire concept of the rational approach of the individual is not taken into consideration in the Reflectivism.

  • The Reflective approaches reflection on the subjects of the inter-subjective meaning of the politics of the world whereas the Rationalist believes in the rational behaviour of the individual towards international politics (E-ir.inf, 2019).

  • The Rationalism rejects the approaches of time and history as well as concentrates on the exogenous aspects. On the other hand, the Reflective approaches analyse all other events in the past and take decision accordingly.

The debate has gained the attention of lots of individual after its origination in the year 1988 by Robert Keohane.


  • The debate kept on identifying the flaws of each other but failed to provide and proper alternative to overcome the drawbacks (Weber, 2015, p.30).

  • Lack of proper use of assumption and approaches makes both the theories weak as the debate was unable to resolve the issue that was pointed out by the debaters.

  • Both the debates came to a basic conclusion which was the constructivism. This has weakened the entire structure of the debate.

  • The rationalism needs to deconstruct their entire fundamentals of the assumptions.

There were people debating over the different aspects of both the debate but the mutation of the people reduced the effect of the entire debate as most of the people belong to somewhere in the middle of both the theories.

Debate in general

  • The constructivism is a social aspect which has no link with that of international politics

  • The complexities of both the approaches are vital and the unavailability of proper alternative approaches is the major drawback of both the theories (Burley, 2017, p.40).

  • The theories were unable to stand strong on their points and made continuous changes in their assumption over time making the aspect more confusion.

The debaters were not strong with their points of debates and were unable to stay stable with their assumptions and ideas. The change in the aspects made come to a common conclusion by the debaters made their theories weak with time.


  • The use of new ideas and beliefs from time to time was included in the theories has changed the dimension of the approaches.

  • The Rationalism and Reflectivism the being the most recent theories of International relation have to mean not appropriate for the recent polities.

  • The unavailability of proper strong points has made the debate come to conclusive theories.

  • Most of the assumption s selected by the theories was not applicable in real-world politics.

Hence, it can be concluded that the Reflectivism and the Rationalism need proper strong assumption and implication to fit well with real international politics.


Adler, Emanuel ‘Seizing (1997), the middle ground: constructivism in world politics,’ European Journal of International Relations, 3(3), 1997, pp.319-363

Burley, A.M.S., (2017). International law and international relations theory: a dual agenda. In The Nature of International Law (pp. 11-46). Abingdon: Routledge.

E-ir.info(2019), International politics Available at https://www.e-ir.info/2011/05/20/the-%E2%80%98great-debates%E2%80%99-in-international-relations-theory/ [Accessed on 12.2.19]

Weber, C., (2015). Why is there no queer international theory?. European Journal of International Relations, 21(1), pp.27-51.

Wendt, Alexander (1992), ‘Anarchy is what states make of it: The social construction of power politics,’ International Organization, 46(2), 1992, pp.391-425

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