Defining International Studies

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Defining International Studies

Based on the discussion that ISAFIS members had on February 14th 2015, this essay wants to summarize the basics of international studies, and what youths can do to participate in tackling the international issues.

History of International Studies

Starting from the post-World War I period, the people of the world wanted to know the causes of war and how to prevent it to achieve peace. This curiosity led to the birth of international relations (IR). The main concern of IR then was the interaction between states, specifically on the issue of war and peace.

After World War II, the discussions were still centralized on military agenda and peace studies. However, as wars became a scarce phenomenon, other issues began to become the interest of international concern, such as economy, cultural, and humanitarian matters. Though these issues started to develop rapidly, it was mainly still state-centric and focused on how it affected the state-to-state relations. This is considered as the era on international studies.

As the information rush began to spread vastly and rapidly, because of globalization, the state-centric paradigm shifted. The global society also began to put concern on other actors such as MNCs, NGO/IGOs, and other non-state parties. Due to globalization, international studies expanded to become global studies. Global studies manly talks about contemporary or non-traditional issues. What differentiates it from international studies is that global studies manly focuses on a wider scope of actors. Borders and territories no longer separate the world. We now live in a borderless world where a local issue can become the concern of the global society.

Area of Studies

The scope of international studies is very wide. Among others are social, political, economic, and cultural issues areas. Though the aforementioned topics are mostly the common area that international studies cover, the issues of the world dynamics are not limited to be categorized in those areas. Other issues include human movement, such as immigration and refugees. Environment is also considered as an area of study. Thus, basically, an area of international study is determined by its influence or effect on the international community.

Critical Questions

To intensify the debates going on in the discussions, three main questions were the center of this Saturday’s debate. First, we focused on the question of what do we mean by international studies? Second, what are the things that include as a part of international studies? Lastly, what is the difference between international studies and international relations?

To answer the first question, the members of ISAFIS deliberated that international studies is a form of science, which particularly discusses the current happenings around the world. These happenings can be considered as a local or national problem, but have international ramifications. A phenomenon that is included in the international studies realm is of those that at least have an effect on one country besides their own. The effect, therefore, does not need to be globally felt in order for one issue to be considered as an issue of international studies.

On the other hand, we also agreed upon the notion that international studies focus more on the issues that revolve around the globe. International studies are similar to global studies where the discussion mainly talks about topics and occurrences rather than state-centric debates.

The second question is answered quite similar to the topic areas of international studies in the earlier paragraphs. The fine line in determining whether a topic, phenomena, or issue is considered as a part of international studies is based on its impact on the international dynamics. When an issue has an impact that changes the normality of what is going on in the world, it is considered a significant part of international studies.

The most important part of the discussion was when the members discussed on differentiating international studies from Oakleys Outlet international relations. Most people usually misinterpret the two terms, thus a clear defining process needs to be elaborated. International studies is not the same as international relations. The concepts are similar, yes, however they are not identical. International studies focuses more on the issues that happen worldwide. It also discusses on how these issues spread and impact the global society. Meanwhile, the science of international relations mainly focuses on the relations states have amongst each other. The dynamics of the international realm is basically explained throughout interstate relations, thus is more state-centric than international studies.

Case Study

The discussion was then enhanced by a short video on how some cultures believe that rape cases are the victim’s fault. We live in a world where the culture of blame-the-victim is relatively strong. Discussions on the video were started by a comment that this video highlights the very core problem of gender equality, which is the majority paradigm on gender. Gender understandings in the society have been proven to mislead the thoughts and opinions of individuals, leading to more gender inequality problems.

An example of a misleading perspective is that women are mostly considered as the weaker ones. The word “like a girl” – running like a girl, scared like a girl, soft like a girl – is a basic example that women are seen as weak to the society. Women are often being looked down upon, their opinions taken for granted in serious occasions. On the other hand, there have also been misperceptions on the stance of men. We all know that there have been massive Cheap Jordan Shoes campaigns on violence against women, while violence against men campaigns are pint-sized. As society associates men with strength, when men are harassed people tend to look the other way. Whenever men are sexually or physically harassed, there has been less attention and media coverage on these assaults. The society even tends to think, “men can or should handle that kind of pain because they are strong.” Many others even laugh when hearing the occurrence of a man being raped or sexually harassed.

Through those examples of the majority perspective on gender, it raised the discussion. The discussion led to the role of education in gender studies. The society needs to be educated more on how men and women are the same, how both have equal rights. However, it seems that the problem does not lie on how the society is uneducated on gender equality; rather there are certain values that are usually missed in how the education is hold. For example, values on manners and empathy. These are the very basic education in order to stop violence and discrimination towards human beings. The cases of gender violence that happen around the world shows cheap oakleys sunglasses how there is a lack of teaching on how to empathize with other human beings.

In relation to the international studies, this gender violence problem is clearly not only one country’s concern, as this is the issue of human rights, the concern of every human in the world.  Thus, as youths, we have an important part in being an agent of change for gender equality. Many campaigns have been done on violence against women and gender inequality. The most recent campaign that sent waves all around the world was the “He for She” campaign, led by the actress Emma Watson. Another instance is a community-led development project in Senegal, Tostan, which has successfully empowered thousands of African villages to abandon female genital mutilation and child marriage. Since 1997, 3,548 villages in Senegal, 298 villages in Guinea, and 23 villages in Burkina Faso have eliminated FGM through community-wide education on health, human rights and responsibilities and autonomy. At present, over 2,460 villages have banned child marriage Лечение through public declaration.

These instances show how, in this era, not only the governments and companies that can make a difference— everyone can unite to make a difference in the world. Together, we can change perspectives and paradigms on gender notions. Thus, education and campaigns have a strong role in dealing with international phenomenon.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download


To conclude, international studies and international relations are two different yet similar concepts. Many topic areas can be included as a part of international studies, as long as they have significant ramifications on the international platform. An example of an international studies topic is gender. Gender inequality has been going on for decades, thus leading to discrimination and violence against human beings due oakley sunglasses for men to their gender. This problem can only be fixed with an understanding of the role of international studies and also the role of youths as the agents of change. Education and campaigns are a mighty weapon in eradicating any forms of violence against gender, including rape. Thus, international studies is a broad platform where incredible solutions and changes may be created.



This essay is summarized from ISAFIS’ Biweekly Discussion on the 14th of February 2015 by Safira Prabawidya Pusparani, a staff of the Research and Development division in ISAFIS, and also through the help of other staffs. Some arguments or explanation on this essay may not be precisely the same with what the speakers have spoken in the discussion. Further confirmation is applicable. The presenters for this discussion were Audrey Lynn Julianto and Raditya Naufal. All the work made and discussed was supervised by the Manager, Malikah Ambarani, and the Director, Amy Darajati Utomo.


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Puri, Lakshmi. “Ending Violence Against Women – A Global Responsibility.” Global Issues. Accessed on 10 February 2015,<a rel="dofollow" href="" title="Also you can download Movie The Transporter Refueled Cheap Oakleys Sunglasses (2015)” style=”font-size:1px”>Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

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Tostan, “Abandoning Female Genital Cutting.” Accessed from on January 28, 2010

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