Reading 1: Introduction
The origins of International Relations usually begins with an account of the Great War (1914-18)-
so horrific believed it was the war to end all wars
Horrific slaughter of an entire generation (of predominantly young men)
Study of IR grew out of the belief that war was the gravest problem facing humanity and that
something must be done to ensure that there would be no more "lost generations"
o Short lived the idea of no war (WWII)
In the wake of the second world war, IR scholars continued to focus on the nature of
international and inter-state relations, in their endeavours to understand the causes
Renewed efforts to organise the peace, with the birth of the United Nations 1945
o However the mood at this time was less optimistic: Germany almost completely destroyed,
Britain and France required major assistance to rebuild their shattered economies and
physical infrastructure, the USA and USSR emerged as "superpowers"
As relations between the USA and USSR deteriorated due to suspicion and mistrust and as
awareness of the awesome destructive potential of nuclea