Idealism can be traced from the works of great scholars like
Condorcet, Roseau, St Pierre, Immanuel Kant, and the ideas of leaders like Winston
Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. It seeks to create a
state of perpetual global peace through the existence of ‘world freedom’. It
desires to eliminate war, inequality of mankind, end tyranny and all that.1
These it seeks to achieve through the establishment of an international
authority for the management of international relations.2 Idealists are
concerned with ethics, and studies man and his institution in their ideal or
normative form, they believed that human nature is essentially ‘good’ or
altruistic and people are therefore, capable of mutual aid and collaboration.
Idealism has some of the following as some of its assumptions:
Human nature is essentially good and capable of
altruism, mutual aid and collaboration.
The fundamental human concern for others makes progress
Bad institutions and structural arrangements motivate
people to act selfishly and to harm others including making wars.
War is not inevitable and that it can be eliminated by
eradicating the institutional arrangement that encourage it.
War is an international problem that requires
collective or multilateral rather than national efforts to eliminate it.
International institution can be created to regulate
activities of actors at the international level.
The relevance of this theory to this paper is
based on the fact that certain laws and institutions were established by states
to maintain orderliness in the world as prescribed by idealists. Such laws were
made by states either through treaties or otherwise to regulate their affairs
with one another.
1 JC Johari , International Relations and Politics:
Theoretical Perspective in The Post-Cold War Era (3rd
edn, Sterling 2012)
2 Karen Mingst and Ivan Arreguín-toft, Essentials
of International Relations (6th edn, W W Norton & Company 2014)