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Lecture 12

PSCI 1200 Lecture 12: PSCI 1200 lecture notes week 2- 12

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Political Science
PSCI 1200
Mark Pearcy

PSCI 1200 January, 17, 2017 Week 2. Lecture 1. Notes. Positivism: Definition: a methodology with its origins in the hard sciences, which believe in the existence of testable and objectively verifiable social truths. (methods in order to prove certain theories). Background: emerges to replace theories based on philosophy, history and supposition. Example: neorealism and the structure of the international system. Among scholars in the US, most of the theories in IR are based on historical evidence and philosophical evidence, the arguments are unscientific, they dont have scientific prof of the world. Pros and cons of positivism as applied in IR: Pros: A parsimonious and systematic approach to stud of IR that helps us explain in general terms. Cons: It is just one perspective on methodology (postmodernism). Could be that we condition everything we study with our won subjectivities? Example: medieval Europe and modern IR Level of analysis System level: Focus on the unites of analysis that composes the IR system and the structure of the international system in which the unites of analysis are arranged. What are the units of analysis: global actors states and non states actors. Note: unites of analysis are understood as unitary and rational actors ( in a sense that actors will pursue their interests in a logical ways regardless of the internal composition ( minimize costs and maximize their benefits. Example: US and USSR. What is the structure anarchy? Assumption: structure of the system independent variable effects the behavior of the unites dependent variable. Note: systemic analysis usually direct us to the possibility of conflict or cooperation at the international level. Domestic level. Second level of analysis. Focus: internal dynamic as aspects of second order, global actors (state and non state). Example: political culture. Assumption: internal dynamics and aspects influence the behavior of global actors as well as their relation. Example: foreign policies of the US vs. those of North Korea. Note: a focus on the internal aspect dynamic of global actors is different from systemic analyses, which treat actors as like units.
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