PSCI 1100 Lecture Notes - Security Dilemma, Neoliberalism

15 views2 pages
Published on 14 Apr 2013
School
Carleton University
Department
Political Science
Course
PSCI 1100
Lecture No. 2 Theories of World Friday, January 18th, 2013
I. Traditional (or “Mainstream”) Theories
a. Realism long tradition in history of political thought, dominant since World War II. Study the
world “as it is,” not how it ought to be. The core idea is that world politics is a struggle for power
among states
i) States = main actors; pursue national interests
ii) Roots of conflict in human nature (lust for power)
iii) International politics = condition of anarchy (absence of world government)
iv) States face a security dilemma.
v) Order in world politics through balance of power
b. Liberalism - Roots in the Enlightenment (late 17th-18th century) beliefs in rationality, progress,
individualism, constitutional government, human rights. The core idea is Peaceful international
relations are possible, especially among democracies & by establishing international
institutions
i) States and non-state actors shape world politics
ii) Democracy makes a difference in int’l relations
iii) Social and economic relations between states create international solidarity &
interdependence
iv) International law and international organizations can promote cooperation among states
c. Neorealism and Neoliberalism - Towards a “science” of international relations. NR: human
nature < anarchy as cause of conflict. NL: anarchy + rational states = poss. of cooperation
II. Alternative (or “Critical”) Theories
a. Marxism origin in the writings of Marx and Engels. Core ideas are Capitalism drives world
politics and that Theory should not simply explain, but help to change the world
i) Capitalism drives states and non-state actors towards conflict and imperialism.
ii) Dominant countries exploit/rule subordinate ones just like capitalists exploit/rule the
working class. → world politics = hierarchy, not anarchy
iii) Capitalism is prone to crises and will ultimately be overthrown.
b. Constructivism sociologically inspired approach. The core idea is world politics is “socially
constructed” through meanings and ideas (as well as material factors). Like all social life world
politics involves rules, roles, norms, and conventions.
i) States and non-state actors’ conduct is driven by their identities and the “rules of the
game.”
ii) States and non-state actors both shape and are shaped by international norms, rules, and
institutions.
iii) The effects of anarchy depend on underlying social relationships between states.
→ “Anarchy is what states make of it.” (A. Wendt)
c. Feminism - Background in feminist movement, esp. since 1960s. Core idea is world politics both
excludes and relies on the contributions of women. Gender (= ideas about masculinity and
femininity) shapes the knowledge and practice of world politics.
i) Women have historically been excluded from political leadership positions in int’l
relations.
ii) Yet, world politics (war, diplomacy, int’l coop., etc.) would be impossible without the
participation of women.
iii) Like the domestic sphere, the international sphere is characterized by patriarchy (not
anarchy).
Unlock document

This preview shows half of the first page of the document.
Unlock all 2 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Document Summary

Traditional (or mainstream ) theories: realism long tradition in history of political thought, dominant since world war ii. Study the world as it is, not how it ought to be. Nr: human nature < anarchy as cause of conflict. Nl: anarchy + rational states = poss. of cooperation. Alternative (or critical ) theories: marxism origin in the writings of marx and engels. Core ideas are capitalism drives world politics and that theory should not simply explain, but help to change the world: capitalism drives states and non-state actors towards conflict and imperialism. Dominant countries exploit/rule subordinate ones just like capitalists exploit/rule the working class. World politics = hierarchy, not anarchy: capitalism is prone to crises and will ultimately be overthrown, constructivism sociologically inspired approach. The core idea is world politics is socially constructed through meanings and ideas (as well as material factors). Anarchy is what states make of it. (a. wendt: feminism - background in feminist movement, esp. since 1960s.

Get OneClass Grade+

Unlimited access to all notes and study guides.

YearlyMost Popular
75% OFF
$9.98/m
Monthly
$39.98/m
Single doc
$39.98

or

You will be charged $119.76 upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.