POLI 2520 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: World Politics

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Published on 21 Nov 2017
World Politics -a broader version of International Relations
The world is made up of states (Japan, Jamacia etc.)
About how all the states interact
We need a sovereign because without someone making rules people will
World Politics is like this
Countries are always ready to go to war, are suspicious of others
Within a country there is politics because there is political authority,
outside of this is a vacuum
No rules so people will interact
Are relationships within world politics really like this?
There are other actors at play
1960s/70s -recognition of importance of other actors (NGOs,
Transnational Corporations, transnational terrorist groups)
Blurry line between domestic and world politics
Eg. a company is based in one country, the product is manufactured
somewhere else, shipped around the world
These companies often have political influence
The phrase "world politics" describes the container note the content
2 things we will look at this course
More old fashioned (from when the world was seen to be states)
Complicated questions facing the world today
How does the theory fit and not fit our world?
Questions that are discussed
What makes the world "go round" ?
Is it security?
All about military power
Is it profit and economics?
Finding the balance between 2 impulses
Wanting a simplified version of the world being able to know and predict
and understand
Understanding that the world is crazy complicated
Want to balance this -find something that is complex enough to encompass the
world, yet still able to understand
Who makes decisions?
Who has the power?
What are the rules of International Development?
Treaty often says that ____ country makes decision but are they
External factors/actors can really be the power
What is permanent and what is changing?
Many theories say "this theory will work for ever", others expect constant,
intense change
We will look at theories in the middle
There are big changes but they are not constant and are hard to
Class Structure
History -4 weeks
What has shaped the system?
Theory -12 classes
Issue areas
Security issues
Political Economy
International Institutions
Theory -a way to think about the world and what to focus on
Smallty theory -proposition about how/why something happened
Could be backed by evidence
Bigty theory -general perspective on how to think about the world
what drives IR
The point is not to capture every detail, but to provide a manageable and realistic
way of understanding why and how things happen
Photograph vs. painting
Photograph is an exact image of what you would see, including all the
Painting is not a perfect representation -the artist is attempting to convey
Theories are trying to be a painting
You could tell every fact about it, or you could oversimplify our
complicated world to bring out what is essential
There are hidden structures in the world
Predictable constraints on the world dictate behaviour
Eg. Supply and Demand
Individuals act as individuals but as a collective follow the
structure of the market
Market is created by the actions of individuals
Read ahead of lectures!
Lecture 1
Tuesday,* September* 5,*2017
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