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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

International Politics of Economic Relations • Theoretical Approaches to the study of international politics • Why and when do states go to war? • Theorymodel Theory: • Relate cause and effect • Historiansdescriptions • Probabilistic statement Kenneth Waltz (no laws) • Speculative theories there aren’t single approaches • Composed of independent and dependent variables • To understand why wars occur you need to understand the change (the variations) from war to peace. • What’s changed to lead to a change in the outcome? • The cause is independent we don’t have to explain the variation • The outcome (effect)independent • Make them explicit Tasks for a Theory: • Description: Looking at past historical events • Locate cause and effect in the past • Prediction: (difference between political science and history) • Prescription: Shaping the predicted outcome • Control over the future and influence it. • Provide Normative Goals: How the world should look in the future • IR doesn’t do a good job Theories as Representation of Reality: • The real world is complex and potential causes. • When building a theory you look at core features not everything and this is much more useful. • Theories need to be good maps. • We need info to navigate. • Which of the theory is useful for you? (Doesn’t mean the more the better) • Each theory is better in different situations The Qualities of a Theory: To compare which is more useful • There is always a trade-off • Accuracy: • If you want to make a prediction or prescription. • Load more variables but then the other’s don’t work • Parsimony (leverage): How much input do we need? • Simpler the better • Generalizability: • We want theories useful from one event to another its not like history describing only one event. • If to general then we take out some but then we may loose accuracy. Theories Vary Because of Assumptions, Start With Assumptions: • What causes war and how do we prevent them? • Theories are built on assumptions. • They shape the qualities of theories. • An assumption is something we take to be true. • We assume that they are true because we know that it is not always true. • Actors do things for a reasontheories assume • How do we test an assumption? • Not asking whether it’s true or false. • If the theory is good the assumption is good. Grouping Theories by Their Shared Assumptions: • Group by Paradigm,example, model or approach • Categorizing Theories by Paradigm: • Idealism • Realism • Liberalism • Marxism • Institutionalism • Constructivism • Categorizing by Levels of Analysis: • Social sciences divide theories subjects into levels depending on the phenomena that are strong. • In international relations we can organize theirs by where we locate the key actors. • Systematic level: State, but we can’t all look at this because states act differently. • Domestic level • Bureaucratic level: Policymaking happens inside the government and they make the foreign policy. • Individual: What matter are the decision makers not the offices. Early Theorizing in International Relations • Starts in the early 1900’s: • Political science was emerging as an academic subject • No separate econ and politics but this splits • Politicspower • WWIgovernments were in debt • How did it happen and how do we stop it? • Woodrow Wilsonprescriptions • League of Nations • They will approach the problem as a legal issueInternational Law • Idealists or Utopians • Classical Idealism: • Human behavior can be perfected. • Harmony of interests exists between people and states. • They look at history and previous experiences. • When they don’t realize their common interest then was is easier to happen. • War is never an appropriate way to resolve disputes instead harmony of interest should be uncovered. • Figure out the right laws and institutions to shape the behavior and reveal the harmony of interestsLeague of Nations, World Court, Arms Control • Realists: • Rivalsstudying the same subjects but as historians • States resolve disputes thought out history. • War is a norm it is natural. • Edward…… • Europe went to war because they couldn’t stop Germany form rising • They state that peace is nota good situation for everyone. • People desire other thingsIndiafreedom • Soviet Uniontransforming the world • • US in WWII • He looks at moral issue how should you use power? Should the US get involved? • Human behavior can’t be perfectedman is sinful • Hans Morgenthau • Humans have a will to survive which makes them selfish • Their wil
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