International Politics of Economic Relations
• Theoretical Approaches to the study of international politics
• Why and when do states go to war?
• Relate cause and effect
• 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
• 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
• Each theory is better in different situations
The Qualities of a Theory: To compare which is more useful
• There is always a trade-off
• 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
• 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
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
• 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:
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• Rivalsstudying the same subjects but as historians • States resolve disputes thought out history.
• War is a norm it is natural.
• Europe went to war because they couldn’t stop Germany
• 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