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Poli 243- April 15 Notes.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

Poli 243 Lecture Notes Monday April 15 2013 Challenges Ahead Thinking about today and tomorrow - Globalization o How did we get globalization? o We know that when we have tightly integrated financial system, open trade between major powers, free flows of people and capital over borders, the end result is many backlashes o Often associate foreign economic decisions of some of the rivalries that occurred in WW1 o Will the globalization that is occurring continue? - What can we learn from the past? o Why look at Canada and the national policy or in 1911 or increasing reciprocity? o Refining our theories, and why these things happen o Illuminate some of the causal connections  Better handle similar kinds of issues in the future o Conditions will be similar in the future - Today’s international political economy is different o Theories don’t include everything in them- can’t capture everything that is going on o Times are different, people are different o International institutions affect decisions on trade o Different set of international rules/laws o Try to borrow and learn from the past but must be cognizant of certain context of the future is different - Using theory to influence the future o We are interested in the general patterns o Looking for patterns to look to the future and use them to guide it and say something about where policy should be o Policy should be about intention to drive us towards some kind of goals in the future, theory is the tool that we need to develop to inform them about causal relationships The Levels of Analysis - Accuracy o Does it give good description of what is going on o Does it give us insight - Parsimony (Leverage, elegance) o How many information can you predict with little input o Simplicity and minimal input o Balance between the input and the output o How much data and research do you need to do to make the theory work o Generalizability (Scope)  How widely can you apply this theory  You can create theories that are very specific to certain events that can be useless for anywhere else (Canada 1911) specifc to Canada, specific to the time period  Malaysia (intricate parts of theory) specific to just one country  Not that useful in application for the future  The challenge is that we want theories that are good at all three  Prescription of some past event, theory for the future The Levels of Analysis - System Level Theories o Parsimonious  One crucial piece of information—start to make prediction o Somewhat Vague  Inaccuracy  Parsimonious theory –not detailed  Structural Realism- agents of power – systemic outcomes o Very generalizable  Balance of power theory - Domestic Level Theories o Not so parsimonious- but could be  Looking inside the state- who the dominant interest groups are, characterize technological levels, resources  Trying to get a lot more information than before o Less Generalizable  Talking about states being different  Particular way parliamentary ways behave – only good for predicting parliamentary countries  Democratic peace theory- predicts how democratic states interact but not about how democratic states interact with non democratic states o Tend to be more accurate than system level theories, when applied to the appropriate cases  Better answers on output side  Knowing it’s not generalizable in all states- when and when not to apply the theory, the limits of the theory - Bureaucratic Level Theories o Accurate in Description  Looking inside the state’s decision  Goal to under state policy- discussion of who said what, and who won the debates over decisions in policy  Move from accuracy to accuracy in prediction- harder because decision made is based on arguments o Less parsimonious  Need to under government structure and government decision making process  More complicated  Need good understanding of decision making procedures and arrangements in the state and it is not obvious or publicly known  Can be difficult because its not so parsimonious o Somewhat generalizable  Most modern governments have substantial bureaucracies and decisions tend ot be made within these bureaucracies  How
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