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The Domestic or State Level Lecture

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

The Domestic or State Level Lecture 4/3/12 10:59 PM Examples of Domestic Level Theories • Culture o Why would Germany start a war? Culture, Supreme War Lord, Militaristic culture o Obvious way to explain things o Not such a popular theory anymore o “Good states and Bad States” o Culture changes really slowly so it is not a good causal variable to explain why sometimes there is war but not at other times o Culture does tell us a lot about what people in that state value and what they want to protect • Regime- Type o Cold War: contest between democracy (US) and totalitarian dictatorship (Soviet Union) o Makes an argument against the realist à not about the distribution of power but how the power is controlled • Ideology o What causes a country to choose how they will rule o Soviet Union follows communism • Domestic Stability o We don’t want isolated incidents, we want theories which are generizable à no clear connection all the time • Economic characteristics o Why do we expect countries we different economies to be seeking the same things? Mixing Characteristics • Population Density vs. Technology o US: Low population density and industrialized § Could provide for its people by living off the land o Japan: High Population Density and industrialized § Island, needs more minerals and fuel and food but is still industrialized § US starts a protectionist tariff which excludes the Japanese from the export market making Japan unable to import o China: High Population Density and not industrialized § Huge pressures on the environment § Potential source of conflict between states § What if trade collapses? Theories Focusing on Domestic Institutions • Democracy vs. Autocracy o How do they behave in the international system? What is their foreign policy like? • The Democratic Peace o People in the 1960s started to look and ask if people saw democracies fighting each other à we really don’t (1920’s and ^) o “if you change the other regimes into a democracy they will be nicer” o
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