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Lecture 16

POLI 244 Lecture 16: POLI 244 11-9-2016

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Political Science
POLI 244
Fernando Nunez- Mietz

POLI 244-World Politics-11/9/2016 and 11/14/2016 Constructivism Poverty of Materialism -Brute facts vs social facts -Brute facts are just there, while social facts are constructs built by collectively shared knowledge -Intangible factors build social facts -Behavior vs action -Behavior is a brute fact without social context -Action has to have context -Action=behavior+meaning -Reality can be so complex that equally valid observations from different angles can appear contradictory -Regulative rules -Exists independently of the action it regulates -For example driving on the right side was precluded by the action of driving -Laws of war designate actions, but one can still violate the rule and be fighting a war -Constitutive rules -Don’t regulate but create the ability to do something -Playing chess only exists if the rules are followed -Social facts can only exist within this framework -Regulative rules can become constitutive rules -For example, old rules about the conduct of war have become constitutive as to what the very nature of war even is Structures of Systems -NeorealismMaterial capabilities change through time as polarity does -ConstructivistsSocial relations -Nature of social structures -Shared ideas determine identities and relationships -Nature of power relations differs from more materialistic looks -Not just through material capability buildup, but through social relations of subordination -Power relations can be changed in non-material ways -Like with slavery, where material power didn’t change, but rather conceptions of the institution’s legitimacy -Social structures can vary widely, and are not always explained by material power like the following two structures -Security dilemma is shared mistrust where states define interest in self help terms -Security community, however is a system of shared knowledge and trustworthiness -Structure of shared knowledge determines what the hell material power means -Use of security forces have different meanings and thus garner different responses -Practices are the third component -Others were material resources and shared understandings/expectations -No structure is purely material or ideational -The practices really determine what ends up happening -Behavorial practices are the finalizing steps for institutional change -Things only exist because of the practices that sustain them, like security dilemmas Individual and Structures -Subjective and intersubjective structures matter -Intersubjective: cannot be destroyed by individuals, meaning given by social interactions Acting in and onto the International System -States don’t act in a social vacuum -Shared knowledge builds a social structure that then builds specific interests which determine behavior -Room for rationalism between state interests and state interactions -Must get to state interests through social structures and state identies -Security dilemmapotential enemy identityseeking to boost defense and be competitiveactions -Where do structures come from? -Realists: Anarchy, not social structure or identity -Constructivists: Social structures come from practices of states -Actions feed back into structures and reproduce them -Behavior reinforces norms and structures -Has meaning only in the framework
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