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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 244
Professor
Fernando Nunez- Mietz
Semester
Fall

Description
CONF 1 09/19/2013 [email protected] Papers Due Oct 4 1000 words (~4 pages double spaced) Internal consistency of Realist thought are realists using hidden assumptions? Great powers are always rational Many states do not rule for the benefit of the state Structural/neorealism Systemic level factors only Empirical accuracy of realist thought Couldn’t predict the dissolution of the Soviet Union More accurate in underdeveloped areas EU created to keep certain states down Great power is intertwined Still great power politics France and Germany call the shots Smaller countries are just bandwagoning Abdicate aspects of sovereignty Only over domestic aspects Maintained own foreign policies Have own military prerogatives No collective security agreements How well do realist expectations/explanations/predictions match historical record? WWI Britain made agreements with France and Russia against Germany’s growing power Germany’s focus on becoming a naval power Arms race with Britain Congress of Vienna Based on balance of power Crimean War Russia vs. Britain and France Gulf War Can be influential and wealthy Still need strong borders and strong military to protect themselves Iraq is an aggressive state Could become a regional hegemon Creates instability When did realist explanations fall apart? Invasion of Grenada Realism is an analytical and prescriptive political tool Vietnam US involvement had to do with concerns over ideology and spread of communism Are powerful states inherently/inevitably threatening? If system is balanced, states aren’t necessarily threatening Balance of power Original realist theory about alliances between states Balance of threat Balance against states viewed as most threatening CONF 2 09/19/2013 Papers CONF 2 09/19/2013 Expect email about forma Due Oct 4 at 5pm Turn in at conference or at prof’s door (536 LEA) Questions Shouldn’t be based on/refer to realism Case study or concept Don’t waste too much space on explaining concept/case study st 1  half of paper: use realism as an analytical paradigm to explain the event 2  half of paper: assess realism’s explanation What does the theory explain well? What does the theory fail to explain? Make an argument Show good understanding of the theory Critique and assess the theory well Incorporate as many readings as possible, but don’t need to incorporate all Anything that isn’t common knowledge should be cited in text citations Was Gilpin’s Theory purely structural? Did not focus on individual country specifics or past alliances Mostly focused on growth in int’l system National level features will change systemic level reality CONF 2 09/19/2013 Hegemonic wars are caused by tension between the superstructure of the system and  the underlying distribution of power Superstructure is the order of the system Perceived order Ordered by the preferences of the hegemon The challenger has to want to change the int’l system to favor it Superstructure takes into consideration factors that realists don’t often consider E.g. economic ties What would a realist do if they were in the position of the US with China rising so quickly in power Stop it before it becomes more powerful Refocusing troops on Asia of US Containment of China Make sure its influence doesn’t spread out too much Waltz: Destabilizing conditions are better managed in a bipolar system than in a  multipolar system Higher uncertainty in a multipolar s
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