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POLSCI 2I03 (101)
Andrew Lui (26)
Lecture 4

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McMaster University
Political Science
Andrew Lui

Lecture 4 Maclifemcmasterca note takersConstructivism realism is supposed to describe reality but as mentioned it doesnt do that Liberalism is based in liberal theory liberal political theory and liberal economic theory But what is constructivismMaja Zehfuss despite the unmistakable surge of constructivism it remains difficult to identify its key claims uncontroversiallyHistory neoliberal institutionalism and neo realism both theories have been the two most prominent theories of IR through Cold War They messed up with a change up in IR that is the end of the cold war Many of the theorists says that not predicting the cold war is not the fault but what is the real fault is that it didnt think about the possibility of the end of the cold war Waltz said the most perfect system in the world is a bipolar system two sides But all of a sudden the Soviet Union begins to demise the Berlin wall falls and Germans start hugging each other During the 80s and 90s this was a huge deal With that major failure we needed new theories because we couldnt explain why that happened and even some of the events that followed the cold war Emmanuel Adler there is very little clarity and even less consensus as to its nature and substance This point highlights that where realism has diversity classical neorealistsJohn Ruggie constructivism remains more of a philosophically and theoretically informed perspective on and approach to the empirical study of international relations The purpose of theory here begins to change a little bit what would we do as IR scholars changes with time In the events that folded postcold war there were peaceful revolution the breakup of Czechoslovakia but also an increased intensity of intra state conflicts Also the attempts to control these intrastate conflicts questions about if we should interfere in the humanitarian intervention cases like Somalia Rwanda etcSpecifically because of the failure of the theories itself but the failure of the basic assumptions of the theories too The assumption of rationality that through rational choice maybe states arent irrational but maybe guided or motivated by something else and that something needed to be explained Something else which was also important which needed to be added to IR was not only rationality but a concept parallel The concept of national interest this is tied intimately to classical realism Morgenthaus key principles States have interests but where do we get this interest from When you say national interest what composes itthe basic assumptions of realism and neoliberalism are scrutinized hereCore assumptions
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