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International Relations POLS.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLS 2200
Professor
Mark Yanisziewski
Semester
Fall

Description
International Relations POLS*2200 -Theories and help us understand the practical -a way of coherently linking a descriptive element (what happened) with an analytical component (why things happen) and usually a normative or prescriptive element (how things ought to be) >how we might learn to avoid past mistakes 3 ways to think about different theories or typologies (a way to sort/classify) 1- The Conflict Approach (emphasizes impact, importance of armed conflict in shaping international system, i.e. nation states), study war, diplomacy, treaties, bargaining etc Divided into right (conservative), center, and left (alternative) -realists -liberals -critical theory, post modern etc 2- The Political Economy Approach >emphasize economic factors: trade and finance etc -looks at a wider variety of units, corporations are involved as well as other economic actors, not just states Divided into right (conservative), center, and left (alternative) -realists -liberals -critical theory, post modern etc ->table of theories and their affiliation is on Courselink -these ideas can fit into more than just center, or right, or left Positivist Theories (reality is independent of the observer : exists if Im there or not or believe in it or not) -there are concrete facts that we can analyze to understand events and then draw law-like conclusions in IR -realism -neo-realism -mercaltilism -liberalism -neo/functionalism -there are more on Courselink Post-Positivist Theories (aka interpretive understandings) -argue that there are no simple facts that exist, they exist because our minds create them, a product of our minds -simple facts arent simple and it is a subjective process and open to interpretation, a product of our assumptions -constructivist -critical theory -discourse theory -postmodern -feminist -neo-marxists -english school -i.e. Galileo and Aristotles view of what a sunrise is >perception of the same thing is completely different -Post positivists think this sort of thing happens all the time -everything we conclude is subject to our perception What are the primary levels of analysis for these different theories? 1- system >looks at the big, overall context of the international environment >Marxists look at the capitalist economic system as the primary driving force in IR >realists >geo-political theorists 2-intermediate level >nature of the units in the system that are the most important (nation states) 3-individual/small group level -looking at ideosyncratic features >i.e. Churchhill (indiv leaders), group theory (groupthink) , bureaucratic policies Classic Era of IR -i.e. Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Marx -IR is newer than the Classic Era -Modern Era really develops in the 1920s and 1930s (between wars) as an academic discipline >dominated by the three great debates (1) Realists v. the Idealists/Utopians (know referred to as Liberals) 1920s and 30s -debate occurred in immediate aftermath of WW1 (most destructive human conflict in human history) -wanted to avoid it Rs and Ls had different solutions >R: the international system is an inherently dangerous and conflict-prone place. Our best response should be to prepare ourselves to defend ourselves. Build arms, form alliances. Each state needs to look after itself to survive. Liberals: That idea led to war. International institutions (League of Nations) will end violence. Ls: We should work together to help defend each other. -With rise if Hitler and failure of LoN Realists won that debate -Ls were in full retreat, while realists dominated IR theory (2) Debate over Methodology (1950s, 60s and beyond): Traditionalists and Behavioralists -what kinds of techniques should we use to study IR? -debate was occurring in all political science and social science - Behavioralists (statistical analyses): the only way to study things was with mathematics and stats to understand what was going on -Traditionalists: Not just interested in questions you can count, measure, etc. >you cannot quantify everything (i.e. justice, philosophical ideas) -stats became omnipresent >counter attack by traditionalists, perception matters, cant quantify everything -no clear winner!! (3) Positivists and Post-Positivists -methodological debate -pos: an objective reality exists -post: no! reality is subjective -positivists dominate September 11, 2012 Origins of the Modern State -IR (between states) and comparative (within states)focus on the state and its institutions and actions -no universally agreed upon definition of state Key characteristics of the modern state (but not absolute) -Territory (states exist and dominate a specific area from Russia to Monaco) -Internal Sovereignty > the states government has the final say on policies in the states territories -the state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical violence Max Weber -other entities other than the gov can use force in some contexts (i.e. police, Brinks trucks) >the gov can withdraw that right, the national gov can use force within its territory as it likes. These rights that a private actor has can be taken away -External Sovereignty >has final say relative to other foreign actors -some states cannot exercise their sovereignty in this way (failed states) -how do you know if a state does/doesnt have sovereignty >formal recognition (i.e. diplomatic recognition) >unrecognized states: Kosovo (only half the world recognizes it), Taiwan (less than 12 states recognize it), Rep. of Northern Cyprus recognized ONLY by Turkey -Legitimacy a belief that something is proper that is in a sense voluntary rather than opposed (doesnt have to be forced or compelled) -legitimate government > what makes a government legitimate? (depends) >Canada: gov is legitimate if they win an election >regime could be legitimate because the ruler inherited the title >the group that led the revolution is the legitimate ruling party >ideological: Hitler the embodiment of the natural race (if youre blind) -Rule of Law (highly variable) >political power isnt exercised in arbitrarily (prejudicial) or subjectively - Ordered in a Hierarchical Structure >Federal, Provincial etc - Civil Society >states recognize other organizations as something separate from the state >each person has their own rights >recognition that some things are yours and yours alone Dominant view is that the turning point from era of pre-modern state to the era of the modern state was the: >Thirty Years War (1618-1648) >Peace/Treaty of Westphalia that came at the end of the war -was a series of treaties, not one -modern state aka the Westphalian State Before the thirty years war: -multiple and overlapping and variable sovereignties -esp in feudal era: King \ dukes must swear oath of fealty to king in return for power and land Dukes \ Knight swears oath to Duke Knights \ you should get it by now Peasant -transcendant powers: >Holy Roman Empire >Catholic church >Kings/Queens -Free towns, ecclesiastical territory scattered throughout -BUT the system was not just top/down -fealty was in a state of flux (could change repetedly) -if a duke died, knights might not be bound to the heir (free agents), or vassal relationship might continue
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