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INTST101 Lecture Notes - Infant Mortality, Warmachine, Knossos

International Studies
Course Code
Brian Orend

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Core Concepts and Historical Concepts 12/20/2012
International Studies: involves studying things between nations, specifically by looking at how
different countries relate to and deal with each other in different ways.
What is a country?
Over 200 countries, every single part of the planet Earth ahs been claimed by some country or group of
countries. Three general exceptions to this observation:
1) Antarctica;
2) Atmospheric near-space – on the edge between the atmosphere and outer space;
3) The high seas – in the middle of the oceans.
These have been deemed international public spaces – un-owned, any country can use them for
the general benefit of humanity, theoretically.
Countries have 4 basic elements
physical environment, defined by borders whether human made or natural)
features territory and all the natural resources on top of, below, or surrounded by it. Most
vital natural resources: water, food crops, other plants, animals, timber, useful
rocks and mineral (ie gold, coal, oil).
3 territorial largest countries: Russia, Canada, US…
population – can be diverse or similar.
Immigrant societies – countries populated b y waves of immigrants ie Canada
Nation – group of people that sees itself as being a people (belonging in some meaningful
sense as a unit, having own identity, being separate and distinct from comparable groups)
Nationalism – the drive of a nation to get its own state; a potent force of modern history
(American + French Revolutions)
Core Infrastructure – population’s needs ie) feed it, water it, house it, educate it.
Most populous: China, India, US…
Culture – how people live, think and behave, split into high and low forms
High culture – especially good quality, or enduring merit; thought to represent the very best and most
meaningful pieces of culture. Ie) art masterpieces like Picasso of Spanish, Shakespeare for Britain.
Most common languages: Mandarin, Spanish English…

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Low culture – more common or widespread forms of belief and behaviour, such as dietary practices,
media content, religious practices.
Most common religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism…
Secular – non-religious belief systems
Must distinguish between governments and non-state actors – non-governmental groupings or
institutions ie) businesses, churches, charities, sports leagues etc..
Non-Governmental Organizations – NGOs, most charitable non-state actors
Social movements – broad based and widely dispersed groups of people devoted to a certain cause
Interest groups – more highly organized and more politically involved than social movements,
determined to get their particular interest onto the agenda of government and society, for the sake of
change and securing some kind of benefit. Ie) National Rifle Associations.
Most influential non-state actors:
Multinational corporations (multiple units in multiple countries);
aid and development charities (NGOs);
social movements or international interest groups; terrorist groups – armed group that deliberately
uses violence against civilian populations in hopes that the resulting spread of fear amongst people will
further a narrow political agenda that the group has; insurgent forces – revolutionary armed groups,
committed to the violence overthrow of the government of their society; and private militias – armed
groups that are not part of any country’s official military, either political or mercenary in nature; either have
political agenda or sell services to highest bidder. Mercenary kind known as private military
The State – government of a country. Group of people responsible for making and enforcing the rules
that regulate the collective life of a people and thereby make an orderly social life possible on a given
territory. Still most influential agents in international life today.
State Formation
How did the interstate system – current state of international affairs, 200 countries with four different
parts each – come into existence?
State Formation in Europe
Government was needed to organize when people stopped being hunter gatherers and formed
Nomadic hunter-gatherers – moving from site to site in pursuit of animals for food and the flight
from predators and each other. This is what drove humans across the whole planet.
First agricultural settlements – 10 000 years ago, realized they could effectively raise their own
food instead of chasing it, and it offered social, cultural and economic benefits.

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Earliest settlement – Mesopotamia area between Tigris and Euphrates rivers – now Iraq.
Origins of modern Europe – ancient Greek city-states: 600-400 BCE tiny cities on coasts or waterways
ruled by municipal governments.
Most prominent: Athens, Delphi, Knossos, Marathon, Olympia, Sparta…
Couldn’t get along well enough to establish a national government so they were open to military conquest
by Alexander the Great and then by Rome (146 BCE)
Rome = first great European empire
Empire – system of governance forged in military conquest.
Metropole – imperial core, hub of empire, mother city.
Colonies – conquered and subjected lands “the dependencies”
Sometimes metropole gave colonies citizen rights, to cement obedience and attract best and brightest to
the Metropole.
Metropole offered military protection to colonies
In exchange, colonies offer political allegiance, taxes, local troops, and a flow of natural resources.
Colony suffers brain drain – best and brightest seek better opportunities for themselves, leave colonies
to go to metropoles.
Roman empire most successful in the world.
Rise and fall of roman empire contributed to the state formation of Europe
On one hand, Roman’s showed how it could be done
On the other hand, might term governance a form of cosmopolitan governance – at odds with that
of the modern nation-state.
With collapse of Rome in the West we begin to see how the in between of Greek way of tiny city-states and
the roman way, come into being.
After Rome
400s CE – Roman Empire collapsed after repeated barbarian invasions, ie) from what is now Germany
got too large to govern and governors were corrupt
Only institution that survived was Roman Catholic Church
Christianity was state religion, by Constantine and Theodosius
Period after is known as Dark Ages
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