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POL 2103 E - Intro to International Relations _ Global Poli..
POL 2103 E - Intro to International Relations _ Global Politics - Joseph Roman - 06 Jan. 22.docx

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Mark Salter

POL 2103 E - Intro to International Relations & Global Politics - Joseph Roman - 06 Jan. 22 The English School of Constructivism - How Structures come into being - How actors become socialized - Learning It’s all about ideas and how they affect people’s social realities. The other thing important is culture is important b/c it creates something called inter-subjectivity, actors/jurors will tell them what they’re doing, and why they’re doing them in a certain context. Culture is fluid, not fixed, so meanings change over time. Knowledge is a source of power, b/c it shapes how we understand the world, and how we’re allowed to understand it. Once the world is socially constructed in a certain way, only then can we create social identities. Change occurs b/c of the diffusion of ideas. There’s a lot of learning in this process. Ideas are diffused through learnign, how you present those ideas, whether or not those ideas resonate at that point in time. Another thign important, Positivist vs. Post-positivist Constructivism (PROBABLY NOT ON EXAM) - Conventional Constructivists - they embrace epistemology - they focus on ontology - not focused on epistemological debates - an intersubjective ontology is combined with positivist methodology - concerned with how to socialize and undersocialized discipline - do not like post-positivists - they liek to test, identify patterns, find its causes, then explain and establish laws, while injecting cultural elements into IR theory - they are pretty much more or less accepted into mainstream IR in the US - Critical Constructivists - They think that IR needs to take the philosophy of the social sciences more seriously in order to raise question about how and why words are connected to objects, and how these objects came into being - Linguistic turn in the social sciences - Ludwig Wittgenstein’s language games - THey think language is bound up into the world (wtf?) - Words are specifics to objects b/c this generates meaning & use Critiques of Constructivism (may be on exam, probably not) - Constructivists have excessive focus on the state at the expense of other areas of social life - Ex: They focus on how states interact with the environments, without questioning how the environments themselves emerged - Forego too many positivist assumptions - They forget that ideas are indeed important, but the material reality sometimes limit the kinds of ideas that can be spoken or accepted - Positivism say that the material world matters Ex: If I have a gun and don’t want to listen to you, your ideas don’t matter. - It’s unclear whether or not constructivism is an approach or a theory - theory has epistemology The English School of IR (ONLY THING IMPORTANT FOR EXAM) - This school is mostly only prevalent in the UK - Hedley Bull’s The Anarchical Society - Avoid the either/or theorizing associated with realist IR theory - Contra realism, the English School embraces the idea of an international society - This school was in response to realism - Akey argument of theirs:Actors do not pursue their interests in isolation of each other - They try to - Wills are not imposed on the vanquished - Culture & normativity need to be kept in mind - Usefulness of scientific approaches to IR are not useful, precisely b/c they ignore culture and normativity - Rationalist approach more useful - looking at philosophy, history, law, etc. The English School’s Features (AS WELLAS THIS) 1) IR theory should focus on developing concepts to show how units interact with each other - This is pretty much an interpretive exercise, interpreting the world around you 2) Historical understanding is important - History can contextualize everything 3) Values must be recognized - That will affect how we will approach and start studies - Bull doesn’t want to politicize X, which differentiates him from Critical Thought (last week) - His problem is that if you’re only writing for a certain audience, he thinks you’re not really advancing knowledge by doing that. 4) IR as a normative enterprise - All world orders are striving for a particular world order with is ideal of justice and stability International Society - Diplomats important for an international society - An internatio
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