POL 2103: Lecture #3 Sept 17 2012
What are International Relations?
The Inter State Realm:
Realm where the states try to maximize their interests using dialogue, and the acceptance of common
rulers established as a result of mutual consensus.
The realm of International Organizations: the process of intergovernmental cooperation via
The Realm of the Transnational Society: civic movements, environment, religions, human
rights and peace movements.
The Realm of the World Economy:
the acceptance of common rules
the realm of the world economy
analyze the process of globalization
evolution of international community
under the influence of the new markets
new approach visàvis the traditional
actions by the states.
IR: initial intellectual drive coming from the UK
Today unquestionably IR is a IS dominated discipline.
Stephen M, Walt: protracted competition between realist, liberal and radical
Realism: emphasizes the enduring propensity for conflict between states.
Liberalism: identifies several ways to mitigate these conflictive tendencies
Radical: describes how the entire system of state relations might be transformed. The boundaries between these traditions are somewhat fuzzy and a number of important works do not fit
neatly into any of them, but debates within and among them have largely defined the discipline.
IR scholars want to understand why and how international events occur in the way they do.
i.e. outbreak of war
IR require theoretical/descriptive knowledge
IR scholars are very modest to make predictions
The fall of Berlin wall in !989
No consensus among IR scholars about IR theoretical framework. – the only consensus that there is is that
there is no consensus.
3 dominant IR paradigms:
Principle Authors: Raymond Aron, Edward H Carr, Hans Morgenthau, George Kennan, Henry Kissinger,
Philosophical Tradition: Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes
Hans Morgenthau: a founding proponent of political realism, remains the central figure in international
Was born in central Germany, now Bavaria born in 1904
His book Politics among Nations literally defined the field in 1948 as it heralded the post world war II
paradigm shift in American thinking about diplomacy
Morgenthau observed that nations have interests which are furthered through the use of power to
accumulate more power (military, economic and political alliances) to further new interests (regionalization,
Died in 1980 at 76, no one present at his funeral had an inkling about the first half of his life his early
productive career in Europe and America, or the roots of his political philosophy.
Six principles of Realism: politics, like society, in general is governed by objective laws that have their roots
in human nature which is unchanging: therefore it is possible to develop a rational theory that reflects these
objective laws. Conclusion: that human nature is our response to survival: the only thing that doesn’t
change is change itself.
Thomas Hobbes: not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravitation. No arts, no letters, no
society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish and short. 15881679