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POL208Y5 (124)
Todd Hall (25)
Lecture 3

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Political Science
Todd Hall

POL208 – Readings for Week 3 (BB) The Level-of-Analysis Problem in International Relations • The Requirements of an Analytical Model o It offers a highly accurate description of the phenomena under consideration o Acapacity to explain the relationships among the phenomena under investigation o It offers the promise of reliable prediction • The International System as Level of Analysis (systemic) o Systemic level of analysis permits us to examine IR in the whole, w/ a comprehensiveness that is of necessity lost when our focus is shifted to a lower, more partial, level  We tend to move away from notions implying much national autonomy & independence of choice & toward a more deterministic orientation  Requires that we postulate a high degree of uniformity in the foreign policy operational codes of our nat’l actors • We allow little room for divergence in the behaviour of our parts when we focus upon the whole • The National State as Level ofAnalysis (sub-systemic) o Adv:  Permits significant differentiation among our actors in the int’l system o Disadv:  May lead to marked exaggeration of the diffs among our sub-systemic actors  Leads to a sort of ‘ethnocentrism’where the observer is prone to attribute many of what he conceives to be virtues of his own nation and the vices of others, especially the adversaries of the moment  Is only applicable w/i its particular framework o Discussion of whether nat’l behaviour is purposive or not  Whether those who act on behalf of the nation in formulating & executing foreign policy consciously pursue rather concrete goals  Whether it is not merely an intellectual construct that man imputes to himself by reason of his vain addiction to the free-will doctrine as he searches for characteristics that distinguish him from physical matter & lower animals • Whether man & his societies pursue goals of their own choosing or are moved toward those imposed upon them by forces which are primarily beyond their control o do we examine our actor's behaviour in terms of the objective factors which allegedly influence that behaviour, or do we do so in terms of the a
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