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Lecture 3

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Political Science
Chris La Roche

POLB80 Lecture 3: History of IR -How humans have made sense of world politics -Two basic periods: ‘classical’ and ‘modern’ -‘Classical’ period: -Roughly 2500 B.C. to 1945 -Ancient Greece, China, India -Continuous ‘conversation’ in the West -Not separated from political philosophy -Emphasis on explaining truths, leader-centric -‘Modern’ period: -20 Century to present -Science-centric -IR becomes an academic discipline -Response to WWII Political Realism -Dominant ‘ism’ in IR -Dominates 2500 B.C. to 1980 -Is there such a thing as ‘realism’? Common Themes in Realism -World Politics: different than domestic politics -Anarchy”Without ruler”, not necessarily chaos -Power -unevenly distributed in world politics -the powerful have no checks against them -Morality and Justice -Rooted in domestic politics (regime or state) -Problem in world politics -Human nature Thucydides -Lived 460 to 395 B.C. -Athenian general in Pelopennesian War (431 to 404 B.C.) -Melian Dialogue (his account of the ruinous 27-year long struggle (431–404 BC) between the powerful Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta) -“The strong do what they can while the weak suffer what they must” Lessons of Melos -World politics = might, not right -Those with power do what they want -Justice claims go nowhere Niccolo Machiavelli -Lived 1469 to 1527 -Wrote many works -The Prince -The Discourses on Livy -Says that Christian virtues are weak and pagan virtues are silly -Machiavellian virtu is good -Glory-seeking -Boldness -Mastery of Fortuna -Republics = the best regime -Best to be feared and
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