POL101Y April 2nd.docx

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15 Apr 2012
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POL101Y April 2nd
Is There “Truth” in Political Science
- How do we know what we think we know?
Theory in Political Science
- Theories are important to describe and explain how the world works
- Realist IR theory for example believes that the world is anarchic
- Also claims the nation state is most important in how a country behaves (self-interest), and
what structures this system is power
- Neo liberal institutionalists think we also believe that the world is anarchic and nations act in
their own interests but nations still have a capacity for compromise.
- Realists for example think that with an anarchic world with nations acting in their own interest
with power as the systems structure, it is prone to conflict
- Neo liberalists believe co-operation is fostered with the creation of institutions (WTO etc.) that
facilitate this co operation
- Theory to make arguments
- Theory of collective action; if people are behaving irrationally it is unlikely collective action will
occur
- Role of markets: some think the invisible hand of the market will is most important for economic
prosperity
- Some think that as long we have democracy, societies “have-nots” will mobilize and push
governments for more compensation (formation of the welfare state)
- Feukiama suggests because of this that we will arrive at the end of history, liberal market
economies and liberal democracies are un paralleled and that ideas can no longer advance
Healthy Democracies (2004)
- Book wong wrote
- To confront the theoretical conventional wisdom and criticise them
- Globalization
- Economic development was solely about plugging into international markets
- As economies became more globalized, then capital would become more mobile
- Because of this we would see a race to the bottom, as capital became more mobile and looked
for cheaper inputs
- Welfare state retrenchment: welfare entitlements were cut back because of the desire of
companies that wanted the cheapest labour possible
- And yet increased social spending in 1990’s in Taiwan and South Korea. Coverage, benefits etc.
expanding and universalizing of healthcare when they were predicted to have decrease their
spending
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