• Gas laws PV
• Newton’s law of motion
• Democratic states do not fight each other (democratic peace)—But why?
• Without a causal explanation, this is just as good as saying golfing countries do
not fight each other
• International Relations: study relations between nations
- Paradigm: A philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or
discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments
performed in support of them are formulated.
- Deduction versus Induction
- The importance of causal mechanisms (to avoid the dangers of spurious correlation)
- Testing a theory and the importance of falsification as a basis for theoretical refinement
LEVELS OF ANALYSIS:
- A way of organizing and simplifying variables to gain explanatory power.
- Counterfactuals: a thought experiment. We need to ask, if it weren’t for this
variable, would the outcome change????
- The decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima as an example
- Can an individual change history? If we took this person out of history would we get
the same outcome?
- Personality, education, past experiences, ideology, beliefs. These are the types of
explanations we find in the individual level.
ROLE OF DECISION MAKERS:
- We think here about roles instead of people. We think about bureaucracy
- We map the interest of the actors, their information flows, like an organization.
We look at the decision making apparatus and procedures.
- If you changed the structure of decision making, would it affect the outcome?
- In IR we mainly focus on regime type (democracy, autocracy, presidential
democracy parliamentary democracies, etc): in democracy vs. autocracy would
they behave differently.
- What kind of incentives and constraints a decision maker may have in a
democratic vs. an autocratic regime? We try to explain the outcome, pattern of
behavior based on the constraints built in by the type of governments involved.
- If you were to change the structure of the government would it lead to a different