Mon. Sept. 10, 2012
Lecture One: Introduction
-International relation is about theory
-IR is always around us from what we wear to where we go
• World War One
• To understand why IR was born it starts with WW1 at the end of June 1916 when
they attacked Germany for about 6 days.
• Nothing would be able to survive there.
• The cost of this was 600 000 men - Battle of Somme
• The world can not afford this high of causalities
• Understanding why we have these kinds of events (study wars)
• In order to make sure it never happens again. Use science to solve this- this is the
reasoning behind IR
• This did not end up working ie. WW2 even greater amount of causalities
• Can We Prevent Doomsday?
• Nothing New Under the Sun
• Philosophers have tried to find the answer to why we have war and how to end it
• Study poli sci means observation, theoretical explanation. With IR we can not actu-
ally do experiments but we can study history and use past events
• Explaining an Event
• Finding out what happened, the facts around it.
• Ex. driver - unqualified, careless, angry, tired, cell-phone, gender, bad genes
• car- mechanical problem, unstable, driving environment
• weather, road conditions, another driver’s fault
• transportation system, economic structures
• We systematically organizes which facts are the most important to piece together
• Levels of Analysis
• Systematic of organization of facts
• J David Singer (1960)
• Domestic / international • Micro / marco
• Russett, Starr & Kinsella: individual, decision markers, government structures,
society, IR world system
• How can we judge which level matters most
• Thought experiment (counterfactuals)
• Would the event happen the same if the people / facts were different
• Hiroshima, August 6, 1945
• Harry Truman was not elected as the president at the time. Did not have a mili-
tary background or an IR background. He had the decision whether or not to
drop the bomb. The type of relationship these two countries had with one an-
other. The bad interactions they had. To understand the outcome you have to
understand the structure of government. ie. The US wanted to show the world
they are number one and have power and new weapons and do not mess with
• Vietnam War
• Bipolar system - two great powers at war US vs Soviet and all the other countries
fall into it. The two powers play a game you win I win. Every small country counts.
• Levels of Analysis - Summary
• The choice of level of analysis depends on: question we ask, the case, our theoret-
ical assumptions and preferences
• Levels of analysis are not mutually exclusive-they capture different parts of the sto-
• We need to able to justify our choice - why did we choose to use this specific level
• Levels of analysis are not a theory but the choice that involves these assumptions.
• What is a Theory
• A description
• An explanation: deduction, not simply induction
• A tool for generating predictions / prescriptions
• Falsifiable (find a way to say if they are correct or not)
• Logic-causal • Induction
• What are the relevant data collect?
• One piece of data that leads to the next
• ex. the sun rose this morning, it will rise tomorrow again
• The transition from data to theory requires creative imagination.
• Conjecture that certain basic things are true (assumptions)
-ex. golf cause world peace!
-Hypothesis: golfing nations never go to war with each other.
-Ask, “what is a golfing nation” - theory
-See which countries go to war with each other and then which ones golf
• Spurious Correlation = causation is necessary to establish correlation
• Hypotheses= if a -> then b
if we see A but fail to observe B, the hypothesis can be rejected if satisfied.
Models simplify an overly complex reality
They separate between what is important and what is simply noise
-What is important and what is noise (not). It is theories that help us identify this. It is our
job to fit the right model that fits Mon. Sept. 17, 2012
• The Battle of Antietam
-Bloodiest war in NA history
-12 hour battle 2300 causalities between the North and South -50th anniversary today
-Wars are not limited to the international
-The battle was an equal outcome
-The North was quick to clam its victory
-The Emancipation Declaration by Lincoln to end slavery
-This was the first battle that was photographed
-Images that are related to popular culture
• The Need for Analytical Tools: Sylvie and Bruno
-We now use the country itself, as its own map and I assure you it does nearly as
-In search of an analytical knife: every model by definition omits certain di-
mensions of reality
- Every model therefore includes implicit fundamental assumptions on what mat-
- There is always more than one way to look at reality (ie cut a cake)
- There is always shades of grey, and ways to understand reality. Also remember
other models are valid as well. The issue is how we support which argument is
better and there is never one that beats the other ones.
•Ontario: Geological Map = A map is a model of reality.
• What model you are going to adopt to valid your argument.
-Falsification (if your theory is right or not)
• What kind of Theories
•IR studies the relations b/w nations
• A World of Nations
•A map of nation states and the relations b/w each nation
•The map we look at today was different than the one from the past • How did we get from the old map to the new one
• The Thirty Years War 1618 - 1648
-Two big Euro political powers are the Pope ( leader of religion, spiritual) he has a
political affiliate is the Holy Roman Empire is the official represent for the Pope. The
Empire has the political power on the ground and the spiritual position connected to the
Pope. We have other political leaders from small states or bigger ones in Euro who are
under the Holy Roman Empire. The authority over laps because of all the different posi-
tions of kings, popes and empires. The Reformation happens during this time. The Em-
pire does not want people to become Protestant. The older emperor dies with no heirs
to the throne. Ferdiand the Second is elected by the Habs to be Emperor. The Protes-
tants say this election as a way to get rid of him because he was a Jesuit. This goes into
play in the Defenestration of Prague (1618): The Emperor has two people thrown out
the window. Emperor wants to get rid of this riot and everyone in Euro gets involved.
The Price of War
-50% of the population dies in the 30 years of war. Armies take everything from
an area that they go through. Everyone is killing everyone. By the end of the war every-
one is tired of it and they have nothing left.
• Peace of Westphalia
-Which religion is going to be the religion of the state. This is the bases of the
-He who rules, choses the religion (based on a previous treaty Augsburg 1555)
-Takes anyway the power from the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire.
-First time we see a clear statement of sovereignty.
-The Holy Roman Empire accepts this. This allows us to have one colour and no
more overlapping authority.
-Sovereignty is what allows us to have a colourful map of Euro we have today.
-This is the first time we see it spelled out in international law.
-In IR you see reference to the Westphalia system
• Sovereignty - What does it mean in practice?
- A people, a territory, a bureaucracy, the king as a legal entity - Monopoly over the functions of the state in defined territory, excluding all exter-
nal intervention ( monopoly over the legitimate use of force)
- The state has the right to imprison you, use force and declare war / send sol-
diers to kill people.
- The right to conduct forgein relations and sign treaties.
- Sovereign equality. The UN, one country one vote
- Internal sovereignty ( to have authority over what happens in the state)
- external sovereignty (to have authority over what happens outside the
state, excludes interventions from others) ie. Palestine
Sovereignty and the UN
-The UN charter tries to make sovereignty clear
-The charter is build around sovereignty
-Does not go through the states but around the states
-UN does not challenge sovereignty it protects it
- Equality of all its members
• Contested Sovereignty
-When sovereignty is est. the areas are calm. All conflicts happen when
sovereignty is not est.
-Where it is not internal or external is no contested we can expect troubles
-Contestation from the inside : failed states and civil wars. ie. Congo
-Contestation from the outside: no recognition. ie. Taiwan
-Contestation over the borders. ie. The Arab-Israeli conflict
• The Westphalian System - a Myth
-Independence (countries have to look at what will be fine with other countries ie.
-Non intervention (countries always get involved)
-Equality (its all about power)
-Internal sovereignty (do not really control every aspect of there gov’t) -External sovereignty (can we really repel interventions from other countries)
(control things )
-Territory, population, bureaucracy (why should we study this, if it gets repelled all
-They still play an important role in practice, it allows us to know what is legitimate or
not. Exists but is sometimes used and sometimes ignored.
• Living in a Westphalia World
-How does this structure affect the conduct of IR?
-A thought experiment: how will nations react to crisis?
->how would states react to the crisis, would they stay on their own or
-How can we answer such a question?: We need theoretical assumptions regarding:
-The nature of units (human nature?)
-The interest of the units
-The nature of the structure (anarchy?)
-The distribution of capabilities (?)
-The nature of the crisis
-A group of theories that shares fundamental assumptions : paradigm ( we can build
more specific theories). States over react from threats.
• The Different -isms
•How do we deal with threat?
•Is cooperation possible?
•What do actors want?
•What is most important for understanding international politics?
•Is there possibility for change?
• Realism - The Realist “A Team”
-The most famous paradigm of IR
• Bismarck - Realpolitik -His policy was famous
-Uniting Germany and leaving Prussia. Keeping Germany out of a war
-The politics of reality= politics based on practical rather than moral or ideological con-
-For foreign policy you have to be realistic and know what you can take
-Conservative. Minimalist / expansionist, militaristic
-”If does not matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice’ (Deng
Xiaoping); “unholy alliances”. You can sign an alliance with anyone ie. democracy, fas-
cist as long as it is in your interest.
-Power politics; actors following their self interest.
-These are the rules of the game
• E.H. Carr - Twenty Years Crisis, 1919 - 1939
-Realism: places its emphasis on the acceptance of facts and on the analysis of
their causes and consequences. - Carr, 1939
-Those who wanted peace missed the opportunities when to stop the problem
from getting bigger ie. The League of Nations to stop Germany
Mon. Sept. 24, 2012
I. The Different-ism • How do we deal with threat?
• Is cooperation possible?
• What do actors want?
• What is most important for understanding IR?
• Is there possibility for change?
-In the social sciences we are different paradigms that competed against one another.
-Talk about different paradigms about the core of them
II. E.H. Carr 20years war crisis 1919 - 1939
• Places its emphasis on the acceptance of facts and on the analysis of their causes
and consequences (Carr, 1939)
• We are the most important paradigm because we know the facts and can understand
III. Thomas Hobbes, 1588 - 1679
• English man, born turning the time of war and lived during it
• He was obsessed with the Palopessian War and translated the war into English
• Becomes a tutor and takes his student to Italy and becomes interested in the work of
• He became interested into geometry be organizing everything into logical order
• He writes three books 1) groups 2) humans
• English civil war starts and he flees to France
• Leviathan (1651), The State of Nature: he starts from a thought experiment. He asks
the following question how can we imagine what people do. A war of every man against
every man. There is no rules, no resources people will be fighting. Life is “solitary, poor,
nasty, brutish and short. How do we escape the state of nature, for us to agree not to at-
tack each other. To eposes some restrain on people. The solution is the state
• Logic of Hobbes Argument One: Man is selfish hedonist: “of the voluntary acts of ev-
ery man, the object is some good to himself.” All people are equal, rational and pos-
sessing passionate of love of survival (right of nature). To protect ourself might hurt oth-
ers if needed. A person’s right of nature justifies violence against everybody else. In the
interest of personal survival, people will come around to agreeing that they should re-
nounce their right to use violence. This is an unstable equilibrium. The moment one par-
ty deviates them problem. • Logic of Hobbes Argument Two: The creation of the Leviathan enforces stability- citi-
zens give up their independence to buy stability. The Leviathan gets ultimate authority
and a monopoly over the use of violence. Morality, justice, property are social constructs
imposed by the state and exist only so long as the state is strong enough to impose
them, they are tools for maintaining stability rather than inherent rights. The only natural
right is the right of survival. Law is dependent on power. “Legal positivism” justice is
whatever the law says it is. An “unjust law” is an oxymoron. Bull: the domestic analogy,
is to take Hobbes’s story and to get it one level of analysis further up. Instead of talking
about humans talk about the state. From the domestic level to international. War should
not be surprised since there is no state in the International level.
IV. Hobbes and IR
The international system is in a Hobbesian state of nature: individual = state / unitary
Anarchy: without a leader; the absence of higher governing authority beyond the state;
no world government. It does not mean chaos and lack of order. It can be peaceful and
works differently. The Holy Roman Empire was the leader of all the statesS
• Survival; self-help; self interest; constant potential for violence; life is solitary, poor,
nasty, brutish and short.
• Very limited potential for cooperation - unstable equilibrium- fear of defection
No Leviathan = no room for moral considerations. Survival and self interest are moral
V. The Security Dilemma
• T1: Constant fear and insecurity: Because any sate may at anytime use force, all
states must constantly be ready either to counter force with force or to pay the cost of
weakness - Waltz
• T2: Actor A : seeks to increase her security by buying weapons / building a defensive
wall / gaining allies
• T2: Actor B: fears A’s improved position enhanced sense of insecurity
• T3: Actor B: forced to invest in weapons / defensive means / allies
• Outcome: A and B are as insecure in T3 as they were in T1 only poorer, arms race
• The dilemma: how can we increase our security without treating others?
VI. Thucydides (5th century BC) • Wrote about the war between Sparta and Athens
• He was sent into exile because he lost the war for Athens
• He believes that the history of war can be used to analysis other wars
• As long as we do not have a whole government we have implications of anarchy
• Peloponnesian War (431 BC - 405 BC): Athens and Sparta are big powers in Greece
and the act that start the war was Athens decision to build a war around the city. Sparta
thought that they were going to get too powerful so they say now or never to take down
Greece. Political and social and justified debates of decisions to choose which side to
VII. The Melian Dialogue
• Athens vs the people of Melos
• The standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel and that in fact the
strong to do what they the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept
• The Athenians “put to death all the grown men whom they took and sold the women
and children for slaves.”
• The powerful do what they want and the weak do what they must.
• Athens falls as well . . .
VIII. Niccolo Machiavelli 1469 - 1527
• The Prince = sounds like him. Writes as an advice for a potential leader in Italian poli-
tics. It was banned by the Catholic church.
• Discourses = pretty nice
IX. Machiavelli’s Approach
• Politics has its own laws
• Understanding human nature is key for understanding politics; humans are selfish and
evil; determination / power prevails over reason
• “This may be said of men generally: they are ungrateful, fickle, feigners and avoiders
of danger, eager for gain.”
• Hence the sole aim of a Prince is to seek power regardless of religious or ethical con-
siderations. He will often be necessitated to act contrary to truth, contrary to charity,
contrary ti humanity contrary to religion, if he wishes to maintain his government
Disconnections religion and politics
• The end justifies the mens
It is better to be feared than loved.
• X. Modern Realism
• Hans J. Morgenthau: exile Jew from Germany.
• “IR like all politics is a struggle for power, whenever statesmen and peoples starts to
realize their goal by means of international politics they do so by striving power.”
• Power over reason
XI. Power Politics (what is power?)
• Morgenthau says, “Man’s control over the minds and actions of other man.”
• Or A gets B to do something s/he would not do otherwise. How would you measure
• Military: tanks, military expenditure, military personal, GDP, etc.
• Social indicators: education, infant morality, rate of tax collection.
• Many hard to measure dimensions: morale, skill, intelligence, quality of diplomacy, de-
• Power is a relative term
• Power is dynamic as well.
• Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics, 1979
• How can we make the study of international politics more systematic and rigorous?
• Assumptions of human nature ie. humans are selfish. For Waltz this is a systematic
place to start a theory.
• He wants to make a theory about human nature without using assumptions
• The implications of anarchy- the need to maximize security. If we know we have indi-
viduals playing in this field with no state. We know that conflict my become violent. It is
the structure of IR that drives the structure of the system that drives the states.
• Anarchy is constant- it is what differentiates the international from domestic
• While anarchy is a constant - the distribution of power is not (only major powers really
• Under anarchy- different distributions of power leads to different patterns of behaviour
• To understand international politics we need to focus on the world system level of
• One have one great power and a lot of little powers ie. Rome XIV. Bipolarity
• Two great powers and picking sides, allies, treaties ie. the Cold War (USSR & USA)
• A lot of countries 19th century political countries but they can not take over each other
ie. Great Britain, Canada, USA, Russia
• Multi can become II when needing allies ie. during WW1 Germany, Austro-Hungary
and Ottoman Empire
XVI. Realism Summary
• IR is an objective field of study where events are governed by universal laws
• The state is the most important actor and it is rational and unitary actor
• The international system is anarchic
• States seek to maximize security / power; national interest
• The distribution of power is imperative for understanding IR
• States sometimes rely on force or the threat of force to achieve their ends; the poten-
tial for violence is always present. We cannot trust all countries at all times.
• We should focus on what is, not on what ought to be.
• IR should be left in its own realm than domestic politics
• Skepticism: limited space for progress
XVII. Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish and Short
• Most countries on most years do not experience war. It is an minority of countries that
• Trade, tourism, telecommunication, mail that work and we take for advantage
• International organizations (UN, EU)
• Realist explanation for cooperation? Explaining one side is not enough
XVIII. Liberalism - The Answer?
• Liberalism vs. idealism
• Loaded term - the use in IR is different than the common use in domestic politics
• It is a loaded term, we use it every language. It means different things in politics
XIX. John Locke (1632 - 1704)
• He became a doctor to a noble man and then ended up in exile.
• He read Hobbes and wrote a dialogue to Hobbes XX. Social Contract
• State of Nature: anarchy - but not “war of every man against every man” -still unstable.
• The state as a solution: protecting natural rights (life, liberty and property); promoting
general wellbeing; the state loses its legitimacy if it fails to do so - it is revocable.
• The individual still matters; the state is just a mirror of the desires and will of civil soci-
• Dilemma: how can we aggregate the preference of all individuals into a system that
would reflect their will, protect theory rights and avoid collapsing into tyranny?
XXI. The Solution
• It all depends on the institutions we build
Mon. Oct. 1,2012
I. Realist Or Liberal
-Picture with donkeys trying to get hay.
-It is liberal because the donkeys are working together to get the hay
-Realism does not mean conflict all the time
-The Bush Doctrine
-The Obama Doctrine (what aspects of these doctrines come from, more liberal or real-
II. The Liberal Solution
-State of nature- not as bleak
-Domestic analogy: institutions solve the problem of anarchy
-The quality of institutions affect the stability of the solution
-Institutions can get us out of all the dilemmas realism gives us
-Domestic structures matter; institutions matter
-Right exist independent of power
-Rights exist even in anarchy - liberal view
-Progress is possible
-We can be better tomorrow III. Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804)
-Perpetual peace is his book out IR (179)
-He never experienced war
-He was OCD
-Kant rejects the separation between the moral imperative and the political realm
-Following self interest will lead to a “ perpetual peace in the vast grave that swallows
both the atrocities and their perpetrators.”
-There is unavoidable historical progress towards world federation - but we have the
obligation as rational human beings to speed the process
-To reach peace: “the civil constitution of every state should be republican.” Different
types of regimes led things differently and have different political out come
-A world federation should be established
-Economic and social interaction across borders should be encouraged.
-Modern reading of the Kantian Peace; democracy, trade, international organizations
IV. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776
-He wrote because he was interested in how to stop war and have peace
-What is the relationship between economics and peace: - lassiez faire; minimal govern-
ment intervention in economic affairs
-Humans are rational profit maximizers
-Trade generates benefits
-War will erode these benefits - ergo. . .
-More trade leads to less war - trade leads to peace
V. The Wilsonian Moment (Jan. 8, 1918)
-14 points, how the world should look like after the wear, the conditions of war
-”absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas”- the removal so far as possible of all
economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions
-More trade, and then there wont be war
-Self determination: “a strict observance of the principles that in determining all such
questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal
weight with equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.” -”A general association of nations must be formed under specific convents for the pur-
pose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to
great and small states alike -> collective
-A new more scientific liberalism
-Can we think of structural conditions that would induce cooperations - without relying
on assumptions regarding human nature, morality or natural rights
-Institutions affect the individual
VII. Absolute vs. Relative Gains
-1st distribution: actor A; 5 units. Actor B; 5 units
-2nd distribution: actor a has 4 units and actor b has 3 units
-3rd distribution; actor a has 6 units and actor b has 7 units\
-Structure or human nature
VIII. Liberalism - Summary
-Actors are rational and fellow self interest
-Private interest does not necessarily contradict collective interest
-Actors would prefer to avoid conflict if it affects their prosperity and well being (absolute
-The collective will its rational and prudent; narrow interest on the other hand can distort
-Actors interests are shaped and constrained by institutions
-The right kind of institutions (democracy; international organizations) can mitigate con-
flict by better reflecting the collective will; the absence of such institutions or the corrup-
tion of such institutions can allow conflict to continue (military industrial complex “MIC”)
IX. Two Peas in a Pod
-Realism and liberalism are the mainstream of IR
-They generally accpet the rules of the game; they do not challenge the current struc-
ture; they generally view actors as rational
-However, this is not the only way to study IR: Marxism
X. Marxist theory of imperialism
1. Actors are class based
2. Workings of capital system
Driven to make more money
Capital leads to increased productivity
X. Logic of the argument
1. Capitalist get rich (more capital)
2. Invest in more machinery/ labour saving devices
3. Results in increased profits and capital
4. Fewer workers needed (unemployment and falling wages)
5. Less demand for goods, hence need to make them cheaper
6. More investment etc. . . got to 2
-No one will buy those goods because the rich get richer and the poor get poorer
-Organization by class. The working class will rise up and revolt.
XI. How is this connected to IR
-Marx was wrong we see very few revolutions
-Lenin and Hobson: Imperialism explains the lack of revolutions (Marx implicitly as-
sumes as a closed market). Example Britain exported goods to colonies.
-Imperialism leads to war: class is the problem rather than anarchy or the nations state
-The main unit of analysis is therefore class; the states is controlled by capital and
serves its interests
-What kind of IR do Marxist predict? Conflict over markets; imperialism; diversionary
wars; collusion of capitalist classes; underdevelopment and dependency.
XII. Neo-Marxism: World System
-Taking Marxism and giving a focus on IR -Holistic view: analysis based on systemic production processes and class relations
-One important element is capitalism- start with it and end with it because it is not stable
-Long term processes - historical perspective
-Core vs. periphery: a powerful and wealthy core dominates and exploits a weak and
poor periphery; this hierarchy is quite stable
-Semi periphery: intermediate layer of countries that combine features of both core and
periphery - instrumental for preserving the system. Example Mexico
-The end of the cold war signals the demise of the capitalist world economy. US expan-
sionism is a reflection of its decline
-A different kind of critique
-It challenges the way we think about the social sciences
-We should focus on the social meanings of material factors
-Those meanings are intersubjective- they are understood by group members; they help
regulate and produce behaviour patterns; in turn they are reproduced by those patterns.
-Identities, norms and social institutions are the main unit of analysis
XIV. Natural sciences vs. social sciences
-Social sciences have laws just like the natural
-They are different because the social science deals with social beings requires a social
-Not going to follow the laws because beings have their own will
XV. Material vs Social
-Social effects give meaning to physical effects
-The social meaning we give to material facts
-The material facts are secondary to the social meaning attributed to them
-Institutions: a set of customs, practices, relationships, or behavioral patterns of impor-
tance in the life of community or society; institutions are the rules of the game, the
norms that regulate behaviour; they generate repetitive and predictable behaviour; they
define the social constraints and opportunities that actors face.
-Examples: family, marriage, lecture, border, sovereignty, war. Lecture Five
October 15 , 2012
Lecture objectives: Constructivism, feminist theory and rational-choice theory
Nobel Peace Prize; correlation between the E.U and peace. There is an issue of
- The E.U emerged post-war for the objective of cooperation.
- Peace NATO, E.U, Democracy and Nuclear Deterrence; the NPP committee
attribute these factors that preserve peace to prevent war.
- Discussion in the context of post- realism and liberalism
- New school of thought
- System operated by social actors; and this should be the context of analysis
- Alexander Wendt, Immanuel Adler -> prominent social constructivist theor-
o Focus on the social meaning of material factors
o Social facts and their meaning are inter-subjective.
o Identities, norms and social facts are the main tenets of constructivist
o Anarchy is what States Make of it. [Wendt]
For neo-realists and liberalists anarchy is deterministic
Wendt, however suggests there can be no foresight for determ-
Our social understanding of anarchy is variable
· The implications of anarchy are not straightforward
· State of nature ‘self-help’ is an institution; and has implic-
ations on state behaviour. · Us vs. Them dichotomy; identity, interactions, signals and
· Effects of predation
· Critiques of Wendt – does it matter?, since it only requires
one predator to result in anarchy ** [this needs clarifica-
- Origin of the National Interest
o How can we determine National Interest?
o Realist and Liberal view determines national interest objectively.
o This is in opposition to the social constructivist view because they are
interested in how we “discover” our interests?
o Consequences/gains vs. appropriateness/acceptance
State behaviour driven by this analysis stated above
Many theorists suggests that society largely looks at what is ap-
o Difference between these two logic of actions
Realists- largely driven by the consequences of their actions
Constructive – geared towards appropriateness within a social
o Constructivists: identity and social institutions define our interests; in-
terests are socially constructed.
Choices –Influenced by the social environment
Summary of Social Constructivism:
o Constructivism can lead to “realist” or “liberal” predictions – it is a dif-
ferent way of understanding the world
o No account of human nature of what is good and bad
o S.C is neutral about good/bad in human nature but rather deal with
how actors are social and how they relate to their own environments
o Not prescriptive of human nature o In principle, provides us with a potential mechanisms in which to ana-
o The social world is constantly changing and is constantly being repro-
By abiding by rules; institutions are made more powerful and
o Social world is influx; however, identities and norms are relatively
stable and endure slow change
o Particularly useful in analyzing state behaviour rather than
o Provides a theory for the origin of preferences and interests
o We cannot understand the world by observing it from the outside; im-
plicates inter-subjectivity – there needs to be a general understanding
of the rules of the games of the social world and their meaning as-
signed to them.
Feminism in International Relations
- IR has been one of the last fields to open up to feminist theories
- Within political science it is still one of the fields with the smallest representa-
tion for women
- Lack of female research involvement in topics like bombs, rockets or armed
- What happens when we add gender to our analysis? How should this be
- What contribution does the international system have for the marginalization
of women? How does the marginalization of women affect the international
Women Are From Venus? – Emotional, peaceful side of women
- Exception to this “rule” -- Prominent figures in the political sphere; women
were not always peaceful for example: Margret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi, and
- Tokenism – women socialized to act like men in order to climb the social lad-
der of politics - Level of analysis -- are we discussing the behaviour of individual women,
states or women in general?
- Examples of women trying to maintain peace:
o Sex Strike in Togo – using female sexuality to achieve democracy
o Lysistrata – even in Classical Mythology – connection between gender
and war; women as pro-peace
- Debates within the Feminist Camp
o Liberal approaches: system of rules that promises equality, for ex-
ample the Suffrage Movement (voting), still very much situated in a
o Middle: not enough to simply be allowed to vote, supporting Affirmat-
ive Action to assign women as leaders in powerful positions.
o Radical approaches: thinkers claim that the above approaches are
still built on a patriarchal society; therefore a complete configuration of
society is required. Impact on the institutions of marriage; to see the
gender roles in society.
- Women and War
o Should women be part of the armed forces? [Liberal perspective: Yes it
should have involvement of women to allow for equality, Radical per-
spective: No, because armed forces are patriarchal and by nature en-
sures equality will never be achieved]
o The “myth of protection” – to protect the “motherland” – feminizing the
land and falsely claiming that the purpose of war is to protect women
o Many instances women are the victim civilian casualties, famine vic-
o Mobilizing women to promote war
o A sharp increase in cases of mass rape as a tool of war [Balkans and
Systemic rape as a weapon of war for mass destruction
o Gender gap – women less supportive of war that men
- Feminist Theories in I.R o Ann Tickner -- empiricism: the gender gap; women in war, etc.
o Critique – still applying a male dominated system of knowledge
o The scientific method itself is not gender neutral – the white male as a
unit of analysis – Hobbesian state of nature? – war of man against all
o Assumptions are not neutral and whether the core I.R is?
o For example, for Realism, desirable behavioural characteristics
are: powerful, strong, determined, self-sufficient, cold interest, force, &
defender. Dangerous behaviours: weak, soft, protected, morality,
These characteristics assign gendered meanings to political suc-
cess; the desirable ones being highly masculine and the danger-
ous one being commonly associated with a feminine connota-
- Feminist Theories IR
o The domestic/international distinction in IR theory reflects the domest-
ic/public dichotomy in society
o Feminist scholars aim to challenge these binaries – breaking these dis-
tinctions – breaking levels of analysis; everything is one interrelated
o Focus of violence is not only war – focus on violence against women
o Personal is political**
o We need to expose hidden power relationships: gender, north/south,
o Tool to approach I.R with
o International interaction game; game theory
o What is Rationality?
Description of the process of decision-making Narrow definition of rationality – a rational actor -- based on all
available actions the actor has a clear ordering of preferences
over all possible outcomes.
Action that leads to the best outcome and weighs the choices
Most utility, least cost.
That actor will choose a policy which leads to an outcome which
offers maximum utility (with a minimal cost).
This definition does not account moral or normative considera-
tions over decision-making; rationality is incumbent on the pref-
erence of the actor and the goal in mind.
Process of decision-making NOT the content of decision
Unitary actor- problem of aggregations (lemmings, Marxism) –
outcomes need to be rational across all levels of analysis
· Lemmings fails on the individual level, even it makes
sense on the aggregate level.
· If it cannot work on the individual level, it cannot work on
the aggregate level.
Realists – views states as one individual or unit.
o Branch of R.C theory – Game Theory
Models social interaction as a game
Structure of the game effects behaviour; each game has a cer-
tain structure based on actors’ preferences
Each actor chooses a move; the combination of both actors’
strategic choices determines the outcomes
Each rational-actor has a clear preference ordering over all pos-
Simple preferences determine behaviour
Payoffs for each outcome are ordinal NOT cardinal – [1,2,3,4;
2,64, 120, 1500]; higher payoffs are preferable
· Not concerned with value but the preference of one out-
come over another · Like 4 is better than 3, 3 is better than 2, etc.
Strategic interaction – best response; backward induction
[thinking backwards to achieve the desired goal]
Simplistic explanation – Princess Bride – Battle of Wits –
Two strategies put forth; gauging in processes of backward in-
duction by taking into consideration what actor B might think
If we the know the structure of the game (actor’s preferences)
we can predict behaviour – the identity of the actor or the con-
text of the game is immaterial.
The same game can explain the behaviour of amoebas, elec-
tions campaigns, soldiers in WWII, and nuclear games theory.
2 types of games:
1. Coordination Games: shared goal or interest but still
may have different preferences – and success is incum-
bent on cooperation, coordination with both actors, some-
times coordination requires negotiation. Example: canoe-
ing with two people.
o Battle of the Sexes; common game theory
o Preferring cooperation by giving up own prefer-
o Different yet non-conflicting preferences
o Example: airplane communications different
countries using different languages to navigate air
traffic, but the end interest is safe landing overall.
o Not all coordination is easily solved; some are very
complex and require tactics – they can be solved
by: communication, Iteration (repeating the action),
focal points [example going to grand central station
if one is lost in Manhattan], power, agenda setting,
rules and procedures to held coordination institu-
o Solutions tend to be stable (no incentive to defect)
a type of equilibrium 2. Non-cooperative games
o Conflicting and competing preferences
o Sometimes zero-sum preferences (automatically
opponent’s gain is our loss)
· Prisoner’s dilemma
Oct. 22, 2012
I. Non Cooperative Games
• Conflicting and competing preferences (sometimes - zero sum games)
• Prisoner’s dilemma: two outlaws are captured by police, there is not enough evid-
ence. They can either work together and will not make a strong case against
them. If one rats they get a better deal than the one who does not rat. If they both
rat each other out they get the same time in prisoner. What is good for both of you
or what is the best outcome for you individual. Rational of all levels of analysis.
Actors do what is rational for them individual. We need both actors to chose the
same outcome. The best response is to defect. Optimal outcome. If you play the
game once it is better to defect but if it is over and over you coopertate.
• Nash equilibrium is if all go for one nothing, you go for more likely outcome. A pair
of strategies (an outcome) for which neither player gains by changing there own
strategy unilaterally. Regardless of what the other actor does we should defect. We
should always defect. Each time we play and always defect-defect we have to
more to coopertate-cooperate.
• Chicken: another cooperative game. Different types of games than Prisoner di-
lemma. Who is going to drive straight, or if you swerve you are chicken. Convince
your opponent your going straight, convince them you are rational/ crazy. Being
rational is being irrational. Writing down the pros and cons.
•Are people really rational
•Game theory often portrays a binary picture of decision making- overly
•How do we know which game we play?
•How can we know actors’ preferences? If so how?
-To think about International crisis, ex. the Cuban missile crisis. The worst possible
outcome is a nuclear war, best possible one swerves. Our best strategy is to guess
what your rival is going to do and do the opposite. II. The evolution of coopertation
• The strategy of tit tat (Rober Axelrod)= cooperate until the opponent defect, we
are mirroring what the opponent is doing in the next round. If you play it over and
over it is the winning strategy. Nice, retaliatory, forgiving --> develops cooperation
• The problem of finite games (backwards induction) ex. we are playing a hundred
games and in the last game the best is to defect, we go back to the world of de-
fect-defect. We go back to the first game played.
• Iterated games = games playing over and over. Our strategy changes from
prisoner dilemma goes to tic tac.
• What institutional design can facilitate “tit for tat” (neo-liberalism)
• Start with something like criminals to nuclear weapons to making institutions
• Prisoner’s Dilemma Summary: - The aggregation of rational decisions can pro-
duce sub-optimal outcomes; the individual decision is rational; the collective
outcome is not
-Defecting is a dominate strategy
-DD a stable Nash equilibrium
-However iterated games, is used as a metaphor for many aspects of international
relations- mainly as an explanation for the difficulty to sustain cooperation under
anarchy (great fear a CD)
-An mistake in war can be deadly
-Should the analysis of Pd lead us to optimism or pessimism regarding the prospects
for coopertation in IR.
-Absolute vs relative games
III. Wars and Glaciers
• Is it an anti-war book
• Yes, I said. I guess
• You know what I say to people when I hear they are writing anti-war books
• No what do you, Harrison Star
• I say, “Why don’t you write an ant-glacier book instead
• What he meant, of course was that there would always be wars, that they were as
easy to stop glaciers. I believe that too
• Part of an effective life, wars will occur like how we study glaciers And even if wars did not keep coming like glaciers there would still be plain old
death -Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse
IV. War is Hell
• Gen. William Tecumseh, we should avoid war at all costs because it is hell.
• We are just interested in numbers, academic problem.
V. On War
• Carol von Clausewitz (1780-1831)
• Was in the Prussia army, he wanted to write a scientific book about war. He
wanted to put everything he learned in the Prussia war academy in an scientific
way so others to understand war. No know for great clarity, died in the middle
writing of the book. His wife put the book together in the pages she saw laid out,
scholars say it is her fault it is unclear.
• War is merely by the continuation of policy by other means. Because a goal on its
own, warning what is the political reason of this war. He justifies war, still in the
realm of political options. By understanding war it is part of politics and it is not
• Politics ---> military strategy
• War as a lottery - the fog of war. Once it starts we do not know how it ends.
• Absolute wars (can never be fought in reality, perfect war, everything the state
has will be in war and citizens will stop and this can not be fought in reality, every
resources towards the struggle), real wars( always limited, never use 100% of re-
sources the citizens have), total wars (closest thing we can get to an absolute. ex.
• Many who read this think Clausewitz is advocating for absolute war, and many
generals who read his war thought they had to fight a total war
VI. Is War still a Problem
• Conflict is starting rise again, after he cold war
• How do we measure war:
• Militarized interstate dispute (MID):
-Blockades, occupations, clashes, raids
-Only 2.4% MIDS are wars (1946-1992)
• Interstate War:
-1,000+ battle deaths (Correlates of War (COW)) • Uppsala conflict says there are at least 25 battles related to death to be said it is a
-ex. war of Jenkins Ear (1739-174) Jenkins was a British sailor, the Spanish cut
off his ear because the English and Spanish were fighting over trade routes. This
ended up into a war between the English and Spanish because of the trade routes.
-ex. Soccer War of 1969 Honduras vs El Salvador
-More wars over nature of government than wars over land.
-More wars within states - civil wars. Civil wars are 5 times more deadly than inter-
state wars but when interstate wars go wrong they go really wrong. Greater things
happen when we have interstate wars.
POL208Y1 – Internati