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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
John Haines

International Relations J Week 3: September 28 , 2010 th Theories of International Relations - By simplifying reality we try to formulate regularities, patterns, that explain what has happened in the past and what may happen in the future - Our capacity to make predictions is poor o E.g. Way Cold War ended was not the most likely scenario experts had drawn before, peaceful change and peaceful demise of the Soviet empire - International Relations is largely an American science, started in US in 1950s o Started to use s]Z] Z]L]L2}o]LZ}o7]L[} K Z - Modesty, world politics is full of surprise - Politicians consider theories to be too abstract, too general, not practical enough o Tend to reason more like historians rather than political scientists o Think about analogies from the past not long-term propositions - Despite this, theories do sometimes make way into world of decision-makers o E.g. George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq based on theory by bringing democracy to Iraq, I will transform the Middle East into a democratic region, generate peace Worth it to wage a war to generate peace - One world, many theories, to explain same events o E.g. Decision to expand NATO post Cold War: One theory (realist take) J expanding power of the West, by doing so, Russia would feel more isolated than it used to be, Russia would feel threatened; Second theory (what decision-makers claim) J enlarging the family of democracies to Eastern Europe, not about security or power, not a loss for Russia, about bringing democracy and stability to Europe Realist Theories: - Realism in world politics is a family of theories, look at the world through the same kind of lenses, use the same kind of concepts - Origin: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, creation of Italian city states, experience of statesmanship throughout the centuries o Really started with failure of the League of Nations just after WWI Called the Great Debate of the 1930s N Can we do international politics relying only on values; is there not a place for power consideration? N Liberalism brought about collective security framework to ensure stability and peace among European nations, League of Nations o 20s, 30s, triumph of liberalist principles - Realists said liberalists had forgot about power, cannot have organization to ensure peace, which is fundamentally powerless, no capacity to impose peace - Two problems with League of Nations: o Strategy contradiction
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