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POL208 2013 LEC 2.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Lilach Gilady

International Theory Theory Description Explanation Prediction Scientific method alone especially when applied to political can sometimes be nonsense Need to employ common sense The need for analytical tools ―We now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well‖ – Lewis Carroll, Sylvie and Bruno, 1889 In search of an Analytical Life Looking for something that can help us understand reality The simpler theory, the better Every model by definition omits certain dimensions of reality Often leaves a lot of stuff out, few variables go in Every model therefor includes implicit fundamental assumptions on what matters most What‘s to keep in our model and what to keep out? Make assumptions about what is the essence of the phenomena we are explaining There is always more than one way to cut the cake More than one understanding When you truly understand IR theory, understand no one can hold compete truth Explaining an Event Involve causality We tell stories Lots of ways to explain outcome of an event Theorize An explanation Tend to focus on the proximate causes that lead to an outcome There are proximate and systemic reasons Ex. of proximate Dog pulled my ankle broke my ankle Ex of systemic Rob Ford and Parc Recreation Levels of Analysis Systematic organization of facts Provides us with pre set boxes to which we can put potential outcomes We need to be careful in differentiation between causal reasons that lie in domestic level and those that lye in the international level. Difference between macro and micro. Russet, Starr & Kinsella Individual Decision makers Government structure Society International Relations World system How can we judge which level matters most? Counterfactual‘s; conduct experimental thought experiment What could‘ve prevented a certain situation? What if? Hiroshima Example Levels of Analysis Harry Truman, individual US Government, focus on dynamics of group, power relations, decision makers The US democracy, government structure and society Japan was opposite of democracy; government structure and society Interaction between Japan and US; international relations Not to convince Japan to surrender, to signal Soviet Union, World system Driven by bi polar structure of the world system Korea History in a Glance 1910 Japanese occupation of Korea 1945 Yalta; temporary division along the 38 parallel Carving wall between Soviet and US Beginning of bi polarity 1948 ROK/Syngman Rhee/Seoul DPRK/Kim Il-Song/Pyongyang Temporary became permanent Jan 1950 Dean Acheson‘s Speech Lists the important points of the world about US interests June 1950 North Korea invades South Korea June 1950 UNSC vote, intervene in case of Korea, demand N Korea goes back to 38 MacArthur Big supporter of passing the 38 parallel China didn‘t support this, China would intervene if they crossed the 38 parallel US didn‘t believe them and China intervened To cross or not to cross the 38 ? To cross or not to cross the Yalu River? Border with China? In IR this was the first limited war Fought in nuclear era Limited weapons and geographic scope July 1951 Peace talks July 1953 Cease fire agreement th Korea 38 Parallel; Forgotten War Example 1. Individual Level Can individuals change history? Gabrielle Princippe; assassin of Archduke Ferdinand, trigger for WWI Personality; education, past experiences, ideology, beliefs Not very theoretical Very hard to generalize Counterfactuals; simple, if we had different decision maker, different outcome 2. Role of decision makers Where you sit is where you stand Bureacratic models of decision making Role you embody in the decision making apparatus comes from beauratci appmnt Example: Cuban Missile Crisis Mapping interests, information flows, decision m
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