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First Lecture

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Lilach Gilady

POL208Y First Lecture911 Nine TEN now Years Later y The nature of the international system is impacted profoundly by events like 911 It is a good illustration of how the world has become smaller the dangers around the world are much closer to home now Of course 911 is not the only example we have become increasingly aware of this through the phenomenon Globalization a visible example is G20We are becoming more and more involved in a global system that is definitely recent in world history A great example of global interaction is the company IKEA production has become much more globalized The most extreme example might be products that are allegedly local but in the production process goes to many other countries The core of what we will be studying is the most extreme form of international relations which is war War is not the be all and end of all of international relations as Karl Schmitt suggested but it is a reality that is always implicitly present Wars are changing these days thoughy War has changed drastically in the last few centuriessome people argue that the American Civil war was the first industrial level war but when looking at statistics and how many died in the First World War it is apparent that it was the first one Most leaders had expected the war to be a quick skirmish at the best it will all be over quickly like the FrancoPrussian War that occurred only 30 years earlier They even thought there would be massive gains from the war and that indeed the war would pay for itself y The crucial difference between WW1 and WW2 in this regard while world war 1 was already an industrial level war that used tanks etc it was largely limited to people who were actually involved in the war As in 9 out of ever y 10 people died were in fact soldiers By the time of WW2 and indeed in most wars these days most people that die are civilians WW2 is what we call a total war or a war of total populationsy In essence in WW2 leaders increasingly didnt think of other military bases soldiers but also looked at things like the industries that supplied to the war such as trains highways infrastructure It was necessary to feed the army so the production of food and clothing became targets Thus large scale aerial bombing became an issue in WW2 So much so that it increasingly became difficult for noncombatants to not become involved in the war This culminated in the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima etcy Mutually Assured Destruction MAD It got to the point where their own capacity to attack the opponent was no longer the issue but how much capacity they would have left after they were attacked first As in their second strike capability this led to both the USA and the USSR having both enough weapons to destroy the world 10 times over This led to the possibility of a Doomsday such a scenario is possible since nuclear war came to the fore Recently environmental problems have also been considered as a possible source of a Doomsday scenario clearly it would be much more slower but it still has the possible impact of threatening our existence as a species We examine these in order to hopefully find solutions to these problems or avoid these problems y Explaining an event scientific method emerged as changes in the international system occurred called the enlightenment y Prior to the enlightenment science did not exist y Theology was the highest form of science prior to the enlightenment y In modern science seeing is believing empirical evidence is paramount Prior to the enlightenment this wasnt the casey Explanation of events have changed instead of using theological reasons we developed science to reason for explanations instead of gods will LEVELS OF ANALYSIS J David Singer 1960 y DomesticInternational y MicroMacro y Russet StarrKinsella Indivual decision makers government structure society international relations world system y How can we judge which level matters most y Thought experiment counterfactuals thy Why did America drop the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima onAugust 6 1945 Well there were clear reasons it would make Japan surrender at once which would save a lot of American lives which would have been lost if they had actually invaded by ground etc Is this analysis sufficientAll aspects need to be considered Such as congress politics possible implications of such a bomb on a future election The Japanese themselves it is said were willing to surrender and had sent many messages to that regard so a dropping of the bomb was unnecessary Another possibility is that the true target of the bomb was not Hiroshima but Moscow It was used as a message that America had this great weapon and even more importantly the willingness to use that weaponPolicy makers also suggest that a rapid end of the war was needed before the USSR got involved with the war with Japan and got a foothold on East Asia like they were in Eastern Europe through their wins in the war The point is there are many possible angles to be exploredWORLD SYSTEMy Probably the hardest level to grasp y System set of interacting elementsy Structure usually measured by the distribution of powertechnology systemic level of conflictdistribution of wealthnorms y Examplemulti polarity vs bipolarity vs unipolarity
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