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Lecture

Sept 10 Lecture Notes .docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL208Y1
Professor
Lilach Gilady
Semester
Fall

Description
Sept 10; Introduction to International Relations WWI - July 1, 1916; for 6 days, 1.6 million shells fell on the German trenches (Battle of the Somme) - Idea was that after the bombardment, nothing will be able to survive and the attack can begin - British dug tunnels under German trenches; British and French troops marched into German trenches but most Germans survived. - More than 19000 British soldiers were dead; 57000 casualties in total - Want to scientifically study to make sure that war never happens again Levels of Analysis - Systematic organization of facts - J David Singer (1950) o Domestic/international o Micro/Macro - Russett, Starr & Kinsella: individual, decision makers, government structure, society, international relations, world system - How can we judge which level matters most? o Thought experiment (Counterfactuals)  If this fact was different, would it have altered the outcome? (Ex. If a driver was a different person; if we had a different leader; if a system with 3 leaders has the same outcome with 2 leaders, then maybe it’s not the role of the system) Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 - Trumann came from a poorer background (individual level) - Generals, diplomats, military personnel (group of decision makers) - USA is a presidential democracy; intolerant towards lots of casualties - Interaction between USA and Japan; Japan didn’t even declare war on USA; the type of regime in Japan - USA wanted to demonstrate its power so nobody messed with them again; demonstrate to Soviet Union (rising to power) Vietnam War - In a bipolar system, every little country counts. If you win, I lose. Levels of analysis-summary - Choice of level of analysis depends on: question we ask; the case; our theoretical assumptions and preferences - Levels of analysis are not mutually exclusive-they capture different parts of the story - We need to be able to justify our choice (by using counterfactuals) - Levels of analysis are not a theory but the choice often involves theoretical assumptions What is a theory? - A description o What is it that
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