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First Term Lectures (Missing ~2 weeks of lectures)

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Lilach Gilady

POL 208 Introduction to International Relations Theory First Term Lectures Prof. Gilady 10/09/12 Lecture 1: Lecture 1: Why IR was born: -WWI: sttillery bombardment of June 1916 -July 1 1916: 2 huge explosions under German trenches, by end of the day 19 000 + British soldiers dead, 50 000 + casualties -4 months after battle of Sommes: 600 000+ French and British men dead, +450 000 German casualties -from the ashes arise war studies and later become international relations -WWII proved studies didnt work, IR has still not solved problem of war, if a solution is possible Can We Prevent Doomsday? Nothing New Under The Sun -many philosophers beforehand have studied war (Machiavelli, Kant, Hobbes) The Scientific Method -systematic organization of facts: how to organize IR in a way that makes sense? -search for the operation of general laws -observations, theoretical explanation, experimentation -History: can be treated as a laboratory, far from perfect, approximation Levels of Analysis (not a theory) -systematic organization of facts -J. David Singer Domestic/ International Micro/ Macro -Russett, Starr & Kinsella: individual, decision makers, government structure, society, international relations, world system -How can we judge which level matters most? : Thought experiment (counterfactuals) Different Boxes Ex. Hiroshima, August 6 , 1945 Who is to blame? Levels: -Harry S. Truman (insecure president, not elected) -Decision makers (military personnel) -U.S.A. is a presidential democracy (not tolerant towards high casualties) -Interaction between Japan and U.S.A. (Japan didnt even declare war) -Deadly WWII (great number of casualties) -Decision directed at Soviet Union (opportunity for U.S.A. to demonstrate power) Ex. Vietnam War Bi-polar system: Soviet Union on one side, USA on other, every other country divided: zero- sum game Levels: - World System Level Levels of Analysis- Summary -Choice of level of analysis depends on: questions, case, 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 (counterfactual) What is a theory? -A description -An explanation: deduction, not simply induction. -A tool for generating predictions/prescriptions -Falsifiable -Components: -Assumption -Logic casual explanation -Predictions/hypotheses Induction -one piece of data leads to the next. -Problem: What are the relevant data to collect? -what evidence to collect to explain war and peace? -alignment of the plants; number of people praying; rainfall; number of people who have read a particular book (which book); -conjecture that certain basic things are true (assumption) Deduction -transition from data to theory that requires imagination; theories are not derived from facts, but are invented to account for them Methodology Golf prevents war Spurious Correlation Hypotheses -theoretical predictions -If A -> then B -If we see A but fail to see B hypothesis can be rejected, it has been falsified Falsification -models simplify an overly complex reality -they separate between what is important and what is simply noise Lecture 2: Battle of Antietam -bloodiest say in American history -deadliest war in North America (war between states) -battle itself ended up equal, situation didnt change (North claimed victory to justify causalities) -battle was one of the first cases where a photographer was present, after photos came up people actually saw the impact -connection between images and what enters pop 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 well. (Lewis Carroll, Sylvie and Bruno, 1889). In search of an Analytical Knife -every model omits certain dimensions from reality -every model includes implicit fundamental assumptions on what matters most -there is always more than one way to cut the cake (different frameworks) -choice of model depends on your question Correlation vs. Causation Theory (is a model) -description -explanation -prediction (sometimes- very difficult to attain) -falsification -for theory to be useful must be able to falsify it What kind of theories? -IR studies relations between nations Starting Course The Thirty Years War 1618-1648 -Pope (spiritual authority): Holy Roman Empire (representative of the Pope)- emperor has political and religious legitimacy as representative of Pope -Ferdinand II (Jesuit- strict Catholic) his election was seen as a declaration of war -The Defenestration of Prague (1618): Ferdinand IIs 2 men thrown out the windows Peace of Westphalia -Cuius region, eius religio (Augsburg 1555) he who rules choses religious identity -no overlapping authority -nation state system (sovereignty) is born What is Sovereignty? -A people, a territory, a bureaucracy, the king as a legal entity (some kind of government) -monopoly over the functions of the state in defined territory, excluding all external intervention (monopoly over the legitimate use of force) -the right to conduct foreign relations and sign treaties -sovereign equality (all units are equal under the law) (UN-general assembly- all have one vote- no matter how big) -Internal sovereignty (exclude any internal challenges) external sovereignty (to exclude
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