POL380.MAY19.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL380Y1
Professor
Clifford Van Der Linden
Semester
Summer

Description
EVOLUTION OF SECURITY STUDIES PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE - Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge o Whereas ontology asks “what exists”, epistemology asks “how do we know?” - Epistemological divide in social sciences centres on the positivist/post-positivist debate POSITIVISM - Philosophical approach to research, adopting “scientific” and rigorous methods - Explanations must be empirically verifiable - In the social sciences the term is used to indicate the idea of a science without theology or metaphysics, based only on facts about the physical material world - Objective knowledge can be captured by science; it is objective knowledge it exists and science is the way to obtain the knowledge - Can use similar methods to speak about the social word as the natural world - Positive statements are saying objectively that this is the way something is, normative is about how something ought to be where you are injecting an opinion into the way you see the world POST-POSITIVISM - Rejection of positivism - Rejects the idea that the empirical methods of the natural sciences can be applied to the study of social phenomena; tools that natural sciences gives cannot be imported to the social world - Explicitly acknowledges normative arguments as part of its rejection of a purely positive social science - Argue that material and social facts constitute the discourse of reality and thus knowledge cannot exist independents of power - Accepts and acknowledge normative arguments; have arguments about ethics, etc... - No objective reality LIBERALISM - Referred to variously as utopianism and idealism - Peaceful relations are expected from states with the protectin of individual freedoms (liberalism) the rule of law and legal equality (constitutionalism), and representative government (democracy) - Human beings can cooperate for the greater good (peace) - Generally associated with the claim that world peace is achievable through iernaitonal cooperation - Power is conceptualized in ideational terms; if you believe in the possibility of progress and humans can cooperate than that can be accomplished - Accepts the ideas of progress; the human condition can change, it can move forwards and change - Cautious optimism about the human condition; the way the world is now isnt’ the way the world will always be - Influenced decisions in foreign decision making; Chamberlain & Hitler, appeasement to Hitler to prevent war REALISM - Insecurity seen as the central problem, and power as the prime motivation of all political life - States are the key actors and seek to maximize their relative material power - States are conceived as largely static and unchanging entities - National interests take precedence over the good of international society as a whole - While roles and poles may change, there is no progress, and time does not signify change; relations between individual states will change, states will be in conflict with each other due to power balance, and the international system will always be anarchic - General pessimism about the human condition; Hobbes - Focus on states as the key actors; liberals look beyond and see it as a post-state international actors - Focuses on material power most important - International security is an end-goal for realists MARXISM - Unit of analysis not states, but classes - Makes empirical claims about how the world work, motivation of actors is for economic expansionism - Ruling class seeks to maximize its power in economic as opposed to military terms - Motivated by search for justice, whereas realism and liberalism are designed to pursuit of peace - Contemporary IR is a derivative of the global capitalism system - Wallersteins’ world systems theory speaks to an international division of labour into core (the ruling states in the IS, owns the means of production), semi-periphery (states that provide raw materials; proletariat class, emerging economies) and periphery (third world) - Lenin’s theory of imperialism: as capitalism becomes “over-ripe”, surplus capital seeks higher rates of return than can be realized at home; leads to collisions and conflict between capitalist states NEOREALISM - States and other actors interact in an anarchic environment. This means that there is no central authority to enforce rules and norms or protect the interests of the larger global community - The structure of the system is a major determinant of actor behaviour - States are self-interest oriented, and an anarchic and competitive system pushes them to favour self-help over cooperative behaviour - States are rational actors, selecting strategies to maximize relative gains and minimize relative losses - The most critical problem present by anarchy is survival - States see all
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