Lecture 2 - Theories in Global Politics.pdf

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Idealists = ought to be world -- in which war is a recurring theme -- stopping war
a.
Realists = way it is world -- preventing war
b.
Idealism vs. Realism -- 1940s - 1950s
1.
Historicism: patterns in history, analysis of decisions of leaders, interpretation and
conceptualization of this sort of pattern [realism]
a.
Behaviouralism -- collecting observable data, after we codify and measure, then find the
pattern. If you have a leader with "ABC" tendencies, are they more likely to go to war? These
patterns will then be turned into laws of international behaviour [neorealism]
b.
Positivism -- there is a correspondence theory of knowledge, the knowledge we gain is from
observable data, the observer and observed are separate. Connection between the theory and
the knowledge itself.
Historicism vs. Behaviourism -- 1960s - 1970s
2.
Realism, Liberalism, Marxism
a.
Incommensurability: cannot agree on the ontology, epistemology, and methodology
b.
Following Kuhn: need a paradigm to be agreed upon or to dominate for science to move
forward
c.
Lakatos: research programs (most likely won't happen)
d.
Caused more division
e.
Did not account for normative approach of Marxists (and emerging others) -- justice,
fairness, oppression, etc… or their critique of the knowledge produced in IR
f.
Interparadigm Debate -- 1980s
3.
Explaining: scientific approach, tells us causes through data analysis
i.
Understanding: interpretivist approach; meanings, beliefs, reasons, language
ii.
Explaining vs Understanding (Weber)
a.
Both are empiricist = knowledge based on data gathered by human senses
i.
Positivism: systematic observation; sufficient data through repeated observation =
regularities and laws; the observed and observer are separate
ii.
Post-positivism: non-observable data is important (ie. gender is not observable);
language, meaning, beliefs; observer determines and interprets what is observed, and
the observed and observer are not separable
iii.
Positivism vs. Post-positivism
b.
Rational choice theory: positivist; all actors are utility- maximizers; deductive; simplify
reality (ie. what are the USA interests?) to analyze it, and to provide predictions
i.
Reflectivist: post-positivists; reflexivity (self-critical, challenging assumptions);
knowledge is not politically or socially neutral -- we make decisions on what is good/bad
and what we focus on; challenge rationalist theories at meta-theoretical level --
challenge on meta theoretical level
ii.
Scientific Realism: each "science" (set of knowledges, etc.) must develops own
methods… etc; epistemological relativists; methodological pluralists
iii.
* Constructivism, critical realism
Rationalism vs. Reflectivism
c.
Disciplinary Diversity -- 1990s onwards
4.
Definition?
Goals/uses?
Power:
Who acts? Why do the act? Which actors are most important and why? Are certain actors
Actors:
What do Theories in IR tell us about (mainly):
Lecture 2 - Theories in Global Politics
September-26-12
10:33 AM
POLITICS 2231E Page 1
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