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International Relations Notes 2.docx
International Relations Notes 2.docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 2231E
Nigmendra Narain

International Relations Notes 2 Lecture: Foreign Policy and International Decision Making What’s a Foreign Policy? - Composed of many state policies - Result of many competing people inputting into a set of policies of called “Foreign Policy” o Dominant: state leaders and officials - Strategies used by governments to guide their actions in the international arena o Goals o Means/process for achieving goals - Campbell: foreign policy (constructing threat) vs. foreign policy (policies) Influences on Decision-Making - Cluster of variables and influences converging - Global conditions o Decisions of other actors: states, NGOs, terrorists - Internal characteristics o Type of state = decision making structure o Power = resources, finances, army size - Actor leadership o Personal characteristics o Perceptions, ideas and expectations How can we study foreign policy? - How is it formed? - Comparative foreign policy - Rational actor model o Costs versus benefits o Process:  Identity problem  Clarify goals > rank  Alternatives > consequences  Best option > chosen - Issues o Bounded rationality: make decisions with best available information under pressure o Cognitive dissonance: block out contrary or inconsistent information o Satisficing: minimal acceptable option chosen o Interest groups: organized groups seeking to influence decision-makers (lobbying groups, public campaigns) o Public opinion: attitudes of the decision maker’s population affect foreign policy “matrix” - Prospect theory: how foreign actors perceive and misperceive risks o Consistent and predictable biases o Value losses twice as much as they value gains o Risk vs. prospect of avoiding losses o Short-term over long-term - Bureaucratic politics How can we study foreign policy? - Bureaucratic politics o SOPs = standard operating procedure o Determine how states respond to global phenomenon o Relaying on long standing policies and directives o Historical memory o Filtering at lower levels through SOPs o Bargaining among government departments and agencies o Where you sit is where you stand o All departments have some stake in all issues especially global issues - Groupthink o Members of a group go along with ideas of the group o Peer pressure o Humiliation o Ostracization o Makes possible riskier extreme choice - History making individuals o Great leaders with a great vision o Great orators - Domestic Determinants o Military capabilities o Economic system and resources o Government type  Democracy = have to respond to population and votes  Autocratic = freedom of action but no critical feedback o Diversionary theory of war  Scapegoating  Deflecting attention away from domestic problems - Geo-strategies o Territorially based foreign policy concepts associated with geography factors  Mahan: seapower  Mackinder: heartland (building up in a certain area then expanding out, like imperialism)  Spykman: rimland  Kennan containment • Domino theory  Douhet: air Lecture: The Dialogue Between the Self and the Other an Analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Introduction - Assumes that collective identities of Jews and Palestinians in Israel have long been constructed around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - Process of questioning one’s own self and the other’s perception takes place in this context The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Balfour Declaration, 1917 o Region was under the rule of the British and French o Letter from UK’s foreign secretary to bury Ross  Wanted a Jewish state in Palestine o First time leader of a state expressed interest in a Jewish state - UN Partition Plan, 1947 o Sought to create and independent Jewish and Palestinian state within this tiny region o Jews unanimously accepted this plan o Arabs living in the region did not accept because they did not want a foreign entity establishing state - Creation of the state of Israel, 1948 - Wars of 1967 and 1973 o 1967: 6 day war  Few Arab countries launched a surprise attack against Israel  Israel ended up taking more land than they had originally acquired  Control of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, East Jerusalem o 1973: October war - Occupation of the West Bank (withdrew from Gaza in 2005) Who is the Other? - Negative connotation - Someone who differs from ourselve
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