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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 & 3 - Sept 21st & 28th.docx

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Political Science
POLS 2940
Sandra Withworth

Sept 21 First Great Debate  idealism vs. realism  not about what the world looks like but about what is possible in the world. Idealism  emphasizes international law, morality and international organization rather than power alone to influence IR  human nature is basically good  good habits, education & appropriate international structures  human nature can become the basis of peaceful and cooperative IR  was dominate btw WWI and WWII  IR was seen as a community of states with the potential to work together to overcome mutual problems  led to the creation of the League of Nations  Woodrow Wilson's "14 points" Realism  international relations in terms of power  dominate from WWII till the 1970's  developed in reaction to idealism  believed that idealist look too much at how the world ought to be and not how it really is  set out to understand the principles of power politics w/o succumbing to wishful thinking  provided theoretical foundations for the Cold War policies of containment and the determination of U.S policy makers not to appease the Soviet Union and China  political power is seen as separate from and dominant over morality, ideology and other social and economic aspects.  ideologies, religions or cultural factors do not matter  realist framework in 3 propositions: 1. states are the most important actor [state-centric assumption] 2. they act as rational individuals in pursing power; this is seen as the national interest [unitary rational-actor assumption] 3. they act in the context of an international system lacking central government [anarchy assumption]  nothing can stop them unless they are stronger  idealism isn't just wrong it's dangerous  high politics mean he survival of the state  US starts to bill the emergence of the IR field and takes the leadership role after WWII  Neorealism (structural realism) - version of the realist theory that can emphasize the influence of the systems structure on state behaviour and particularly the international distribution of power  paradigm for realist; conflict prone world; look at the behaviour of states; providing policy relevant advice; high and low politics.  Prisoner's Dilemma o two criminals that just got captured and are placed under arrest and taken in separate rooms o they offer each of them a deal, the same deal. however the two cannot talk to each other o if prisoner 1 takes the deal (which is to rat out their partner) prisoner 2 will get 5 years, but the prisoner 1 will get a less sentence, maybe 1 year. Co-operate Defect Co-operate 2, 2 1, 5 Defect 5, 1 4, 4 o realist would take the deal because they do not know how their partner will react so they must assume the worst  billiards - states are like the balls and are all like. they bounce off one another. focused on external and it is not another states business what happens internally in other states. Second Great Debate  1950's  behavioural revolution: a debate about how to study global politics  focused on applying more scientific methods to the study of global politics o the perplexing troubling issue of the Dead Grandmother syndrome o exam time is a very dangerous time for grandmothers o they worry, which leads to stress and that causes heart attacks and they die o or students lie and say their grandmother has died  data can be interpreted differently and this causes a huge problem  debate about how we study the world Third Great Debate  Inter-paradigm debate begins to emerge  1970's  paradigm; a group of theories that share some common understandings: o vision of what the world looks like o what to study in that world o what is the purpose of the theory  these three are now up for grabs  more fundamental and more economical questions Sept 28th Liberal Pluralism  while states are important in IR, there are many more actors that operate in a global system o individuals, institutions, multinational corporations, NGO's and social moments  emphasis on the cooperative features of global interaction over conflictual ones  interested in producing policy-relevant advice, but may provide that advice to many actors and not simply states alone.  states are seen as different from one another  equally focused on the internal as well as the external  Five major lines of criticism:
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