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York University
Political Science
POLS 3136

Thursday September 19 , 2013 POLS 2940- Introduction to International Politics What is International Politics?  International Relations vs. Comparative Politics o International relations: studying global politics o Comparative politics: compares different types of states, institutions and developments.  Argument made by global politics – is you cant understand states without understanding global context.  Example of Russia – if you look at it in a comparative politic perspective we can say that we cant understand how Russia acts without understanding first of all going back to pre soviet or Russian empire . to understand how that has created a culture.  International politics perspective – it could illuminate the nature of power politics in a global weather. You the point out how Russia is attempting to increase its power in the world stage. It wants to be seen in major player. It wants to balance its power to what it sees as the threatening US power. The growing power of China, the goring power of India. Trying to find its way in the system of global power.  You can look at how energy power is affecting state behavior. The European union is reliant on Russian oil and gas. Its used as a political tool (their energy power)  Go back to comparative politics – point out political culture the kinds of institution that have develop. o Both Comparative Politics and International relations are very valuable but they focus on different things. You can understand everything that goes on in the world without either or. History  History has been used to explain by philosophers what happens around us. Histories are a lesson to explain things that are happening today.  Example is the Rwandan Genocide – Tutsis killed by the Hutus . Eugenics – characteristics were compared to Europeans and the Tutsis were more similar . Germans turned them into the administrative class. Class privileges went to the Tutsis and not the Hutus. This started to create resentment by the Hutus. But happens after ww1 Germany looses colonial possession then Belgium takes over as a colony and they decide to make them carry cards as identify themselves as Hutus and Tutsis. They institutionalized these differences so even if they were mixed and made a choice. When the forces went in and started slaughtering people from village to village, they checked cards.  Without understanding history we wouldn’t understand the struggle. History helps us illuminate that there is much more then just slaughtering. There is Colonialism involved, class conflict. All sorts of things involved.  o History can be used to explain causes o Can be used to justify actions-  for example the Bush regime , historical comparison to peal harbor. Trying to evoke the kind of emotions and use emotions as propaganda to outrage the population and justify anything that they did. It can be misused. o History can be used for those who are seeking to understand and those attempting to justify. o History is highly interpretive.  No one was there at every moment of history seeing things so we have to rely on the interpretation of people o Problems of history are that it can be very helpful but it can also be quite dangerous sometimes. Philosophy:  It shows us how some of the same kinds of questions about politics that we ask today have been asked for thousands of years.  Plato: Philosopher-king o Best person to govern in perfect state, someone superior in the ways of philosophy and war  If you look at American elections, they try to sell a leader. All we need is the right ruler everything will be fine  Obama – someone with the best intentions had to work in a political structure that was imperfect. Many more road blocks then opportunities. Things are impossible. Almost nothing gets done.  Philosophy involves a question about human nature as well. What is the basic human condition? How do people interact? We are not solitary in society we have to communicate with others in order to solve our problems. What is our nature  Hobbes: Leviathan o Our human nature is one of greed and self service. We want to survive and get as much as we can. o We are greedy people and if you left us all alone we would kill the human race. We would destroy it o Without authority there would be anarchy,  If you take the idea of anarchy and no order this is how many people view the international system. International system is referred to as an Anarchical system, there is no order every state country is self serving.. Each state is driven by self o Hobbes saw the answer in a Centralized unitary state- Leviathan: without this kind of centralized authority we will be screwed  Rousseau: ‘general will’ o Agreed that we as humans are self-interested. o Dilemma that we have as human beings– short term self interest and long term common interest. Solution is to stay in smaller communities were we submit to the general will or common interest. o He disagrees with Hobbes of the huge centralized state. They had a common view of human nature but they have a different solution. Contributions of History and Philosophy  The tradition laid by these philosophers contributed to development of international relations because it calls attention to fundamental relationships , asks questions about our relationships such as :  Fundamental relationships: o Individuals & society – relationships between individuals and society. What is the relationship o Individuals in society- against other people o Between societies- country or state vs state  Foundational Questions: o Nature of humans o And broad characteristics of the state and international society- is there order, cooperation? Methods in Social Sciences: 3 Types of Analysis Normative:  Asking questions of how things should be. In a perfect world  What ought to be o For example Plato said in a perfect world we would have a philosopher King.  What we think is morally right, what we think is the right thing to do. What is just , ethically right Positive:  The way things really are o Not putting a question mark of good or bad. This is just how it is. Trying to find out the way the world is ACTUALLY working or exist  What is  Its trying to be more factual What we do is compare the way things should be to the way things are then we get to the third type which is : Strategic:  How do we get from positive to normative o Ways to solving these problems  Applying to specific policy In international relations, should US go into Syria? Do we have an obligation for people in poverty? Behaviorism: moving away from history and philosophy  Behaviorism – born in social science , as a way to make the studies of politic more scientific  To make social science more scientific to make it more efficient. o Describe, explain predict more accurately the world around us. Positive analysis o Positivism o Correlates of war project (Mingst)  Understand major causes of war  Group of scholars to find the answers to gather more statistics to make generalization on why wars exists so they can predict it so we can some how stop them or intervene.  Criticisms o Problems about it . sometimes the goal became about being more scientific , they lost sight of the real goal. The real goal is to understand it but it got to scientific( do we have the right variables, etc. ) o How scientific?  Often results are based on the choices you make when you do that kind of research.  Correlates of war – which did you include , which didn’t you include, what aspects of war? This could change your findings and have a significant effect of the conclusions you make  Shifting away  Dominate part of analysis is still behaviorism. Still has a strong emphasis in America. o Neglects foundational questions (big questions)  Human nature, how the state works, how the system works .it never asks those questions. Strategic Analysis  Public policy approach o Asks questions about how specific policies are determined. o Involves combination of normative and positive analysis whether explicitly or implicitly stated or not.  Eg.) Canadian government troops to Afghanistan. Some of the reasons they gave. Stated reason. Positive: part of NATA obligation as member of NATO, Looking for Osama, maintain relationship with the US, promoting democracy. There was a normative idea that we had a moral obligation.  There was positive one – government provided evidence on how the Taliban abused power, repressing women , undemocratic. It used positive elements to enforce these normative ideas. o Idea is that our ideas about global politics are ideas about history, philosophy. Analytical modes of inquiry : positive , normative , strategic these are the basis of studying global politics today . What is Theory?  Theory is a belief, policy, procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action  Theories are based on ideas; these ideas are connected to action. Theory is not disconnected to reality  Theory is always for someone and for some purpose o It’s written to influence someone in the actions that are taken by people.  Theory always has a historical context o Real people at real particular points in history  Eg. The theory of: Nuclear deterrence  Part of the cold war struggle between the soviet union and the United states. 1950s &1980s. these theories where trying to explain particular policies in these periods. If you don’t understand the period you wont understande the idea of nuclear deterrence of what its about.  Theories are trying to make reality clearer and easier to comprehend  Theory tries to make reality clearer o Why policy-makers act the way they do What does theory tries to do? Theories try to :  Explain o Motivations  It tries to explain for example the US motivation for trying to go into Syria.  Understand o Why issues came about (causal factors)  Causal factors of Syria – Syria has a long line of repressive regimes.  Predict o Variables, comparisons, possible outcomes  Variables – different factors.  Type of government , the level of economic development.  Outcome of Syria- civil war for yrs. like Iraq, positive  Prescribe o Normative questions: what should be done? What kinds of theories are there?  Grand (macro level) theories  Big picture questions, provide over arching explanation based on the goals, o Global norms and values o State system o Global phenomena- like war epic conflict.  Middle Level Theories o Institutions  Role of institutions. Eg.) UN o Regional associations  Micro Level Theories o Non-state actors  Social movements for example.   These levels are not disconnected, there is a lot of interplay within all of them . Interacted or interconnected .  What are the key debates and issues? Conflict vs. cooperation  Human nature  Global nature Levels of analysis  System, state, bureaucracy, individual Structure vs. Agency  Freedom to act  Conditioning factors o Powerful interests , institutions, norms Agencys – freedom of actor to make dissions 3402 (left of at 30mins) Thursday September 26 , 2013 POLS 2940- Introduction to International Politics The Historical Context of International Politics  We cant understand what happens today without looking at the past  Any kind of history isn’t one of fact but of interpretation. A story or a narrative.  Political history – Mingst  International society- Baylis ; diplomatic history  Political , diplomatic , social history Pre- Westphalia Ancient Worlds  Greece o Greek city states o 500BC , intercity relation that suggests forms of cooperation o councils among various city states  sense of rules o shared moral understandings about right wrong way to conduct int affairs. Religious morals o philosophical traditions in Athens 500bc – ingrained in political society today o conceptions of democracy , justice and ethics. Helped shape context of modern  Indian o conceptions of the just war- certain wars just and fair o rules of war o scared natures of treaties  roman empire o 50bc – 400ad o incorporated many Greek city state. Larger political state o Systero – common law among nation ideas o Expansion of power and centralization of power o Ruling , allowing autonomy Early Middle Ages Fall of roman empire 400 AD. Ending renaissance  decentralization, o decentragation of roman empire o political system descentigrated o based around feudalism feudalism o land granted by local rulers to nobility classes. They would grant small bits of land to lesser landlords in return they were expected to provide solider some form of tribute. In return a grant of the land and a number of workers – serves or peasants (economic structure of feudalism)  catholic church, Orthodox/ Byzantine o accepted Christian faith, bishops given tracks of land. They could collect tides – 10% of what peasants made had to give to the church. o It was in the interest of the church to keep the political and social structure intact. Political authority and economic authority. o Church legitimized the social order of things . it preached don’t worry about the life accept what you’ve been given , if you accept it you will be rewarded. o They discouraged wealth as a pursuit – ungodly to make a lot of money. Held powerful socialization over the masses o Rival church- Orthodox church  ‘Holy Roman Empire’ o Tried to revive Roman Empire. o Charlemagne – Based on Hierarchy , Tradition , Role of the church - for many people in the middle ages life was very bleak , only lived to 30’s.  Islamic Empire Westphalia System Later Middle Ages  Itinerant merchant- o started to see people travel old roman roads – merchants would travel around , surrounded by guards. Would go to communities , started to bring things from all parts of Europe , India . China. o Brought communication and ideas o Beginnings of awakening of Europe o Would start making towns o Trade system  Urbanization o Larger and larger towns  Crusades o 11 century – catholic church afraid of Islamic empire. o Encouraged knights (with crosses) go on crusades. Free the holy land o As they travelled they brought back new ideas  Protestant reformation o John Calvin, Martin Luther o Challenged the ideas of catholic church. dominant ideas ; If you want to know Gods will you need to go to the pope o Challenge how you can have a relationship- you can have personal relati
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