POLS 2940 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Homo Economicus, Economic Liberalism, Arms Control

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Political Science
Course
POLS 2940
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
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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
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Document Summary

Not about what the world looks like but about what is possible in the world. Emphasizes international law, morality and international organization rather than power alone to influence ir. Good habits, education & appropriate international structures. Human nature can become the basis of peaceful and cooperative ir. 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. 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. [anarchy assumption] idealism isn"t just wrong it"s dangerous. Nothing can stop them unless they are stronger. High politics mean he survival of the state.

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