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Lecture 4

POLS 2940 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Critical Theory, World War I, French Revolution

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2940
Sandra Whitworth

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POLS 2940 Lecture 4
--wrap up a few nal comments on theory from last class:
--to this point in the course: have set out the theoretical debates that
will serve as the organizing framework for the rest of the course: each
issue we discuss will touch on how the dierent theories interpret them
--everyone writing or speaking about issues of global politics is doing
so from the position of a theoretical perspective, or some combination
of perspectives
--no one is just 'giving you the facts'
--recognizing an author's or commentator's theoretical perspective is
an important skill, and one that will help you decide whether or not you
are persuaded by any particular argument or account of global politics
that you encounter
--then to history of states, states systems, empires (a very quick jaunt
through several hundred years of history ... )
--competing accounts of history, rst an account given by realists, and
then will look at the critiques raised by liberal pluralists and critical
--for realists, the modern state system begins in 1648, Peace of
Westphalia, ends the Thirty Years War
--the importance of sovereignty
--the other important thing that starts to happen after the Peace of
Westphalia, for realists, is the emergence of what they call the period
of the Classical Balance of Power (1648-1815)
--the Classical balance of power period began to unravel with the
French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars that followed, 1789; it is
followed by what realists call the Concert Period of the Balance of
Power: 1815 to WWI
--for realists, the outbreak of World War I marked the triumph and
tragedy of the balance of power
--this history is important, for realists, not only b/c it tells us something
about the past, but b/c it sets the problematique of what global politics
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