Levels of Analysis.docx

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Political Science

International relations have usually been between states, but cannot be well understood through isolation from other actors, which include: A. Individuals (those who actually act) B. Multi-national corporations (MNCs): headquartered in one state but invest and operate extensively in others C. International organizations (IOs) (intergovernmental organizations): members= states or national governments; don’t act o Ex) NATO, UN, World Bank, WTO, EU, OPEC, IMF D. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs): act across borders, not just domestic o Involved for political, economic, technical, or humanitarian purposes o Transnational advocacy networks- when NGOs work together o Very large, have considerable resources, interact with other actors o *Increasingly, overtime, are recognized as legitimate actors that operate along sidelines o Not same as terrorist networks but the procedures are very similar- how they operate across countries to the get word out and coordinate outside boundaries *International relations= misnomer Usually not about nations & talk about other actors as well E. States 1. What is a state? Unit of political organization with 3 essential characteristics a. Territorial boundaries (geographical entity): defined by the fact that is rules over a territorial boundary b. Sovereignty: autonomous & independent; sovereign power within its orders Does NOT recognize or answer to any superior authority; is NO form of hierarchy formally above it BUT does not mean there aren’t constraints on actions Ex) ICJ- nations can choose to either comply or leave the organization but will have to deal with the consequences. We can debate “how meaningful” sovereignty becomes even under international pressure Content of sovereignty: create economy, tax, enforce laws, military, control entry and exit etc. (changed over time) c. Legitimate use of violence: sole possessor of the legitimate right to use violence, though norms of what this “legitimate right is” have changed over time 2. Problems Ex) Iraq- did not control all of its territory, fly zones were constrained by the UN, but still considered a state Ex) Somalia- considered as a failed state; does not control territory, has no legitimate right to violence a. States as actors- people take actions in the name of the state for bureaucratic, etc. purposes b. States and nations Nation: a group of people sharing certain history & culture, sometimes language & religion Some nations have states, some don’t (Palestinians a state without a nation) When states=nations (match the territorial boundaries), they are called nation- states Ex) Soviet Union-collection of states Ex) Former colonies in Africa not nation states Ex) Taiwan, Puerto Rico, etc.. 3. History (the emergence of states): state= product of a long process o City-states of Greece & Italy= predecessors of today’s states o Treaty of Westphalia 1648 (ended the 30 Years War)= beginning of the modern state system; confirmed a system of legally recognized states; largely in part, by taking away power from the church (abandoned the idea of a universal common Christian wealth governed by a pope/emperor)  Rulers of states could make decisions about religion for the people; states became a higher authority than the church, legally speaking o Protestant Reformation- when Martin Lu
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