PS 231 Lecture 10: IR Theory

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Political Science
PS 231
Jesse Crane- Seeber

IR Theory Why is IR useful? ● Helps understand relationships between nation-states ● Technical theories of human behavior ● Compartmentalizes the way people think What is redeemable? What helps make sense of the world? What’s good? ● The idea of humans not being the only inhabiting Earth What’s too big, too scary, too complicated to handle? ● Human relationships aren’t really defined ○ Ex: Terrorism towards the U.S. versus China What is the strongest argument for/against IR? ● Focuses more on the politics and less on the humanity/human interactions causing certain events Class Thoughts… IR theory cannot be redeemed because: 1. IR lenses are diverse, but can be combined so you can’t grasp the full complexity. 2. Theories are subjective, culturally embedded. 3. Imperfect theories lead to foolish actions 4. Boxes box us in (intellectually), meaning “You can’t say that, you’re a liberal!” a. Yet some people have marxist, realist, liberal, etc beliefs, but you cannot believe in all of those in IR. Take one side. 5. IR, like western views of the subject, is ahistorical. a. Meaning it is without concern for history or hist
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