Introduction: January 17
I. What is International Relations?
A. Subfield of political science
B. Study of how states interact with one another
C. Uses empirical questions
1. Does not ask “should” questions, only “why”
Should the US have gone to war with Iraq?
Why did the US go to war with Iraq?
D. Security Studies versus International Political Economy Studies
1. Security: deals with questions of peace and war
2. IPES: deals with questions of the international economy
3. These two subfields are related.
1. Realism: international system itself is comprised of states
constantly struggling to attain, preserve, and protect power
War is inevitable
2. Liberalism: while states want power, they also want cooperation
3. Neither of these views is 100% accurate, this is merely a lens
through with one can analyze political events.
II. Haas “Age of Non-polarity” Reading
1. We have moved from a unipolar to a nonpolar system since the
One power no longer projects dominance over other
2. Non-polarity is bad, for the US and planet as whole
B. Background Info:
1. Multi-polarity: there is a number of states/blocks of states
exerting most power in international political system
Until WWII, Multi-polar
WWII-End of Cold War, Dual-polarity
USA & USSR
US is losing its ability to project power/influence
C. 6 Major Powers of Non-polarity:
2. China 3. India
4. European Union
D. Why has Uni-polarity ended?
1. Began with the collapse of USSR at the end of the Cold War,
when Russia lagged behind the US economically.
(Until Putin got their shit together later)
2. Integration & Globalization
has lead the US to be more dependent on foreign states
Many manifestations of globalization are beyond the
scope of what states can control.
Power of individual, sovereign state, including US,
3. America‟s image has been tarnished by actions abroad
Especially since 9/11.
George W. Bush :p
Obama has tried to make us seem more like a
power, willing to intervene with cooperation of our
4. Military‟s Flaws
Our military is overstretched, with too many projects
going on in too many places
There‟s a lot going on, but we‟re not doing too well
at any one of them.
Our military, while technologically advanced and
well-funded, is unprepared to deal with new types
Urban warfare (Israel)
Mountains of Pakistan
5. All of these hinder the US‟ ability to lead in the event of an
6. The rise of non-state actors as influences also leads to non-
E. Why are there no credible challenges to American power?
1. There is no clear need to challenge this power/predisposition to
Fundamentally, none of the other 5 powers are strong
enough to challenge this
2. There is no incentive to challenge the US
The US governs the international system
No one wants to be alienated from this
system. Isolated states tend to struggle.
3. The US still has economic and military power
4. China, India, and Japan all exert major economic
5. Russia has economic power in its superior natural resources
Exports oil, gas, and weapons/military equipment
III. Brzezinski “From Hope to Audacity” Reading
1. The way in which the US deals with these foreign issues will
determine its standing in the future
B. 2 Elements of Foreign Policy Making:
1. Establish Goals & Decision-Making Procedures
2. Making & Implementing Policies
3. IN US: internal dissent and bureaucratic obstacles slow and
complicate this process
Tends toward polarization, not consensus
Balance of Power
Congress & President
Wield enormous amounts of power
C. Three Urgent Problems:
1. Arab/Israeli Conflict
Since founding of Israel, the US has had a strong
relationship with the nation
There is a clear need for a moderator in this conflict 2. Iran
The defense of Israel against a nuclear Iran
Has capability to enrich Uranium
High potential to develop nuclear weapons, which
would destabilize region and violate international
“non-proliferation” norm that no additional nation
can acquire nuclear weapons
Sanctions have been used
Flawed because this targets citizens, not the regime
3. Afghani/Pakistani Conflict
Since ousted from power in Afghanistan, it has re-
risen in influence there.
It also has a strong presence in Pakistan
US wants to help these gov‟ts in controlling the
This also thus requires aid in attaining
4. These issues will remain at the forefront of US foreign policy for
a long time. Actors in the International System: January 22
I. Intergovernmental Organizations
A. Definition: an organization consisting solely of states, dedicated to a
specific purpose. Members join voluntarily in pursuit of this interest.
Membership often provides benefits.
B. Liberals argue that IGOs promote peace and inter-state cooperation
and are vital.
C. Realists argue that these are a means a lobbying for power and largely
1. United Nations
2. European Union
Economic integration will lead to greater cooperation on
more sensitive issues
3. World Bank
4. International Monetary Fund
6. World Trade Organization
Econ alliance promoting free trade
7. World Health Organization
1. Domestic Definition: the way in which a particular state is
organized- power is decentralized, with an overarching federal
system and smaller local units with specific areas of
F. Functionalism: The main cause of war is a lack of economic
1. If economic issues are addressed by an IGO, that cooperation
can spill over into political cooperation.
Integration generates cooperation
2. Measured by poverty, infant mortality, life expectancy, etc.
G. Collective Good: this is unowned, but impacts many states; actions
related to this are interconnected, mutual consequences
1. Collective goods often require maintenance “Free Rider Problem” a state/individual can not
contribute to the maintenance and still benefit from its
Example: VPR not donating, with faith that it will
continue to exist on other donors, and I can
continue to listen for free
“Tragedy of the Commons” each herder acts rationally in
their own self interest, everyone does this, and eventually
overall deterioration of the field until everyone is worse
No higher authority to monitor land use
2. Example: global warming & Kyoto Protocol
H. Anarchy: lack of higher governing authority over individual sovereign
1. Sovereignty: a state’s right to conduct its own domestic & foreign
2. States that exercise too much sovereignty can cause war
Solution=an IGO to which states sacrifice some
sovereignty in exchange for intervention/prevention
of escalation of conflict.
I. Tasks of IGOs
1. Provide a forum of information exchange
Monitors member states
2. Resolve conflict among members
Socializes states into concept that diplomacy is conducive
3. Provide perks for membership
5. *Provides venue for dialogue, repeated interaction
Builds trust between states over time
Fosters communication skills
**Foundation for solving crises.
6. Serves as equalizer between states Each member nation has a recognized voice
II. Kupchan “NATO‟s Final Frontier” Reading
A. Thesis: NATO should offer membership to Russia
1. In NATO‟s strategic interests
Wealth of oil, gas, precious metals
Increased geopolitical and economic power
Better relationship with nations in conflict that Russia is
Prevents Russian formation of alternative security
Integrate potential adversary.
2. Russia does not want to join.
Joining would mean sacrificing a good relationship with
eastern nations from which it economically benefits.
Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc.
Putin is picky about western integration
Only wants benefits, not to lose sovereignty
B. NATO has not redefined itself since its foundation as security against
1. NATO has two conflicting goals
Collective Security: an attack against one is an attack
Members are bound to provide security to each
other from external forces/attacks
Who is the enemy now?
Non-state enemies (militias, terrorist orgs)
Collective Defense: defending members from
tensions/hostilities between members.
Prevents inter-member war Actors in International System, ctd.:January 24
I. Nongovernmental Organizations
A. An organization independent of any particular government.
2. Dedicated to a specific issue
3. Transnational (active all over world)
4. Unconstrained by any state‟s laws.
5. Rely more heavily on „soft power‟- lack resources of a
B. Threaten nations‟ sovereignty, don‟t want to look like they cant
provide for the people, delegitimizing
C. International Red Cross= first NGO.
1. Citizens had begun to view issues as global, post WWII
D. Four types of NGO‟s
1. Multinational Corporation
Not part of government, not associated with a state, have
specific interest (make $ for shareholders)
2. Terrorist/Mafia/Drug Cartel Organizations
Raise awareness about an issue, have specific interest.
3. Political Goals
4. Humanitarian Aid Organizations
E. What do NGOs do?
1. Use grassroots organizing to mobilize people and impact
2. Raise awareness to issues
3. Raise money for certain campaigns/causes
4. Attempt to resolve international/regional/global problems
5. Negotiate with NGOs and governments
II. Leiken “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood” Reading
A. It is in American best interests to align itself with the Moderate
Muslim Brotherhood, since it is moderate (and limited in its us of
B. Americans should not lump all Muslim organizations as the same
and/or extremist. III. The State
A. Weber‟s Definition:
B. The State vs the Nation:
1. The State: governing body/administrative unit that oversees a
2. Nation: large group of people that shares commonalities like
ethnicities, language, culture, history, religion, etc. Members of
this group recognize other members of the group. January 31: Levels of Analysis
I. The State- Weber‟s Definition
A. Must have monopoly on legitimate use of violence within its borders
B. Possession of an administrative legal framework
C. Political unit must be contained within internationally recognized
1. Can be located on a map
II. Great versus Super Powers
A. Super powers= states with most power
1. Set rules
2. Today, the US is one of several
B. Great Powers= exert enough power in international system to be
C. Less Powerful
III. Three Levels of Analysis:
A. Individual: looks at how individuals influence international politics
1. Can be leaders of states,
Track 1 Diplomacy
2. Or private influential individuals.
Track 2 Diplomacy
Able to do this because of money and influence
3. Realists would say that elites are restricted by anarchy; none of
Compels elites to act in a certain way.
B. Domestic: refers to what is going on within a particular state
1. Mass public
C. International: see next day‟s class notes.
IV. Types of Power:
A. Tangible/Hard Power: quantifiable. Economic or military.
B. Intangible/Soft Power: unquantifiable. economic unions, social
movements, cultural influence.
V. Uses of Power
A. Diplomacy: Direct communication, dialogue, bargaining, peaceful
1. Preventative: prevents a conflict from escalating 2. Crisis: occurs in midst of a crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
2. Negative: restrict trade, etc. often has greater impact on
citizenry than on regime.
1. Compellance: objective of forcing a state to change its behavior,
Threat of force can be enough
2. Deterrence: prevention of an action
Mutually Assured Destruction February 5: The International Level
I. Saddam’s Delusions (reading from last week)
1. Saddam was confident that the US would not attack Iraq,
mainly because its allies sit on the UN Security Council.
The US did not, in fact, get approval from the council
2. If the US did invade, their efforts would be so laughable that
Iraq would kick its ass into next week.
Saddam failed to effectively delegate military activities to
qualified individuals, due to his paranoia about a
Saddam created a climate of fear, preventing delivery of
bad(albeit accurate) news.
For example, about the power of his military
II. The International Level
A. System: a whole comprised of individual parts; a change in one of
these parts may cause a change in other parts.
B. International System: an entity comprised of individual states; a
change in one state can affect other parts of this system.
1. Example: turmoil in Syria impacts neighboring states
Involvement in conflict
Emigration of refugees
2. Characteristics create this framework:
3. Anarchy & Its Consequences:
Anarchy (in terms of international system): Lack of an
overarching authority over states
Lack of world government
IGO‟s attempt to monitor state behavior
States‟ behavior depends on behavior of other
Realists say these are tragic
Liberals believe these are sad, but can be alleviated
Security Dilemma: because anarchy creates a self-
help environment, states are constantly fearful of other states (mutually dependent). So, states often
take steps to increase their power/security. This
causes fear, prompting other states to up their
power/security. This generally spirals, and can
eventually cause war.
States are Mutually Dependent
Determining if a buildup is offensive or
States are economically codependent
o Resource allocation
Thucydides‟ analysis of Greek city-state interactions
4. Polarity (Realist)
The number of superpowers exerting influence on
Establishes hierarchy among states
5. Stratification (Realist)
The unequal distribution of resources among states
Education & Technology
6. Interdependence (Liberalism)
Can cause states to interact, despite anarchy.
The consequences of anarchy can be alleviated
III. An Agenda for NATO Reading
A. Thesis: in order for NATO to develop in the future, it needs to analyze
its past accomplishments
1. Facilitating a peaceful end to the Cold War
2. Ended a lot of post-WWII disputes & rebuilt Europe (Marshall
Europe served as a buffer between the two superpowers
United & made a stronger Europe
3. Defended Europe from USSR during the Cold War
Collective Security: an attack on one is an attack on all. 4. Divided world into three categories: with us, against us, or
Lessened with post Cold War expansion
B. Four Challenges
1. Russia: would be good if incorporated, Russia does not want
2. Afghanistan vs. Pakistan Conflict
3. How it related to new threats, coming from non-state actors
4. Reconsideration of Collective Security
Allows states to opt out of collective military response
IV. The Compulsive Empire Reading
A. Thesis: the war, although attributed to Bush‟s personal
characteristics, was actually inevitable regardless of who was leading
1. This occurs because it was the hegemon. The US faced no rival
2. Empires need to expand. In national interests of USA
Maintained power by expansion, otherwise another state
will. Compulsion to maintain hegemonic status. The Historical Context of Contemporary IR
I. The importance of Europe, Greek City States, Roman Empire
A. Ancient Greece:
1. Comprised of individual sovereign city-states
2. Behaved very similarly to the way states behave today
B. Roman Empire:
1. Very monolithic, massive territory governed by a central
II. Medieval Europe: feudalism, the church
A. Feudalism is decentralized
B. The church is the most central player
III. European Colonization 15 -19 thCentury
A. Britain‟s Role:
1. Place of industrial revolution, gave Britain the powerful
economy necessary to expand, Britain needed markets
IV. Treaty of Westphalia (1648)
A. Independent, sovereign states (equal)
B. Territorial integrity of states
C. Permanent national militaries
V. Napoleonic (Hegemonic) France
A. Napoleon defeated in 1815
B. France grows with the rise of napoleon.
VI. Concert of Europe 1800‟S
A. Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria
B. Anti-hegemonic coalition, whose goal was to prevent a hegemon
C. Any time the power distribution would change, Britain would come n
and make an alliance, re-balancing the power
VII.Why Did the Concert Collapse?
A. New Rising Powers
1. Emergence of USA
B. The German Problem (1885 Congress of Berlin)
C. British/Japanese Alliance
D. World War I
E. Imperial Ambitions: The German Factory