Historical context of global politics
✤ Can an international society founded on the principles of sovereignty resolve
transnational problems such as global poverty and climate change?
No, the principles of the sovereignty state:
o the fundamental right of political self determination
Intertextuality: meanings change based on other
understandings/writings, discourse – decision West is best?
States: leaves out NGO’s & nongovernment actors (i.e.
corporations, transnational effect & negative influences)
o the principle of legal equality between states
Hegemony: US, dominant power : neorealists see multieschalon
powers as least stable, most dangerous
o the principle of nonintervention of one state in the internal affairs of
Ratification of UN legislation, etc.
no actor above the state can compel it to act in specific ways
How to implement transnational solutions?
o Example: environment – tragedy of commons
o Example: trafficking – global citizen, not geographically contained
o Principles of LIBERALISM = more hopeful
✤ Did the Cold War help to make the world more peaceful and stable or less?
Yes, the Cold War helped make the world more peaceful and stable through:
o Liberal institutionalism & UN Nations grows
o End of ideological war (clash of civilization) + all 4 (flaws and all)
Talk about what happened after the cold war ended
o Global hegemon – America leads a New World Order: created stability
What is most stale: uni/bi/multi/polar systems
✤ Why did liberal theorists assume that the world would become a more stable place
after the end of the Cold War, and why did realists disagree with them?
✤ Reflecting on the current state of globalization, and the developments since the
1970s, do you believe that the five key lessons from the interwar period, are (still)
being taken into consideration by policymakers? Should they be?
INTERWAR PERIOD: lessons are applicable – war is not inconceivable,
examples of each principle:
o Some gov’t intervention is needed
o More concrete / efficient security arrangements required
o Stable international monetary system
o being separated into blocks created more divisions and separation b/w
groups in different blocks* designed to rebuild Europe (EU in or out)
o Facilitation of international trade Foundational theories
✤ Do realists confuse a description of war and conflict for an explanation of why
✤ Explain the development of realism as a school of thought in international
relations. What are the major assumptions of realism?
Explains state of war: regular condition of life in the international system
o Critically analyzed, but still draws academics
Unified front: classical & neo hold similar core values – same basic patterns
o States find themselves in the shadow of anarchy
CLASSICAL = dominant theory of IR during the postwar era…
Initial development emerged direct counter to Idealist/Liberalism.
“The theoretical approach that analyzes all international relation
of states engaged in the pursuit of power. Realism cannot
accommodate nonstate actors within its analysis.” Four key
• Human nature is fixed, selfish, and evil
• Global politics is about competition for power among self
seeking states that seek to maximize their national interests
• The international system is defined by anarchy
• War is a natural and expected outcome of international
Stag Hunt: hunters kill rabbit, short term/relative gains
[2 great debate, behaviourism wins out over traditionlists –
leading to neoneo]
NEORealism: in a system of anarchy, nothing holds other states
from invading (selfinterest):. your defense is only as good as your
ability to push/keep others out ▯state behavior is driven by the
security dilemma Internal structure + decision making process
(democratic/who’s in office) are NOT important >> states only
differ in their relative capability (how hard they’ve been pushed)
• Anarchy is everything
• Scorpion & Toad (selfinterest)
• Absolute AND Relative gains
• Absolute hierarchy: security = #1
• State behaviours driven by relative power/capabilities in
• Marginal role of institutions (we didn’t stop US invasion)
Common elements: selfhelp (help yourself), statism (legitimized by the people),
survival ✤ Explain and account for the resurgence of liberalism. Can the central assumptions
of liberalism explain the relative peace we are experiencing in the twentyfirst
century among nation states?
Yes, they can.
o End of cold war – no one foresaw the peaceful end (this was the
resurgence itself, war is not beneficial).
o Tie in liberal institutionalism to current peace. Deconstruct liberal
assumptions and tie to peace, ie. Human nature is good? Humanitarian aid,
cooperation through UN, ICJ
Human nature is good, malleable, and rational
Democracies are peaceful and do not go to war with one another
War is a product of clashing societies and the result of flawed
The global rule of law, collective security, and effective
international organizations can lead to global and sustainable peace
o Proliferation of democracy etc. 2 democracies are less likely to go to war
with each other.
✤ Compare and contrast the traditional methods with scientific behaviouralism in
the study of international relations. Which of the two, do you believe would create
a better understanding of the subject? Give pertinent examples in your answer.
INDUCTIVE: case first, based on data build a theory, enable a method be which
other scholars can repeat, develop probable + likely outcomes, a theory based on
observation, SPECIFIC >> GENERAL
o Behavioralists: (inspired by economists, "scientific role of politics") throw
the theories out, observe people + build off that
o "We can & we should: create scientific theories of human nature. " >> X
causes Y (causal relationships) *dominant perspective*
DEDUCTIVE: draw conclusions from data (general), GENERAL >> SPECIFIC
o Traditionalists: (not big on studying scientifically) we test our theories on
* 1950s60s debate
BETTER UNDERSTANDING: behaviouralist – but causal is still specific to a
certain situation (liberal institutionalism – hegemonic dispersion of neoliberal
project = capitalism & transnational cooperation) too many ties in the world. Too
many layers of history to every situation (break down of cold war, for example) or
break down of language: discourse, deconstruction, agentstructure)
New Approaches: Environmentalism and Neoliberalism/ Neorealism Debate
✤ What has led to the development of environmentalism as a contemporary ideal in
international politics? In your answer, explain the concept of 'the tragedy of the
Hierarchy of needs – as countries become more developed they can focus on
issues not fundamental to survival, become more politically active, natural