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IR MidTerm Guide.docx

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Political Sc
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POLI 205

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Introduction to International Relations MidTerm GuideWeek 1 REALISM AND NEOREALISM ANARCHY AND POWERRealism CharacteristicsThey are in a self help system they have to take care of their own security Need to show that they are powerful enough to defend their own borders Realists assume that people are selfish and have an egotistical attitude Think that humans try to seek power and security respectively After states go from being powerless to having power do they feel more secure afterwards or before No they feel even less secure afterwards because the powers could break out into a war and exhaust each other The state is the most important actor of international politics At different times in history the state may be represented by the tribe citystate empire kingdom or nationstate International organizations NGOs and individuals play a marginal role in world politics Thus the UN Exxon Google political parties interest groups etc are all relatively unimportant to the realistThe international system shows a structure of anarchy with no global sovereign governmentAnarchy is the ordering principle of the international systemSix principles of political realism1 Politics is governed by objectives laws IR theory reflects these laws laws rooted in human nature It also believes that theres a possibility of distinguishing in politics between truth and opinion What is true both objectively and rationally 2 Politics is an autonomousand unique sphere independent of economics and personal morality 3 International politics is about national interests defined in terms of power states seeks to maximize their power4 The political ethics are different from the universal moral principles 5 Particular nations cannot impose their national aspirations or morality on other nations6 Pessimistic knowledge of human nature is in the centre of international politicsThe backdrop for this theory is WW2 and how states should conduct their foreign relations After WW2 they realized that you cannot change human nature even with the systems they imposed after the outbreak of WW1 Objective laws IR are subject to objective laws Events can be explained in laws and these laws remain true at all places and timesStates foreign policyRationale of state foreign policy to advance states interests survival andor increase powerPatterns Statusquo survival Imperialism maximizing powerRelative Power capability baseResource base capital and industrial base military capability population size and education level natural resource base technological base internal market capacity Mobilization base domestic control system and political regime nationalist predisposition of the communityBalance of powerRefers to the general concept of one or more states power being used to balance that of another state or group of states Can be formed through alliances makes states think twice before starting a warStates are rational actors meaning that they will choose the course of action that will serve their own national interests They must have full information of the consequences of an action could calculate or end results of each course of actionthen in the end they will choose the right one that will lead them towards their goal Realists claim that states seek to maximize their own power Zero sum game means that the gains of state A are the losses of state B The military base of power can be considered to be the most important because they actually compromise the sense of securityThe total GDP is important because states could use their wealth to increase their power By taxing the population more so that they could purchase arms Proving that sates rely on internal sources You cannot rely on external sources to help because they as well are looking only for their own interests Alliances help but will not ultimately save you Eg Hitlers alliance with Russia States could easily shift sides based on interests By creating a balance of power it creates a stability between states You cannot appeal to friendship or justice only through powerMorality is unsuited to the conditions of international anarchy it will not help in the potential aspect of an invasionAssumptions of Realism
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