Political Science: International Relations: State Behaviour 244 Sept
5 , 2012
Papers will be around 8 pages…
1. Start thinking theoretically about politics
2. Global phenomenon
3. International economics
4. Peace and war
5. Thinking more analytically… rigorously
If, then statement.
If x happens then Y happens. (We can anticipate it happening)
Distinguishes social sciences from physics is this claim of probability ^^
Are these probable claims truly scientific or not?
Example: why does war happen? What causes war?
War is caused by: reflection of historical grievances, past experiences, territorial
disputes, short white men with Charlie chapman mustaches. These 3 things cause war…
Functions of 3 variables ^ (will be touched on Friday….)
Even if we specified right ones, they may not be the right ones…
In terms of probability: pull out what’s being said (one of the variables that are being
Break down the main theories of international relations
Certain conditions have to be met to be plausible: generalizable, universalized, applied
to different contexts or situations or events, parsimonious and clear & simple (but not
simplistic), theory that’s accurate (describes what we have experienced or observed),
something that can be potentially falsified (proved or refuted), highlights the
Why do we want all of this?
Description, theories that can describe what we experience (Greece and E.U)
Explains them as well: descriptions we provide have to be intelligible (make sense)
intellectual leverage over the thing that we’re trying to understand.
Allow us to make predictions: occurrence of one thing… it should allow us to anticipate
Prescriptive: has to allow a prescription. We don’t just want to know what’s going
on…we want to do something about it. So we can make it better, ameliorate the bad
Very important for the study of International Relations….
Just read all of them and take notes for class and break down into mini sections +
acronyms. Ideal types are presented as a way of doing theory—thinking
theoretically.. not really theories. What they are obstructions that are
useful for theory but not actually.. example from Monty Python—
No statement of causal statement, causal relationships, causal theory of
democracy? Stipulate these causal relationships between objects and
What are features of democracy?
Routine elections, elect reps
Democratic Peace is a theory by Michael Doyle articulate the idea that
democracies never go to war against each other. Kant reading “Perpetual
peace” Our cultures version of Plato. Trying to articulate conditions of
peace—in international relations. Democracies will not fight. They won’t
fight each other. People deep down are good… we’re given a chance to
participate in governments and express our political thought.. we tend to
avoid war. Autonomy---
Create conditions, federation of space, league of democratic nations
This is theory: the idea that democracies under certain conditions lead to
peace is a causal relation… several causal relations of what it means to be
person? Form of government. Think and look for links and how they
Bad analogy: conceptual map basically what they do is highlight your
attention to sign posts or where we want to go. In terms of
understanding things… theories highlight things for us and make them
intelligible for us. If we were going to go to New Orleans, first thing to go
do is mapquest… things that will be left out (all the mini roads from Mtl to
NO) things we don’t need to know—this is how theory works. Things can
be very important and also left out (for the sake of that theory)
One of the basic assumptions
Snyder reading broad overview of 3 major traditions: realism, idealism,
How plausible you find these assumptions…
o Each one of the theories begin with anarchy, the absence of major
o One of the things we don’t have is anarchy, instead, we have hierarchy—
a government, a police force to provide order and security, then we have
courts, lacking substantial differences.
How do they enforce themselves? What comes from anarchy? Thinking about these assumptions will give
you an idea
For realists, relations between states are inherently competitive. Concern
about security. There is no governing authority.. they arm themselves.
liberals are obvs different
Absence of hierarchy at I.L. : competition can exist in terms of eco
relations through trade for ex. The benign part of this is that they think
this sort of trade is mutually beneficial… I gain more secur