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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 244
Jason Scott Ferrell

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 highlighted) 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 relationships. 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 the consequence 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 parts. 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— dinosaurs. No statement of causal statement, causal relationships, causal theory of democracy? Stipulate these causal relationships between objects and concepts. 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 fit together. 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, liberalism How plausible you find these assumptions… o Each one of the theories begin with anarchy, the absence of major authority. 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
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