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POLI 244 - All Lectures

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Political Science
POLI 244
Stephen Saideman

Syllabus and beginning of Theories 1/29/2012 6:08:00 PM POLI 244 Lecture 1 To understand WHY things happen in the world. To clarify the theories we already use to understand IR To understand how we got here To introduce political science Office hours Mon and Wed, 1:30-3 Leacock 324c What is Political Science? To develop general understandings: Why? -Theories to help us understand reality. Recurrent patterns. Not theories: -Ideal Types (a concept that we use to describe something but isnt always true and can never be completely true, e.g. America could be described as not a democracy before 1965 because black people couldnt vote, still was) -Conspiracy Theories (immune to falsification and facts) Theories: Casual Relationships (exchange rates, what cause x or y etc.) Theories Casual Relationship: across contexts, generalized Under what conditions? Simplifications (need to simplify the situation to get the most benefit out of it) Testable/Falsifiable Hypotheses (e.g. democracies tend not to fight one another, to understand and deal with the situation. Co-variance (to link situations together to form a hypothesis) Timing (cause and effect) Some theories work better than others in certain situations Theory cont. 1/29/2012 6:08:00 PM The more that you cohesion someone the more likely they are to follow you, might be counterproductive. Variables, Independent Cause (What can we manipulate/ change that causes an effect) Dependent Effect (e.g. war, co-operation, peace) Necessary and Sufficient Conditions (is this condition necessary for this outcome? E.g. Was NATOs involvement in Libya necessary or sufficient or both for the victory of the rebels so far) Libya: NATO as necessary, but not sufficient, could the rebels have done it without NATO? Probably not. Failed state (loss in war, can have a failed state without a loss in war). If the conditions are necessary and we remove the conditions, get an outcome. Permissive vs. Efficient Conditions (allow a context to exist but need another thing to make it happen, e.g. anarchy, absence of government/law. International Relations without government. No world police force to prevent war. ) If you leave your door unlocked, permissive condition for a robbery, but not a sufficient condition because not everyone would steal. The thief that steals has efficient condition to steal because you left your door unlocked. The Contenders Realism (struggle for power and security in a dangerous world) Liberalism (multiplicity of interests and the pursuit of these interests and the pattern of these interests) Constructivism (reality is a social construction, deals with interactions among us, have obligations because of our roles, some role do not exist outside others) Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy (competition for votes within countries) Evaluating Theories: Standards Degree of Fit Does the Theory explain and fit reality? Parsimony Explain a lot with a little, prefer simple things -Occams Razor Range of Theory How much behaviour does it cover? (One that covers more is more dependable and make it a better theory) Fruitfulness Does it generate new questions, new research? How do we know what we know? Experiments Quantitative Methods (Statistics) -Surveys -Correlations -Multivariate: Holding all else constant Case Studies -Thinking Comparatively -Depends on the Theory -Most Similar (What is Canadas left knee?) -Most Different Take two things that are very similar but find the differences. To see what is really going on? E.g. countries that the US could invade; Two countries, Iraq and North Korea (dictators, weapons of mass destruction, history of conflict). Attack Iraq due to oil, China not being on their same, capabilities of both countries, Al Qaeda, North Korea had the ability to kill hundreds of S Koreans, Iraq did not have the capability for that. Differences=oil and ease of attacking Cold War: USSR, very similar, foreign policy incredibly similar during the Cold War and US. Both superpowers, behaved in the same way because of the ultimate power they held over other countries. Incredibly different countries. Why did NATO choose Libya and not Syria? Very similar comparison. Countries discriminate and greater privileges, whereas other countries get targeted. Why Iraq and not Iran? Levels of Analysis 1/29/2012 6:08:00 PM Why bother? -Which Interests, Which Interactions, Which Institutions? First Level: Individual Level Nature of Humans: human beings are flawed, greedy, corrupt, gullible, war, not always at war, so cant be evil all the time. Nature of Men, Not Women: Men through upbringings, testosterone, and political systems have made war their businesses. Men are inherently aggressive, would women always get into war. E.g. Margaret Thatcher attacked the Falklands. Female leaders? Or male dominated society to blame? Misperception: Cognition; How do we perceive information? How do you understand the reality around you? How do you filter it? People will misperceive reality. E.g. more prone to gamble to avoid losses than to win something. OR why war? Misperceive reality around you maybe if the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the US would disappear instead of attacking. Smart vs. Dumb: Bush?: Is one leader better than the other? How do we know if a particular leader is smart or dumb? They did this awful thing so must be stupid. How do we explain their behaviour? Sane or Insane Hussein: Why war? Because the leader was insane so went into a bloody war. Ambiguity by Saddam Hussein about weapons of mass destruction, why wouldnt the Bush administration be confused? How do we know if a particular leader is sane or insane? Need to change our thoughts and to stop labeling people because of their actions. Risk Avers or Acceptant: Not everybody shares the same tolerance in losing lives, money etc. How likely are they to take the risk? Strengths:. Weaknesses How do individual personalities affect IR? Countries change drastically from one leader to the next Second Level: State aka Unit Level Unit level, The Sovereign State: Every state is meant to be sovereign as each government is meant to have complete control. Supreme Authority within a Territory
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