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POLI 243 Study Guide - World Trade Organization, Industrial Revolution, Human Nature


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLI 243
Professor
Mark Brawley

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MAJOR SYSTEM-LEVEL IR PARADIGMS AND THEORIES:
Idealism
Core assumptions of Classical Idealism:
Human behaviour can be perfected
There exists a harmony of interests btwn ppl and btwn nations
Therefore, war is never an appropriate way to solve disputes; instead, the
underlying harmony of interests should be uncovered and emphasized
If the correct laws and institutions guide behaviour, the good in humans can
be evoked (thereby illuminating the harmony of interests btwn ppl and btwn
states)
CONTEXT: After WW1, world leaders (e.g. Churchill) thought that they could set up
internat’l laws to perfect human behaviour and therefore the behaviour of states
(e.g. creation of the League of Nations)… they thought that the “right” laws could
evoke harmony among states and achieve the normative goal of world peace
Teleological approach
Relies on human rationality and the utility of (internat’l) law
Modern idealists: transnat’lists COMPLEX INTERDEPENDENCE
Realism
Core assumptions of Classical Realism:
Humans have a will to survive, which makes them selfish (this extends to
states)
The will to survive means a will to dominate, the enviro, including other
humans
Since this creates competition to dominate, the will to survive creates a
search for pwr
CONTEXT: The advent of WW2 proved that idealists had been overly optimistic
about the ability of scholarship and law to change the world… their methods had
failed b/c they set goals and prescribed sol’ns w/o first understanding the enviro
that they were working in (e.g. the implications of the Treaty of Versailles)
Diplomacy and history based
WAR IS INEVITABLE it is the traditional method of conflict resolution
PWR IS ALL-IMPORTANT IN IR
The behaviour of states is continuous in nature, esp their willingness to use
pwr to resolve inter-state diffs
Emerged dominant w/ WW2 morality played no role in IR (e.g. Nazi
Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin), and the West had to match this
aggressiveness in order to survive
PROBLEMS:
How can realism explain change or specific acts (of humans or states)?
Behaviouralists vs. traditionalists: traditionalists emphasized history and the
study of historical episodes as unique events in research, while
behaviouralists emphasized the need to aggregate info for data analysis and
interpretation of evidence

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ALL REALIST THEORIES STRESS THE SOVEREIGNTY OF STATES means states are
the most important actors in IR and must solve disputes amongst themselves using
PWR
**W/ RESPECT TO INTERNAT’L REGIMES: Realists see internat’l regimes as
expressions of pwr/as means to an end
Those actors who are “in pwr” (economically booming) dictate the terms of
such regimes
Realists espouse HEGEMONIC STABILITY THEORY to explain the emergence
and evolution of regimes (regimes are stable when there is an internat’l
concentration of pwr)… this explained the collapse of Bretton-Woods in the
1970s, but not the evolution of GATT into the WTO in the 1980s
Core assumptions of Structural Realism:
States are the most important actors in internat’l relations (but they are not
the only actors)
States are unitary, rational actors
The internat’l system is anarchic
States, in order to protect their own interests in this enviro, will seek to
maximize their pwr
WALTZ: The Cold War required realism to evolve if it was to remain relevant
Particularities of a situation influence state behaviour… CONTEXT is all-
important
Change of structure (system in which states operate = ordering principle +
diff of parts + distribution of capabilities) change in state interactions
new outcome
Human nature doesn’t change – we’re looking for variables that cause change
(human nature doesn’t fit the bill)
Internat’l system is anarchic
States perform similar functions and are therefore rivals
Some states perform better than others
GENERAL:
Distribution of capabilities has changed hugely in modern times
DISTRIBUTION OF PWR is a key variable on the causal side of structural
realism (all states must therefore be studied together)
PRESENT DAY REALISM: systemic constraints shape the behaviour of states
The SECURITY DILEMMA: one state’s attempt to enhance its security (e.g.
dvlping nuclear capabilities) threatens other states, who respond in kind
chain reaction!
All states ultimately remain insecure
Core assumptions of Neorealism:
States are the most important actors in IR (but not the only actors)
States are unitary, rational actors
The internat’l system is anarchic
States will seek the maximize their utility
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PROBLEMS W/ REALISM: When a group of states see themselves bound by a
common set of rules governing their relations, an internat’l system exists
community + interaction (as opposed to Waltz’s idea of pure rivalry in an anarchic
context)
REALISM’S GREATEST FAILURE: It failed to predict the end of the Cold War
Marxism
CONTEXT: Reaction to the inequality that was a byproduct of liberal poli and econ
policies (mainly a CRITIQUE OF LIBERALISM)
Prebisch (working post-WW2): Internat’l econ based on liberal markets tended to
leave econ dvlping countries further and further behind industrialized countries…
he advocated greater mgmt of econ affairs as corrective to workings of the market
MARX extended DEPENDENCY THEORY
Liberal markets were exploitative
Dvlping econs should w/draw from them
Poli challenges to capitalist internat’l econ were necessary dvlping econs
began to do this through the UN
States may claim to perform the same functions, but in the internat’l econ, there is
actually a great degree of specialization and therefore of differentiation
Diff states provide diff goods and services to the internat’l econ
Whenever trade takes place, there is a division of labour creation of
CLASSES in the domestic econ (this can be extended to creation of classes of
states on the internat’l level)
Classes are organized hierarchically and perform differentiated functions…
the system is NOT ANARCHIC
Marxism is “stuck” in the 1800s b/c the socialist revolution didn’t happen
and the internat’l econ got back on its feet… SOCIAL WELFARE was a big
reason that the predicted revolution didn’t happen (relief of pressure from
the bottom to alleviate suffering and suppress class consciousness)
Core assumptions of Classical Marxism:
Social classes are the most important actors in politics
Classes act in their own material interest
The expropriation of surplus val is exploitation
Classical Marxism is intended as a model of DOMESTIC poli econ (not meant to
explain the beahviour of states)… INSTRUMENTAL and STRUCTURAL MARXISM are
the Marxist theories of IR
Core assumptions of Instrumental Marxism (Leninism):
Social classes are the most important actors in politics
Classes act in their own material interest
The expropriation of surplus val is exploitation
States act in the interest of their nat’l capital class
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