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POLS*2200 International Relations Study Notes

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Political Science
POLS 2200
Ian Spears

Theories A set of ideas formulated to explain something Says a variable affects something else Helps facilitate explanations Dont include everything supposed to simplify and give order parsimonious Paradigms Broader than theories bunch of different theories Artificialnot facts Helps us understand the world RealismParanoid view of the worldno one to protect youWorld is anarchicneed a hegemonic power Look after yourselfState as actorsonly important states matter Ideology is meaninglessRationalityStates act rationally dont need to waste time figuring out all aspects of the leader States are unitary like one personStates as billard ballsdont worry about the ideology theyll act the same way everytimeNational security key interestneed power for survival Internal things only matter when security is guaranteedThucydieso Melian dialogue Surrender or die Morality and reason are useless when confronted by power even when youre right o Story of Samuel Grey Toyota vs BusGet out of the way if you want to survive o Might makes RightRobert Gilpin Nature of international relations hasnt changed since ThucydiesKenneth Waltz International politics remains the same despite hopeful solutions The structure of the system affects behavior to try and eliminate immediate causes of war without altering the structure is utopiandoesnt matter if youre good or bad still overpowered by the stag hunt System has a permissive nature Cant attribute traits to the individual rather than the systemjust did what the system encouraged Solution is a world governmet Stag Hunt Hare hops by while grouphunting the stag do you trust your teammates to remain or do you ditch and go after the hare No one would have chosen the stag Your concerned for the group until your life is at risk Gives us insight into the biggest problems facing uswere unable to subvert our personal interests for collective gains Idea of needing selfhelp imposes the Security Dilemma Measures taken to enhance security can undermine everyone elses security Results in an arms raceMachiavellio Writing isnt normative doesnt talk about the way things ought to be Doesnt believe in change o Keep subjects united and loyal dont worry about being perceived as cruelo Dont get caught up in a utopian world at the expense of the world that is before youLiberalismFocus on individualpeople make decisions are different from one another can reasonProgress and modernizationindividuals and the world can learn and changePeace as a naturalpossible conditionharmful effects of anarchy can be reducedInstitutions for managing problemscollectively we find solutions Need rules and regulations to become better Eg UN
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