- Cosmopolitan culture ➞people “think globally and act locally.” Idea that we all belong to common community. See global
things like pollution, and act locally to decrease pollution.
- Rise of global elite, who can find jobs anywhere in the world due to high demand for their skills ➞of these elites, who is their
allegiance with? Does their allegiance go beyond state borders?
Why we’re not special (globalization trends from the past):
- We lack historical depth
- Regarding economic integration, we’re less open now than from before WWI (protectionism).
- Genuine MNC’s are rare in the sense that most corporations are still associated with a gov’t ➞they depend on gov’t
for protection, regulation (whatever country the company is based in)
- World economy is not global but concentrated among 3 regional blocs
- There are losers as the world becomes more connected. Some professions go out of demand, and these people’s skills are
mismatched for the emerging professions ➞Markets offer opportunities only for some people, and restrict others.
- Who are transnational social movements responsible (democratically accountable) to?
- Not all changes in world politics are positive. I.e. Drug cartels, terrorist organizations, genocides.
- Technology has never been and cannot be contained. India and China’s productivity and innovative methods will spread over
to other countries and all will benefit (not true in development though, some post-colonial African countries have lower GDP
per capita now than in pre-colonial times).
Note: Low wages are not a race to the bottom. MNC’s are concerned about image so they will not just subcontract out to
companies with the lowest wages (scared of being discovered).
Realism and World Politics
- Worked well with American foreign policy ➞Realism developed in response to idealism (which emphasizes international law,
morality, and IOs as key influences in IR). Realism explains IR in terms of power and dominance (sometimes reciprocity and
identity). Taught US leaders to focus on interests rather than ideology. Powers can coexist even if they have opposing beliefs.
Core elements of realism
1) The state is the key actor and represents of the collective will of society. Don’t look at the individuals who affected the end
political result, just look at the end result. I.e. US invaded Iraq, don’t look at who influenced that final decision.
2) First priority for state leaders is to ensure state survival, first priority is not economics or SoL.
3) IR is an anarchical system ➞not chaos or no rules, just no global government (no actor above the state to force it to act a
certain way ➞UN has no real power).
- States usually adhere to norms of behaviour, like respecting another state’s sovereignty & territorial integrity. Even so, states
do try to influence each other (exert power) w/o actually interfering.
- Anarchical system creates security dilemma — actions one state takes to ensure their own security end up threatening the
security of other states (who may lash back).
- Not every state is equal in power, but it is equal in status.
- IR is a struggle for power between states. Order comes from this balance of power, from bargaining, making alliances,
sometimes war. States act to prevent any one state from dominating, thus IR is a self-help system ➞countries fend for
themselves, can’t rely on anybody but your own state, like after WWI.
- Balance of power among ~6 most powerful states, the great powers. Usually have strong economy that pays for
strong military, educated large pop’n, resources, & advanced technology.
- Each nation tries to maximize their national interests, diplomacy balances this.
- Cooperation (whether for good or bad ends) is possible but conflict is always present ➞power politics/realpolitik, the exercise
of power between states, makes agreeing on universal principles hard.
- Doesn’t believe that community forms from a need to share resources. Believes that the powerful were able to control others,
establish order, security, a hierarchy, and THEN form a community/civil society.
- Order over freedom
- Be empowered because if you’re not than you’ll become enslaved ➞false dichotomy?
- Peace is the imposition of order, one person’s peace is another person’s tyranny
- Military force is the most important tool to a state if they want to implement their foreign policies, but also realize that
sometimes using military power is not always the best answer.
- Non-military capabilities are impt in that they can be converted into military capabilities I.e. Resources that would
have gone into foreign aid can go into military ➞power is fungible.
- Morality contributes to power ➞b/c states can claim the need for war to ensure peace and order
- Geopolitics ➞use of geography as an element of power ➞control resource-rich strategic areas.
How do realists understand the idea of power?
➞Power as capability (ways/potential of the state to influence others)