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3 pages126 viewsFall 2010

Political Science
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Study Guide

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Different approaches of political science
oPolitics is about power
oHow power manifests itself within individual states
oWho gets who? What? Where? When? How?
oInternational politics how states relate to each other? (realist approach)
oRealists base understanding of international politics upon observations derived
from history & come to conclusion that states is selfish and evil and therefore,
conflict is inevitable in international relations. Key actors are states. These
states are motivated in international politics in power for survival. Within
international system, strong, the powerful, do whatever they want and the weak
suffer as they must. Nature of international relations according of this is school
is anarchy, within that anarchy, peace is a temporary state. All states are always
preparing for, engaged in, or recovering from armed conflict. Nothing much has
changed within 2000 years of studying politics.
oAnother point of view is liberalism.
oIdealism and liberalism more or less the same approach. They differ from realist
counterparts in their view of human nature. They differ because their philosophy
about politics is grounded within domestic politics rather than international
politics. Purpose to studying politics is to create circumstances in which people
can communicate with each other and avoid war. Idea of creating more
cooperative societies democratic peace theories democracies less likely to be
aggressive. Goals are to democratize the world to eliminate warfare. Another
goal is to create institutions that facilitate cooperation. They argue that states
arent the only the most important actors in international realm. Motifs of states
are primarily to avoid conflict in pursue of peaceful cooperation. Sharp contrast
to realists that anarchy and permanence of war. INTERDEPENDENCE leads to
oCritical perspectives, such as ecological views of politics; feminist views politics.
Most important approach is Marxist approaches. Marxist tends to be closer to
David Eastons perspective. Argue that all societies, especially capitalist,
societies are defined with class relationships within them. Individual societies
divided into class systems (haves vs. have-nots). Schools of thought such as world
systems theory or dependency school fundamentally disagree with liberal
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