POL208Y5 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Transnational Crime, July Crisis, Neoliberalism
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POL208:Mid-Term Lecture Study Notes
Basic Concepts :
State: an organized political unit that has a geographic territory, a stable population, and a government
to which the population owes allegiance and that is legally recognized by other states.
Territory: a portion of the earth’s surface appropriated by a political community or state
Sovereignty: the authority of the state, based on recognition by other states and by non-state actors, to
govern matters within its own boarders that affect its people, economy security, and form of government.
monopoly over legitimate use of force, can declare war against other states.
Two basic concepts of sovereignty
Internal government highest authority/ over territory and population
External no higher authority or unit above the state
Peace of Westphalia: independent sovereign states, the end of the Thirty Years War. is what we claim as
the turning point of the old world and the new world, which is similar to the maps we have now. The new world we
got independent sovereign states. A new diplomatic arrangement. Old order of overlapping authorities. When prices
can be masters of their own place
Traditional Empires vs. States:
Empires: did not recognize equals, vassal states paid tribute, barbarians to be conquered.
States: European colonies wanted independence, created sovereign states, world map is result.
Nations: political community with shared characteristics. Claims political self-determination.
Nation vs. State:
1.The world is not neatly divided into territorial groups.
2.Social Darwinism – Fittest will survive.
3.They are not natural. 2.5% of Italians spoke Italian, the rest were dialects.
Power: no one in IR can agree what this is.
1.“Power is actor A causing actor B to do something they would not otherwise have done”
2.Power as capability:
1.Hard Power threatens: Guns, Money / Resources.
2.Soft Power attracts: Values, Culture.
3.Power as relationship: is contextual. How do you know who's the most powerful.
4.Critical views of power: there is no one universal power against all situations.
Levels of Analysis:
Three Images (from Waltz's Man, the State, and War)
1.First Image: individuals, human beings, and characteristics of leaders.
POL208 : Mid-Term Lecture Study Notes
2.Second Image: characteristics of State, dictator of proletariat vs. Liberal democracy, states “inside the
3.One can see what’s outside the box ( not what’s on the inside of the box)
5.Third Image: international system, the number of great powers, power transition theory, the state as
black box (how big they are, military force, etc.), billiard balls (doesn't matter the stripe or
number, it will roll the same way. Only matters how you hit it)
Necessary & Sufficient Causes
-A is necessary but not sufficient for event B : A required for event B to happen, but cannot cause B to happen , but
cannot cause event B alone
- Sufficient but not necessary : event B can have multiple triggers , and A is one of them
-Necessary and sufficient: A required for event B and will cause event B
*Many causes may contribute to an outcome , but be neither necessary or sufficient
Actor vs. Structure:
1.Actors: a person, group, or corporate body whose choices and behaviours have an influence on
international politics. (choices)
2.Structure: the context or environment which limits, shapes, rewards, or punishes the choices and
behaviour of actors. (deterministic)
3.Actor-centric vs. Structure-centric explanations: Actors make choices, structures shape choices.
4.Choices vs. Structural Determinism: Student can choose to study, University determines what choices
you have (available courses)
First Image: the individual.
1.Optimists: human nature is good; lack of understanding, propaganda, or cycle of violence that lead
human nature astray.
2.Pessimists: there is something in the human psyche that makes it prone to aggression, power seeking,
greed, and violence.
1.Aggression as shared by other primates
2.Human history and war: there has always been war.
POL208 : Mid-Term Lecture Study Notes
3.Human Psychology: death instinct.
1.Social Identity Theory:
3.Waltz's critique: human nature is unchanging, war varies can’t explain something that’s changing w.
something that always remains the same
1.Byman: people have different traits, some have more / less aggression
2.Pollack: diverse individuals, diverse behaviours
Individual Humans (Leaders):
1.Individual Difference vs. Structure:
2.When do leaders matter?: when there are less constraints, when power is concentrated in their hands,
when systemic / domestic / bureaucratic forces conflict or are ambiguous, when circumstances are
1.Crises: situations where it depends on what you do / don't do.
1.Cuban Missile Crisis (Kennedy vs. General Curtis LeMay): Blockade vs. Airstrikes
and invading Cuba.
Modeling Leadership Behaviour: first image continued.
Personality: individuals patterns, how we act / think.
1.Psychobiography: look at individuals (dreams), pull out portrait of how they behave.
2.Personality Traits: neurotic, agreeableness, open-mindedness.
1.Motives: goals, desires, ambitions, psychological needs.
2.Cognition: beliefs, attitudes, convictions, complexity.
3.Temperament and disposition: extroversion, charisma, energy, emotional stability.
Generalizable Models: in a situation the leader will generally act like this.
1.Rational Choice: refers to procedural, not substantive rationality. Manner of selecting actions, not goals.
2.Bounded Rationality: limits in cognitive ability (7~2 pieces of information)
1.Satisficing: choosing the option that seems good enough as opposed to optimal.
1.Social Identity Theory
2.Analogy: how it is similar to another situation.
3.Habit: doing what you always do.
4.Stereotypes: categorizing situations to use in new situations.
3.Incrementalism: make decisions one at a time as opposed to working back from an end point.
3.Cognitive and Social Psychology:
1.Prospect Theory (Cognitive Psychology):
1.Risk adverse for gains, risk acceptant for losses: risk is when there is not 100%
certainty. Risk adverse when gains are involved. Risk acceptant when losses are