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POL208Y1 Study Guide - Power Transition Theory, Nash Equilibrium, Advocacy Group

Political Science
Course Code
Lilach Gilady

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Cheat Sheet
*Important key concepts are in bold
Lec1- Intro to IR
Levels of Analysis
o J David Singer- 1960
Domestic/ International & Micro/ Macro
o Russett, Starr& Kinsella
Individual, decision makers, gov’t structure, society, IR, world system
Theory Parts
o Assumption
o Logic- causal explanation
o Predictions/ hypothesis
Lec2+3- Realism & Liberalism:
The Need for Analytical tools: Sylvie and Bruno
o Cannot use reality as a model- too complicated, must simplify and omit
30 Years War
o Defenestration of Prague (1618)
Ferdinand the second sends ambassadors to take of Prague- they’re thrown
out the window
Sends his forces- Czechs starts organizing protestant league
o The price of the war- 50% of the population dies within 30 years
o Ends in 1648- Treaty of Westphalia
He who rules, decides on the religion- right to decline outside intervention
Secular takes over religious authority
1st clear statement of sovereignty
Sovereignty definition-
o A people, territory, bureaucracy, the king as a legal entity
o Monopoly over the functions of the state in a defined territory, excluding all external
intervention (monopoly over the legitimate use of force)
o The right to conduct foreign relations and sign treaties
o Sovereign equality
o Internal sovereignty- excluding internal challenges through use of force
o External sovereignty- exclude external intervention, other countries must give
recognition as a sovereign power
o UN- clarifies and institutionalizes sovereignty
Westphalian System
o Independence- NO= interdependence
o Non intervention- NO= UN; foreign policy interests
o Equality- theory YES; practice NO; US is hegemon
o Internal sovereignty- NO; civil wars, Arab spring, etc.
o External sovereignty- NO; we cannot repel intervention
o Territory, population, bureaucracy
o Therefore, though in practice the system is violated, it is still in place as a benchmark
o Bismark- Realpolitik
Minimalist, but expansionist when need be
‘Unholy alliances’- if they serve your interests you’ll ally yourself to them, but
can stab them in the back
Power politics; actors are completely self-interested
o E.H.Carr- Realism as an alternative to idealism
o Thomas Hobbes- Leviathan
The State of Nature

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Man is a selfish hedonist
All people are equal, rational and possessing a passionate love of survival
(right of nature)
A person’s right of nature justifies violence against everyone else
In the interests of personal survival, people will come around to agreeing
that they should renounce their right to use violence
This is an unstable equilibrium. The moment one party deviates- there is
disorder. Need for an enforcer
The creation of the Leviathan enforces stability- citizens give up their
independence to buy stability
The Leviathan gets ultimate authority and a monopoly over the use of
o Hobbes & IR
The international system is in a Hobbesian state of nature; individual=
state/unitary actor
Anarchy- ‘without a leader’; the absence of higher governing authority
beyond the state; no world gov’t
Anarchy does NOT mean chaos; No leviathan
o Niccolo Machiavelli- The Prince
Understanding human nature is key for understanding politics: humans are
selfish and evil; determination/power prevails over reason
“It is better to be feared than loved.”
The end justifies the means
Modern Realism
o Hans J. Morgenthau (Politics Among the Nations 1948)
o Kenneth Waltz (Theory of International Politics, 1979)
The implications of anarchy- the need to maximize security
Anarchy is constant- it is what differentiates the international form the
While anarchy is a constant- the distribution of power is not (only major
powers really matter)
o The state is the most important actor and it is a rational and unitary actor
o The international system is anarchic NOT chaotic
o States seek to maximize security/power; national interest
o States sometimes rely on force or the threat of force in order to achieve their ends
Lec4- Critical Approaches:
The liberal solution
o State of Nature- not as bleak
o Domestic analogy: institutions solve the problem of anarchy
o The quality of institutions affect the stability of the solution
o Domestic structures matter; institutions matter
o Rights exist independent of power- Life, Liberty, Property
o Progress is possible
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
o ‘Perpetual Peace’- not a realist piece
o Kant rejects the separation between the moral imperative and the political realm
o Modern reading of the ‘Kantian Peace’: democracy, trade and international
organizations= peace between nations
Adam Smith
o ‘ The Wealth of Nations’ (1776)

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o Economics and Peace
Laissez-faire: minimal gov’t intervention in economic affairs
Humans are rational profit maximizers
Trade generates benefits
War will erode said benefits
More trade leads to less war (Liberal peace)
Neoliberalism (Institutional Liberalism)
o Can we think of structural conditions that would induce cooperation- without relying
on assumptions regarding human nature, morality or natural rights? YES=
o Absolute vs. Relative Gains
Liberalism Summary
o Actors are rational and follow self interest
o Private interest does not necessarily contradict collective interest
o Actors would prefer to avoid conflict if it affects their prosperity and well being
(absolute gains)
o The collective will is rational and prudent; narrow interest on the other hand can
distort these tendencies
o Actors’ interests are shaped and constrained by institutions
o The right kind of institutions (democracy; international organizations) can mitigate
conflict by better reflecting the collective will
o Capitalists get rich (more capital)
o Invest in more machinery/ labor saving devices (to increase productivity)
o Results in increased profits and capital
o Fewer workers needed (unemployment and falling wages)
o Less demand for goods, hence need to make them cheaper
o More investment etc.… (Go to step 2)
o Capitalism is not sustainable
o Results in revolution
o Marx was wrong- historically more revolutions should have happened
o Lenin and Hobson: Imperialism explains the lack of revolutions (Marx implicitly
assumed a closed market- not exports/imports)
o Immanuel Wallerstein
o Holistic view: analysis based on systematic production processes and class relations
o Long term processes- historical perspective
o Core vs. Periphery: a powerful and wealthy core dominates and exploits a weak and
poor periphery; this hierarchy is quite stable
o Semi-periphery: intermediate layer of countries that combine features of both core
and periphery- instrumental for preserving the system
o Can lead to ‘realist’ or ‘liberal’ predictions- it is a different way of understanding the
o Not necessarily a political theory- does not come with assumptions of what is
o Revolves around actors and social interactions
o The social world is constantly changing and is constantly being reproduced
o However- identities and norms are relatively stable; slow change
o It is better in analyzing patterns of behavior rather than specific events
o Provides a theory for the origin of preferences and interests
o We cannot understand the world by observing it from the outside; intersubjectivity
o identity and social institutions define our interests; interests are socially
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