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19 Apr 2012
Lecture 2
-Two democracies have never gone to war with each other.
-In the natural science, a single paradigm can be taken as a rule; it is dominant. In social
sciences, there are many and they compete.
-Theories and paradigms allow us to explore. They are simplifications of reality; like
-Theories and maps are similar because they are simplifications of reality.
-Correlation vs. Causation: “Golf causes World Peace” hypothesis: golfing nations never
go to war with each other. This is just a correlation because it is a coincidence. Golf has
nothing to do. Correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.
-Hypotheses vs. Laws: basic project of natural science is discover laws that rule the
universe. Hypotheses are theoretical predictions (si y entonces). Laws are empirical
regularities. A hypothesis is just a best guess, and it need to be tested and falsifiable.
-Levels of analysis: individual-group-state-society-international-world system. Would
the 21st century be different if Adolf Hitler would’ve been killed in WW1?
*Individual: if hitler never existed, would fascism and nazism have existed?
*Group: Kennedy & Co. and the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Groups are not very
rational => people are better acting alone than in a group. The group dynamic is
not very useful to solve issues and emergencies)
*State: government structures influence states and impact on IR. It refers greatly
to regime types. Do authoritarian states behave differently than democracies? All
the things that are unique to the society influence the behaviour of states (culture,
climate, geography) The political culture of the US as a city on a hill
(magnanimos, superiores, nacionalistas) impacts on the way that the US acts.
They thought they’d be seen as liberators by the vietnamese, but the vietnamese
saw them as foes.
*International: relations between states. History plays an important role
(conflict? brotherhood?)
*World system: makes the assumption that there is a system that governs the
world, all of us are part of the system. Throughout most of human history,
humans existed and interacted locally, as tribes and diferentes culturas, lo que
pasaba en asia no importaba en europa ni suramérica. We live on a system of
interconnected states that interact with each other intensively. A disruption of the
system will affect the people, the society and the whole.
Lecture 2
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-Emergence of a world system. 1648, the end of the thirty years’ war, is referred as the
westphalian state system, as it draws it origins on the Peace of Westphalia. Rejection of
the authority of the pope, countries separated and went their own way by the separation
of the church and many states adopted their own which inflicted on them having their
own system (UK, Sweden). It broke down to a civil war between the reformers and the
catholic church. Peace of Westphalia: religion of the king, religion of the people. The
king was the ultimate authority within their territory (cuius regio, eius religio).
Whatever religion the king carries is the religion that you will follow
-Sovereignty: defined territory, permanent population, sovereign from other states (free
from foreign interference), diplomatically recognized by other states, possess the
monopoly on the legitimate use of force, coercion and violence within and outside their
territories. The only way in the westphalian state system (WSS) to interact is through
diplomats (YAY!). The UN has an obligation of non-intervention of nations. States in the
world system are considered equal and sovereign. Their intern issues are their intern
-The WSS spread throughout the world. Utis posidetis iuris. South america, eastern and
southern asia use the borders defined by europe. In africa it was hard to colonize
because europeans would die of nasty diseases :). East and south asia were harder to
colonize than latin america, where there were no diseases and many resources. Africa
wasn’t wealthy enough to explore but was weak enough to conquer. This Africa process
had new players, as Germany, Belgium and Italy. The boundaries that Europe made are
the boundaries we use today.
-Can we still live with the WSS? How would things be different?
-Contested sovereignty: when sovereignty is contested, we can expect problems. From
the inside: civil wars (congo, yugoslavia, somalia). From the outside: no recognition
(kosovo, taiwan, afghanistan during the taliban). Over borders: arab-israeli.
Lecture 3
-The WSS created the framework for statehood.
-The process of nationhood coincided with the industrial revolution
-Colonialism was the main mean by which the WSS spread through the world
-Military force in latin america is more to maintain domestic order than foreign
-In latin america they didn’t have revolutions, they had rebellions
-They were left with peninsulares governing the countries
-Since the 20th Century, democracy has been an issue in Lat.Am
-In Africa they didn’t have a rise of nationalism, the colonial powers just agreed to keep
some of the territory for each country
-Britain thought that they had to bring civilization to the world, but when those
civilizations were formed, they’d be gone.
Lecture 3
Doug Ascanio Dec 4, '11,
11:08 PM
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-France didn’t believe in the white supremacy civilization as the british did. France
wanted to make them feel welcome and part of France.
-Portugal never granted independence to its colonies, but the fascist government of
Portugal collapsed in 1966 (?), so the colonies formed resistance movements and almost
overnight they fell into civil war because everything happened too fast
-The Soviet Union supported many anticolonialism movements, maybe because they
wanted to piss the western forces. In Angola, they had their independence in 1976,
South Africa and US didn’t fight the new rebel government but they funded a guerrilla
movement to fight back the marxist govt. in Kampala. The oil companies gave taxes to
the marxist government and they used the money to fight UNITA (uniao por la
independencia total de angola). The cuban government (AH OK) helped the angolan
govt and the western oil companies. Weird.
-These new states that used to be colonies didn’t think about the monopoly of their
-The UN Charter is based on the idea of sovereignty. It’s sovereignty is protected by intl
law. It is not a very democratic institution. The Security Council is formed by the
winners of WWII. These five powers have veto rights. The General Assembly does
consider each state to be equal, where Vanuatu has the same weight as PR China.
Theories in the State System
*IR is an objective field of study where events are governed by international laws.
*State = most important actor, it’s rational and unitary.
*The international system is anarchic.
*States seek to maximize power and security as national interests.
*The distribution of power is imperative for understanding IR.
*States sometimes rely on force or the threat of force to achieve their ends.
*The potential for violence is always present.
*We should focus on what is, not on what ought to be.
*Skepticism: limited space for progress.
It came from the term Realpolitik, which says that politics among states have to stick to
the facts instead of thinking about what should be, without applying concepts of justice
and morality and taking things as is. Politics is best practiced when sticking to the facts
and the practical rather than wishful thinking about what’s right. The father of Realism
is Thucydides (?), he wrote the history of the peloponesian wars.
Thomas Hobbes was one of the first Enlightenment political philosophers. He was
dominated by the questions of what’s a right and just society. An ideal society (Plato) is
controlled by the wisest members of it, as the philosophers. They’d distribute tasks in
Doug Ascanio Dec 4, '11,
11:08 PM
Doug Ascanio Dec 4, '11,
11:09 PM
Doug Ascanio Dec 4, '11,
11:09 PM
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