POL326Y1 Study Guide - Fall 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes - Cold War, Federal Government Of The United States, International Law

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30 Nov 2019
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American Foreign Policy
Waltz
Kenneth Waltz: what caused war; why was it an important aspect
o 3 images explaining war:
War was the result of individuals held bent on making war; expanding territory; concluded
that this war was desirable
The nature of states determined inevitability of war; boils to democratic peace theory
authoritarian states are more likely to go to war unlike democracies where likelihood of war
is lower/impossible (rejected this thesis)
International system: a system of anarchy (there’s no higher authority to which states could
appeal/protecting their interests; states are responsible for their own security); security
ensured only through amassing military power, not limited to economic resources; it’s
imbalances in the international system that make
o The anarchy in intl. system wasn’t permanent; realists don’t see permanent government
International bipolarity: since WWII
o The international system in a multipolar system, which is more stable than a bipolar one for it
allows shifting alliances to maintain; bipolar systems would tempt one to defeat adversary and take
over them
o Unipolar system: states are rational actors not because they comprise rational people, but rather
they don’t have luxury to engage in irrational acts; a war of choice exhausts all
States are rational for they are disciplined by international system
o In studying US foreign policy, the U.S. hasn’t been rational
o Vietnam War: an act of irrationality, dropped more weapons/bombs than all combatants
o The Vietnamese government US protected collapsed in ’95: was interested in going to Vietnam
because of rational domino theory
It was a rational intervention for it did prevent the domino theory
Rumsfeld: there are certain things we know/we don’t know
o Post-Cold War
Faced no existential threat; no need to engage in war of necessity (ex. Iraq war)
Waltz: in absence of threat, policy becomes capricious: it isn’t the nature of states that
makes states rational, it’s threat of international system; US faced no such threats
Ikenberry: the current environment had to be revised; individuals aren’t important in states;
nature of state systems can likewise explain war; the US defined the nature of international
system, it’s stability, and likelihood of conflict
Politics
Easton: politics is about allocation of desired things who gets benefits and undesired things and they may
do so through custom, market system—who’s rewarded/not rewarded; market functions, allocation by
commandwho pays taxes, serves in military,
o Political commands have unique feature of being enforceable against will of those being
commanded through coerced violence
Implies that politics occurs within societies; what happens within legislatures through
legislative system to determine policy outcomes
In international relations, politics is understood differently (Schmidt: 1920)
o Politics is not about who gets what, but about basic dichotomy on friend v. foe
o The leadership of states must determine which states to work with/are a threat
o Keep at bay the order imposed by other societies in which they choose to pursue
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o International politics trumps domestic politics; American foreign policy, like others, is concerned
with security/survival yet American political system is geared towards something different
Makers of US constitution agreed that “government governs best governs least”how do
you restrain a government from running everything? Make process of governing as
insufficient as it may possibly be
American minorities are protected under US constitution
Schmidt would’ve rejected this idea: state must address threats through efficiency in dictatorship
o The US emerged as a power in unusual circumstances for it was free from external threats
o While this protection allowed US to put national defense on backburner, this policy changed in the
20th century; the US could no longer say they’re free from external threats
There’s substantial disagreement on what states are; it’s a crucial component of our analysis; allows us to
see how foreign policy is made
o Liberals/pluralists have one thing in common; they see states as a dependent variable: the state
isn’t actor, it’s the thing being acted on that try to serve their interests; depends on state origins to
serve their interests; based on social contract between governors/governed
The state is a neutral arena where competition occurs; it is where policymaking occurs
To understand policy, you must look at forces acting on the states
Foreign policy is an outgrowth of domestic policy; it might be rejected by realists; trade
policy is influenced by congress
Point to necessity of the rule of law; state itself is subject to those lawsstate is a neutral
entity; the
o Marxist perspective: the state is dependent variable; ruling class rules even in a democracy;
C Wright Mills: Power of the Elite; Miliband: the connections between elites running private
economy and elites running state
Elites dominating states/corporations are identical; we have a similar outlook
Revolving door relationships: they trade places (move from business to government); it isn’t
surprising that governments acts for the corporate elites
Relative autonomy (instrumentalist view of state): derives from that the state has core
responsibility for keeping economy flowing/state functioning; instituting policies for
economic actors; in a democratic context, if the state were to decide for corporate
interests, this becomes difficult to sustain; state must maintain legitimacy; it has some
freedom to move; not all Marxists bought into this
o Structuralism: Fred Block/Nichols Polanses—fascism isn’t an outgrowth of an individual but rather
a crisis within it; had problem with dependent variable
Idea of instrumentalism is a “class conscious ruling class” ruling class shared the same
interests; Block/Polanses rejected this
Capitalists might have certain things in common yet they have opposing interests
The state acts in the interests of capital has nothing to do with capitalists and state; there
are perversions things should function; the rule of the state isn’t to defend individual
capitalists but rather to maintain long-term stability of capital system as a whole; such is
impossible
During the ‘30s: the capitalist system faced a deep crisis; it was overcome by FDR’s New
Deal to benefit the destitute
Structuralists: can’t explain on intervention of capitalists; capitalists are focused on ability to
make profits; role of the state isn’t to look out of individual profits
Block: Ralph Nader (if he won, stock market would crash); he’d find himself having state
take over the economy or he’ll backtrack
Structuralists: state-economy relationship exists; this is a form of corruption;
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