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Nation state: A political community in which the state claims legitimacy on the
grounds that it represents the nation. The nation-state would exist if nearly all the
members of a single nation were organized in a single state, without any other
national communities being present. Although the term is widely used, no such
Globalization:A historical process involving a fundamental shift or transformation
in the spatial scale of human social organization that links distant communities
and expands the reach of power relations across regions and continents. It is also
something of a catch-all phrase often used to describe a single world-economy
after the collapse of communism, though sometimes employed to define the
growing integration of the international capitalist system in the post-war period.
Anarchy: A system operating in the absence of any central government. Does not
imply chaos, but in realist theory the absence of political authority.
Asymmetrical globalization: Describes the way in which contemporary
globalization is unequally experienced across the world and among different
social groups in such a way that it produces a distinctive geography of inclusion in,
and exclusion from, the global system.
Balance of power: In realist theory, refers to an equilibrium between states;
historical realists regard it as the product of diplomacy (contrived balance)
whereas structural realists regard the system as having a tendency towards a
natural equilibrium (fortuitous balance). It is a doctrine and an arrangement Good luck all
whereby the power of one state (or group of states) is checked by the
countervailing power of other states.
Hegemony: A system regulated by a dominant leader, or political (and/or
economic) domination of a region, usually by a superpower. In realist theory, the
influence a Great Power is able to establish on other states in the system; extent
of influence ranges from leadership to dominance. It is also power and control
exercised by a leading state over other states.
Identity:The understanding of the self in relationship to an 'other'. Identities are
social and thus are always formed in relationship to others. Constructivists
generally hold that identities shape interests; we cannot know what we want
unless we know who we are. But because identities are social and are produced
through interactions, identities can change.
Institutions: Persistent and having connected sets of rules and practices that
prescribe roles, constrain activity, and shape the expectations of actors.
Institutions may include organizations, bureaucratic agencies, treaties and
agreements, and informal practices that states accept as binding. The balance of
power in the international system is an example of an institution. (Adapted from
Haas, Keohane, and Levy 1993: 4-5.)
Integration: A process of ever closer union between states, in a regional or
international context. The process often begins with cooperation to solve
technical problems, referred to by Mitrany (1943) as ramification.
Interdependence:A condition where states (or peoples) are affected by decisions
taken by others; for example, a decision to raise interest rates in the USA Good luck all
automatically exerts upward pressure on interest rates in other states.
Interdependence can be symmetric, i.e. both sets of actors are affected equally,
or it can be asymmetric, where the impact varies between actors. A condition
where the actions of one state impact upon other states (can be strategic
interdependence or economic). Realists equate interdependence with
Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs): An international organization in which
full legal membership is officially solely open to states and the decision-making
authority lies with representatives from governments.
International Monetary Fund (IMF): An institution of 186 members as of early
2010, providing extensive technical assistance and short-term flows of
stabilization finance to any of those members experiencing temporarily distressed
public finances. Since 1978 it has undertaken comprehensive surveillance of the
economic performance of individual member states as a precursor to introducing
'corrective' programmes for those countries it deems to have followed the wrong
International order: The normative and the institutional pattern in the
relationship between states. The elements of this might be thought to include
such things as sovereignty, the forms of diplomacy, international law, the role of
the great powers, and the codes circumscribing the use of force.
Internationalization: This term is used to denote high levels of international
interaction and interdependence, most commonly with regard to the world
economy. The term is often used to distinguish this condition from globalization, Good luck all
as the latter implies that there are no longer distinct national economies in a
position to interact.
Multipolarity:A distribution of power among a number (at least three) of major
powers or 'poles'.
National interest: Invoked by realists and state leaders to signify that which is
most important to the state- survival being at the top of the list.
Cold war:Extended worldwide conflict between communism and capitalism that
is normally taken to have begun in 1947 and concluded in 1989 with the collapse
of Soviet power in Europe.
Unipolarity: A distribution of power internationally in which there is clearly only
one dominant power or 'pole'. Some analysts argue that the international system
became unipolar in the 1990s since there was no longer any rival to American
Appeasement: The appeasement policy was the efforts by France and Britain in
the 1930s to allow Nazi Germany to have pretty much anything it wanted in the
hopes that eventually Hitler would be appeased and cease his aggressive policies.
thus they let him build up the German armed forces in contravention of the treaty
of Versailles. They let him put German troops in the Rheinland violating the same
treaty. They let annex Austria. They let him take the Sudetenland from
Czechoslovakia. Then they let him take the rest of Czechoslovakia. The affect of
the policy was that each time Hitler was allowed to get away with something, far
from being appeased, it simply whetted his appetite for more. Finally they
realized he would never be appeased and they would have to fight stop him. Good luck all
Collective security: Refers to an arrangement where 'each state in the system
accepts that the security of one is the concern of all, and agrees to join in a
collective response to aggression' (Roberts and Kingsbury 1993: 30). It is also the
foundational principle of the League of Nations: namely, that member states
would take a threat or attack on one member as an assault on them all (and on
international norms more generally). The League would accordingly respond in
unison to such violations of international law. Appreciating that such concerted
action would ensue, putative violators-the League's framers hoped-would be duly
deterred from launching aggressive strikes in the first place. As the 1920s and
1930s showed, however, theory and practice diverged wildly, with League
members failing to take concerted action against Japanese imperialism in Asia,
and German and Italian expansionism in Europe and Africa.
Constructivism:An approach to international politics that concerns itself with the
centrality of ideas and human consciousness and stresses a holistic and idealist
view of structures. As constructivists have examined world politics they have been
broadly interested in how the structure constructs the actors' identities and
interests, how their interactions are organized and constrained by that structure,
and how their very interaction serves to either reproduce or transform that
Decision making procedures: "rational actor" model (usually associated with
The "bureaucratic politics" or "organizational process" model (usually associated
with Liberal Internationalist Theory)
The "pluralistic model" (usually associated with Liberal Internationalist Theory). Good luck all
Neo-realism: Modification of the realist approach, by recognizing economic
resources (in addition to military capabilities) are a basis for exercising influence
and also an attempt to make realism 'more scientific' by borrowing models from
economics and behavioral social science to explain international politics.
Non-state actors:A term widely used to mean any actor that is not a government.
Norms: Specify general standards of behavior, and identify the rights and
obligations of states. So, in the case of the GATT, the basic norm is that tariffs and
non-tariff barriers should be reduced and eventually eliminated. Together, norms
and principles de