POL208; midtermnotes.doc

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Political Science
Thomas Tieku

Section A (40% of test grade): You will be asked to identify and briefly outline the significance of FOUR out of SIX concepts. The concepts will be drawn from the following: (one page max) 1. Actor actors did not exist outside discourse; they are produced through it 2. Ontology (third debate) what is in the world there has never been an ontological consensus in IR ontological assumptions are absolutely central for how we think about the world, scholars and students often go about studying world politics without giving ontology much thought. That is because ontological assumptions come into view only when theories with different ontological assumptions class Traditional IR: Rational, material, and individualist Seeks to ask “What is the world out there?” All of them (realists, linerals, Marxists) Based on rationality, human beings are rational and thereare rankings where we base our decisions upon them They all think in terms of material: money, military power They are individualistically thinking, and promote their interests Critics say this is only a partial of the world, and may have missed htings if you look at the world based on these concepts. Neglected the “other half” of the world Marxists = class, realists = power, linerals = the pie, cooperation New Thinking: Social constitution of the world We should not see the world as it is but we should interpret it Social constitution: the world is our own making, material goods have no meaning, because we have given it meaning in the first place Step back and look at it in a different way Depending on social context, the rankings of what is important differs One can value life the most, one can value their beliefs over life 3. Positivism (third debate) tend to treat truth as correspondence anything that is true you should be able to see it, if you cant see or hear it, it is not true but truth is beyond this IR scholars re empiricists 4. Deconstruction (third debate) holds that language is constituted by dichotomies, that one side within a dichotomy is superior to the other and that we should destabilize the hierarchy between inferior and superior terms problemize it, question it, who does it empower 5. Sovereignty (international system) they have to be one by law the principle that within its territorial boundaries he state is the supreme political authority, and that outside those boundaries the state recognizes no higher political authority sovereign equality; the technical legal equality possessed by sovereign states as expressed in UN general assembly votes state sovereignty; a principle for organizing political space where there is one sovereign authority which governs a given territory. The treaties of Westphalia is usually defined as the birch of state sovereignty, although it took several hundred years before the principle was fully institutionalized. International relations theories hold different views of whether state sovereignty ahs been transformed or even eroded. They also disagree as to whether state sovereignty is a good way of organizing political community that is state sovereignty’s normative status 6. Norm (third debate) not written down rules, which may have more impact than laws and regulations social interactions; the more you obey a rule, it turns into convention, laws can mature to the point where it becomes a norm enforced by the powerful or collective action of the powerful Together, norms and principles define the essential character of a regime and these cannot be changed without transforming the nature of the regime Norm entrepreneur; a political actor, whether an individual or an organization, that conceptualizes and promotes a new norm, to define and appropriate standard of behaviours for all actors or a defined sub-group of actors in the political system Normative structure; international relations theory traditionally defines structure in material terms, such as the distribution of power, and then treats structure as a constraint on actors. By identifying a normative structure, constructivists are noting how structures also are defined by collectively held ideas such as knowledge, rules, beliefs, and norms that constrain actors, but also construct categories of meaning, constitute their identities and interests, and define standards of appropriate conduct. Critical here is the concept of a norm, a state of appropriate behaviours for actors with a given identity. Actors adhere to norms not only because of benefits and costs for doing so but also because they are related to a sense of self Normative theory; systematic analyses of the ethical, moral, and political principles that either govern or ought to govern the organization or conduct of global politics. The belief that theories should be concern with what ought to be, rather than merely diagnosing what is. 7. Power (realism) In the most general sense, the ability of a political actor to achieve its goals. An ability to get an actor to do what they woud not do so otherwise; if you do not compel them they would not do the action Power comes in different forms; exercise power over someone by pleading (power of the weak). It I a classical power that we use on our parents; can be by the form of persuasion or convincing them, classic intellectual power; using material force; by bride or side payment, giving an incentive to change behaviour. This can follow under material power, but it isn’t necessarily because there is incentive (diplomats; saying Canada isn’t going to war, but send troops anyway… protects the politicans) Realist; material power through military and economic power (seek power to dominate) Classical realist; material power froms from humans because we do not trust each other (we want power to dominate and therefore material power) Allows us to understand the way realists think Allows realists to plan and make decision
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