POL208 FULL Exam Notes

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Political Science
Lilach Gilady

Levels of Analysis LECTURE 1J David Singer 1960DomesticInternational PoliticsMicorMacroRussett Starr and KinsellIndividual decision makers government structure society international relations world systemsHow can we judge which level matters mostThought experiment counterfactualsWorld systems theoryhardest level to graspSystem set of interacting elements eg change in element A will bring about changes in other elements thus changing the entire wholeStructure usually measure by the distribution of power technology systematic level of conflict distribution of wealth normsExample multipolarity vs bipolarity vs unipolarityReading Wagner Harrison R 2010 War and the State The Theory of International Politics The University of Michigan Press Ann Arbor pp 112 Since end of WWII polisci debates about relations bw war and the statesdominated by Realism and its criticismsProminent alternatives to Realism LiberalismConstructivismDebates about Realismembroiled in controversies about game theory rational choice theory p 1Wagners argument fundamental cause of unproductive nature of these controversiespolitical scientists willingness to tolerate incomplete argumentsTheories Arguments and ExplanationsIn valid arguments the conclusion follows from the premises therefore if one believes the premises one must also believe the conclusionThis is called deductive reasoningIf the premises are not true the argument would remain valid but the conclusion falseOne type of logical fallacy is called affirming the consequent p 3There is also inductive reasoning and the problem of induction is to figure out what justifies an inference p 3Inductive inference requires identifying explanation of the facts and supplying reasons to believe that explanation is better than othersInductive inference is aka inference to the best explanation p 4 Whether reasoning from premisesconclusions or observable factspossible explanationslogical validity is necessary for our reasoning to affect our beliefsIf our confidence in the premises is to translate to the conclusion the conclusion must be implied by the premisesIf an explanation is to be supported by the facts the facts must be implied by the explanationScience Causes Variables and TheoriesPlausible definition of science enterprise in which scholars compete in constructing nonobvious explanations of phenomena that can withstand concerted attempts to discredit themScience is more concerned with explaining regularities than identifying themScience also explains unique events eg where the HIV virus came fromThe word theory has been used in many different ways by political scientistsA theory should be an explanationfrom which the facts in question can be derived p 8Models Method or MadnessA model is something used to represent something elseRational choice theory is a way of constructing mathematical models of peoples choices3 main ways explanations of human choices become so complicated that models are helpfulThe consequences of the choices of many people may not be obvious and may then interact with peoples subsequent choicesIndividuals may be uncertain about the consequences of their choices so their choices are not clearly implied by their preferences over final outcomesThe choices of individuals may be dependent on their expectations of the choices of othersFormal models help us think clearly about IR questionsNo formal model can compensate for a poorly framed questionGame theory is not a readymade theory of IRReading Russett Bruce Harvey Starr and David Kinsella 2000World Politics The Menu for Choice Toronto Wadsworth pp 323 Laila AziziWorld Politics Levels of Analysis Choice and ConstraintThree eventsIDropping the Atomic BombShowed tremendous killing abilityBrought upon nuclear deterrence because of the thought of mutual annihilationLittle discussion in America about it should be used in warAlternative was to invade the Japanese homelandNo way to test out the bomb Using it was the only option Testing the bomb would be very dangerousSome viewed the A bomb as atomic diplomacyRussians would be limited if the A bomb could get a surrender before the Russians attackedII Ending the Cold WarLeader of the losing state Mikhail GorbachevGorbachev didnt try to save the Soviet Unions closest allyProposed deep cuts in arms and withdrew from Czech and HungaryAssumed a defensive positionWarsaw Pact was disbanded and the Council for Mutual Economic AssistanceSoviet troops would come home without a victory in AfghanistanSoviet Union disbanded completely in 1991All of his changes triggered the end of the Cold WarSpread of informations across international bordersRelaxation of Soviet gripFactors for the end of the Cold War1Nature of the Soviet leadership2Domestic political and economic decay3International political competition4Global information flowsIII The Asian Financial CrisisUS dollar became strongerJapanese Yen lost a third of its value 1995Suggestion increase interest ratesThailands baht was overvaluedtrading of baht for foreign currenciesbaht plummetedSimilar in Malaysia and the Philippines Spread to East AsiaKorean won fell to 10086 to the US dollarMore than 110B were pledged to these countries by the IMF WB But they had to take serious economic reformsBegun to recover in January 1998If Japan was caught there would be great global repercussionsJapan was forced to create markets elsewhere to save the affected countriesTwo causes for the financial crisis1Internal factors of the Asian economy People pointed to the downside of asian values which included poor regulation high corporate debt favouritism and corruption2External factorsDomestic vs foreign affairsAsian crisis showed the ineffectiveness of government intervention in financial marketsIMF was an integral componentLevels of Analysis The International System and the NationState David Singers levels of analysisDistinctions in foreign policy1Internal or domestic influences from within the boundaries of the nation state2External influences from outside the states boundariesInternal system of analysis is the most comprehensive level allowing the observer to looks at the whole picture and at ALL global patterns of b heavier among statesIncludes the distribution of resources capabilities and the status in world politicsThe nation state level investigate in more detail the conditions within a state that affect foreign policy choicesMacro vs Micro perspectiveSix Levels of Analysis in order from micro to macro1Individual decision makers and their characteristics2Roles occupied by the decision makers3Structure of the government within which the decision makers operate4The society that the decision makers govern within which they live
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