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Political Science
Political Science 2231E
Nigmendra Narain

th January 8 Theories in Global Politics Lenses = Theories ▯ Anne Runyan & Spike Peterson: lenses help us bring some things into focus and can blur others- even eliminate them ▯ What is a "Theory"? • Aset of assumptions, propositions and ideas which Organize facts, ideas, events, and explanations ▯ Created from experience, formulas or imagination ▯ Theories provide context for: ▯ Explanations, arguments, ideas, history ▯ What is most important? ▯ What we can see, understand, and conduct analysis ▯ Reality ▯ Our thoughts & actions • Every theory has a specific formula to follow • Interaction between reality and an imagined world ▯ Theories are always . . . ▯ For someone (audience)-Robert Cox ▯ For some purpose- goal, message for audience, action (Cox) ▯ By someone-author ▯ Is IR politics a ‘science’ or an ‘art’? • Machiavelli=art • Weber= science • Elements ofAll Theories ▯ Meta-theory = interrogating a theory ▯ what are the assumptions? Why those assumptions? ▯ Ontology: theory of being – objects, categories, and subjects of study? ▯ Epistemology: theory of knowledge – what can we know? What counts as knowledge? Ex. LGBT-different approaches say different things ▯ Methodology: data, evidence, proofs, cases – what methods or tools for validating or invalidating knowledge? ▯ Claims to Tradition: past scholars or authors who give the approach continuity, salience, depth, etc.- something has been going on for a while, therefore it makes it valid. Ex. In a lecture prof. stands at front and students sit at back Four Debates in IR ▯ 1. Idealism vs. Realism- 1940’s-1950’s ▯ Idealists = ‘ought to be world’- institutions, ideas, in aim of stopping war ▯ Realists = ‘way it is world’- interests and power are necessary to dominate in order to prevent war as it is part of our nature to an extent ▯ 2. Historicism vs. Behaviourism 1960’s-1970’s ▯ Historicism: patterns in history, analysis of decisions of leaders, interpretation and conceptualization (realism) ▯ Behaviourism: collecting observable data, codifying, measuring and correlating data for patterns to be turned into ‘laws’ of international behaviours (neorealism)- ex. Democracies do not war with each other, that is not to say that democracies do not go to war period ▯ 3. Interparadigm- 1980’s ▯ Debate between Realism, Liberalisms, Marxisms • Incommensurability: in IR cannot agree on the ontology, epistemology and methodology • Following Kuhn: in order for a discipline to be a discipline, you need a paradigm to be agreed upon or to dominate for science to move forward • Following Lakatos: create a coherent research program 3 ▯ 4. Disciplinary diversity- 1990’s onward ▯ Explaining vs. Understanding (Weber) ▯ Explaining what is going on: scientific approach; identify causes through systematic data analysis ▯ Understanding what is going on: heuristic/ interpretivist approach; meanings, beliefs, reasons, language ▯ Positivism vs. Post-positivism ▯ Both are empiricist= knowledge is based on data gathered by human senses ▯ Positivism: systematic observation, observable realities, observers and observed are separate ▯ Post-positivism: rejects idea of positivism, non-observable data is more important, observed and observer are not separable ▯ Rationalism vs. Reflectivism ▯ Rational choice theory: positivist, actors are utility maximizers. Deductive, simplify reality to analyse it, predictions ▯ Reflectivist: post-positivists, self critical, challenging assumptions, knowledge is not neutral Levels ofAnalysis • Individual o Personal characteristics can explain what’s happening ex. Due to leader of a regime o Leaders of institutions and organizations • State o Foreign policy of states by authoritative decision makers needs to be examined o What are the intra-state constraints • Global o Global interactions of state and non-state actors Nig's Theory Classification: • There are two types of theories in IR (drawing on Robert Cox): 1. Dominant: Postivist, Rationalist, Problem-solving theory – theories that seek to take the world as it is and solve the issue 2. Challengers: Post-positivist, Reflexivist, Interpretivist, Critical theory – how did we get into this problem?- we want to query the question • Issue of "power" among theories- some are more powerful than others Dominant Theories in IR • Theories and observations are seperable • Value-free knowledge (no judgments made on knowledge, just in analysis)- objective knowledge • The world as it is gives a framework for action and solves problems which arise with a focus on particular variable and specific solutions- policy- relevant • Conservative: simplifying for management, not change • Main approaches: realism, neo-realism, neo-liberalism, constructivism Challenger Theories in IR • Theories and observations are linked • Not Value-free, but ideologically driven • Questioning how the present world(s) came about and how it can be changed • Questions institutions and ideas and understand their origins • Problems are part of bigger political, social, and economic processes • Interaction between the whole and its parts • No laws or general theoretical axioms, but some patterns in history • Radical change to overthrow the existing society • Importance of normative issues • Main approaches: Marxism (Structuralists & Critical Theorists), feminism, postmodernism, ecologism, post- colonialism Conclusion • All IR is written from some theoretical approach or lens • What is important according to each theory and why? Realism Ancient Thinkers • Note: these thinks, according to Realists, are the first realists, but there is considerable disagreement about this • Common o Power relative to others o Kingdoms & city states & empires o Creation and control over territory by a single ruler • Sun-Tzu (modern China) o 2500 years ago o Wrote how to build an army o Believed in consolidation of order o Winning wars by strategy  1- not fighting  2- pre-fighting  3- fighting only when victory is assured • If you are going to fight you should know you are going to win • Not only about making war but surviving • Thucydides (modern Greece) o 2400 years ago o “Security dilemma”  An increase in power of one state causes insecurity in its neighbours & rivals, and results in them seeking to increase their relative power  Key to know whose power matters o Distribution of power in inter-state system • Kautilya [Chanakya] (modern India) o 2300 years ago o Alliances (Sun-Tzu) – “Mandala” or Circle of Kings: my neighbour is my enemy, so my enemy’s neighbour is my friend • Machiavelli (modern Italy) o State-building & maintenance o “Better to be feared than to be loved” o National Interest  Rulers must always do what is in the best interest of the state, and to do otherwise is immoral o To act to create a world which “ought to be” (human proclivities/normative) would lead to disaster • Hobbes (modern England) o Permanence of war: ‘state of nature’ is inevitable ‘war of all against all’ o Anarchy: absence of government authority, so ‘continual fear and danger of violent death’ Realism • Evolution o 1930s-1960s in USA and England o Reaction to WWI and WWII o Counter to the idealism of Woodrow Wilson (and some socialists) • Names o EH Carr: British, launched the modern traditions o Hans Morgenthau:American, launched the American tradition o Martin Wight, Headley Bull: British tradition of realism • Using long • Human Nature o Self-interested & aggressive o Pursue their interests to the detriment of others o Not constrained by laws or morality • Follow history not abstraction • States o Key actors in global politics o Military should be subordinate to government o Public opinion should be subordinate to government  Public opinion should be led by government • Sovereignty o No state will give up o Never give to IL, organizations, etc o Give power to UN for example they cannot do anything to defend you • Self-help o Survival, security, defence o No reliance on international community, alliances, etc o No reliance on ‘reasoning abilities’ to settle, governance, etc • Anarchy o No sovereign actor above states o International institutions lack power/enforcement • Power o Domination o Self advantage o Military  Most important, high politics o Economy, resources, etc: secondary, low politics o Relative gains: in relation to others  Most have appropriate amount of power  Security dilemmas kick in when power is not relative o Zero-sum: one winner, one loser o Finite & limited, including resources, economy, etc • War o Regular, permanent feature of global politics o Have an ‘exit plan’ and ‘retreat option’ • Peace o Temporary absence of war o Always by war-ready • Alliances o Temporary  Should not be counted upon o Use diplomacy backed with force o Compromise where appropriate  Focus in on the vital interest and comprise on the lesser interests o Not let weak powers dominate • International institutions o Non permanent • Balance of power o Alliances o Order and stability o Multipolarity: 3 more states or alliances balancing each other o Hegemony causes war= other state overthrow o Security dilemma fuels arms race Neo-Realism Evolution • 1950s-1970s in USA Names • Kenneth Waltz • Robert Gilpin • John Mearsheimer Neo-Realism • Using economics and mathematical models o Past influences: Behaviouralism & Peace studies o Current influences: Game theory • Systemic analysis o Structure determines agency • Not explaining everything, just ‘what’s most important to explain’ o 1. War o 2. Systemic change o Walt: Denmark • Systemic analysis o Structure determines actions o Pursue power due to anarchy o Operate within the confines of their systemic position o Distribution of power in the system that natters most • Currency of power depends on the system o 1800s: naval power o 1945: nukes legitimacy▯ efficacy o States create= states hold accountable o Transparency o Who is the audience, stakeholder and recipient o Domestic democracy o Type: hierarchal, supervisory, fiscal, legal, market, peer, public reputation o Procedural: accountability, participation, persuasion Gilpin’s Hegemonic Stability Theory • Hegemony as unilateralism- does whatever it wants to do whenever it wants to do it o Power wont listen to the international community • Hegemony as multilateralism- one state is taking most of the responsibility for a group of states and doing that is necessary to promote security and then economic well being January 29 The English School and Constructivism Focus • Cooperation in global politics o Can be permanent in the absence of authority • The “social” as a framework for analyzing global politics ENGLISH SCHOOL John Cleese’s 3 differences betweenAmerican and British people: • We speak English and you don’t • We hold a world championship for a particular sport, we invite teams from other countries to play as well • When you meet the head of state in great Britain you only have to go down on one knee • Intellectual fight between the 2 countries about who should be dominant Disagreed with Realists on some key Points: -Approach to IR: • Normative questions and values matter o Affect questions, research and conclusions o After setting security issues, can deal with bigger “ideals”, such as law, justice, peace, freedom • Focus=academic analysis through philosophy, history and law and more than just “states as actors” or the “anarchical state system” • Not= policy-relevance through the data collection, manipulation and hypothesis testing and confirmation (American Behaviorism) • Approach to IR need not be dichotomous (oppositional)- it should encompass both of these in evaluations: o Want realism and idealism- what the world is and what it ought to be o History and theory o Power and morality o World politics analysis can be Explanatory and interpretive o Agency (what activities they choose to engage in) and structure o Exclusivity is arbitrary o Machiavelli: dualism • Cooperation can be made permanent • States can and will behave as members of an international society of states o Need to understand states as a social system  Compound of, by, for people • Diplomacy is important and is important to analyze as a social system (code in which diplomatic relations follow)- states are not a black box o Privileged community o Political elite  Different or isolated from the rest of society Rules -Draw on 3 traditions: • Realism: war • Grotian: reform, legal (international law) • Revolutionism: dismantling (radicalism) -Draws on
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