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COMPLETE Introduction to International Politics Notes: Part 4 -- got 90% in the course

Political Science
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Critical Approaches Keely Henesey
(Lamy, Chapter 4)
Dominance of Liberalism/Realism Has Changed Dramatically:
oDebate between neoliberalism and neorealism exposed their shortcomings
Notable Failure of Each Inability to Predict End of the Cold War
oGrowing intellectual appeal of a range of new approaches
Other Reasons for the Rise of New Approaches:
oRealism’s dominance is re-called into question by resurgence of liberalism
oNew approaches were needed to explain economic, sociological, and cultural
issues (even if proponents of realism still claimed their theory was good at
analyzing power politics among states)
oMajor developments in other academic disciplines attacked positivism, the
underlying methodological assumption of realism
Positivism argues that we can explain the social world as effectively as
the natural and physical world
Overview of New Approaches:
oMarxism—looks at world from the perspective of workers, not the owners
oFeminists—looks at the lives of women
oConstructivists—consider how ideas, images, and values shape our worldview
and construction of reality
The Essential Marxism
Essential Commonalities of Marxist Approaches
Feel that the social, political, and economic world should be analyzed as a totality
oGiven scale/complexity of social world, this is very difficult
Materialist Concept of History (Economic Development Is the Motor of History)
oPatterns of power and control in the economy are reflected and reinforced in
society’s superstructure (legal/political structure controlled by capitalists)
THUS  Changes in the economic base act as a catalyst for changes in
the superstructure
oThe economic base is the substructure of society and is defined by the
relationship between the capitalists and the workers
Society is systematically prone to class conflict
oMain axis of conflict in capitalist society is between the bourgeoisie (the
capitalists) and the proletariat (the workers)
Class is defined by your position within the hierarchy of production
oContrasts the liberal belief that there is an essential harmony of interest between
various social groups
Marxist perspective on globalization seeks to describe the ways inequality affects the
lives of millions of people
Origins of World-System Theory
The world-system theory emphasizes world systems as the basic unity of analysis (not
individuals or states)
oTHUS—the political/economic structure of the world shapes global politics
o“World System” refers to the international division of labor, dividing the world
into core states, semiperiphery states, and periphery states
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