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POLS 1301 Midterm: Review Weeks 1-6

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Political Science
POLS 1301
Bonny J Wells

International Politics Part 1 - Midterm Review DEFINITIONS: Levels of analysis: a framework for organizing explanations in world politics in terms of the size and complexity of the actors, behavior, and outcomes involved (decision makers, domestic society, global society) Opportunity: possibilities and constraints that face decisionmakers Willingness: goals and motivations that lead decisionmakers to avail themselves of opportunities Liberalism: perspective that emphasized the importance of institutions and linkages between states for facilitating cooperation, coordination, and nonviolent models of conflict resolution Realism: a perspective that emphasizes the importance of self interest, power, and the competitiveness of states in an anarchic international system Radicalism: emphasizes the conflicting economic interests of social classes and the injustices experienced by the less advantaged Rationalism: conceptualizes states and nonstate entities as rational actors pursuing their interests subject to limits imposed by their capabilities and environment Reflectivism: rejects the idea that a social scientific approach of world politics can be modeled on the social sciences Constructivism: emphasizes the importance of shared meanings in the construction of interests, institutions, and identities in world politics Nation: a people who feel themselves part of some large identity group State: legal entity consisting of a government that manages the affairs of a population in a given territory Nation-State: synonymous with state, but with the added implication that the subject population identifies itself as a nation Global Civil Society: complex of non governmental entities, including individuals, groups, and institutions, who interact across state boundaries Interdependence: a relationship in which changes or events in one part of the system produce some reaction or have some significant consequence for other parts of the system Geopolitics: the conduct of foreign policy with a view to the political geographic arrangement of states, like physical location, topography, and resource possession Power: the ability to influence the behavior of others, the social agenda, or the preferences and values that others adopt as their own Balance of Power: arrangement, whether bipolar or multipolar, in which capabilities are fairly evenly distributed among the major actor Balancing: joining the weaker alliance of states in an effort to offset the power of the stronger state or alliance of states Bandwagoning: joining the stronger alliance of states, in the hope of sharing the spoils of victory Foreign policy: a guide to action taken beyond the boundaries of a state to further the goals of the state Social choice: an action or outcome chosen by society, based on an aggregation of preferences held by groups or individuals within it Political openness: the extent to which a government is subject to influences from society Military-industrial complex: sectors of society that benefit from spending on national defense, including the defense industry and professional military establishment Gender gap: the observed differences in foreign policy attitudes held by women as compared to men Rally around the flag: the phenomenon whereby a leader is able to gather popular support for foreign policy initiatives, especially during an international crisis Diversionary War: international armed conflict intended to divert the public’s attention away from domestic problems or unpopular leaders Democratic peace: the phenomenon whereby stable democracies are unlikely to engage in militarized disputes with each other or to let any such disputes escalate to war Rational Actor Model: model of decision making that emphasizes the process of selecting goals, identifying options, evaluating consequences, and making choices Game/Game Theory: strategic interaction consisting of moves and countermoves, a mathematical approach that analyzes interactions with preferences for multiple outcomes Prospect Theory: a perspective suggesting that decisionmakers are willing to take greater risks to protect what they have, and fewer risks to acquire what they want Organizational process model: decisionmaking that emphasizes the cautious and incremental remedial approach adopted by bureaucratic organizations Governmental politics model: decision making emphasizing bargaining, compromising, and favr trading between bureaucratic organizations Principal-agent problem: when subordinates’ access to information allow them to pursue their own interests at the expense of the interests of their superiors Cognitive consistency: mental images held by individuals do not clash with or contradict each other (opposite of cognitive dissonance) TEXTBOOK: Chapter 3 - we also require a social environment for brain development and for the acquisition of skills such as speech and written communication. - Much of what occurs in international politics boils down to the separation of we and they - Meet physiological and psychological needs - Limitations of the human animal - Examples of multiethnic multinational groupings could be the Holy Roman Empire, Egypt and Russian Empire - States without nations - States govern populations that do not possess the same national identities, like Africa and Europe, where boundaries were artificially drawn after WWII - Nationalism comes primarily from sharing territory - The nation state is the primary actor in global society - The modern state system - Came about around 500 years before the Peace of Westphalia, when from 1450 to 1650 mark the transition from one historical epoch to another, that brought about the modern state system via interaction between political, economic, religious factors - Feudal entities transformed into Europe, spirit of the Roman Catholic Church helped - Peace of Westphalia - Martin Luther created Lutheranism across northern Europe which cause the Thirty Years War (confrontations between religions) - War ended in 1648 and it is with this event that we date the birth of the modern system - Cuius Regio, Cuius Religio - There is now no authority above the state. Every person lives in territory controlled by some state - Non-state actors in the international system - Intergovernmental organizations - United States and Al-Qaeda, Iraq and the UN - Non-state actor can challenge the sovereignty of the nation state - Intergovernmental organizations: composed of states while representing the interests and policies of their home governments - Regional organizations account for 70% of all IGOs today - Act as a forum in which the member states can meet, communicate and negotiate - May act passively or actively - Nongovernmental organizations - Private global actors - Exist below the level of the state but are transnational - Help knit the global society together - Individuals are most often powerless in international politics unless they can affect the policy of a government Chapter 4 - When regional groupings, blocs, or alliances act together on a range of issues, they contribute to a serious modification of the overall arrangement of the international system - Interdependence: a relationship in which changes or events in any single part of a system will produce some significant consequence in other parts of the system (Asian economic crisis in the 1990s) - Geopolitics: the physical location of states is an important consideration for both students and practitioners of world politics - Includes not only location but also topographical features - Their menu is different depending on their geographical characteristics - Arrangement of physical features will limit or enable the movement of both economic goods and military capabilities - Geographical obstacles are overcome by technology - Power as influence: - Capability and influence become meaningful only when compared to the ones of others - Power: the ability to overcome obstacles and influence outcomes, the ability to get what one wants - Power will help in physical conflicts and also in conflicts of interest - In conflicts of interest, states will get what they want by exercising influence - Compel and deter, through soft or hard power - Soft power: exercising influence through attraction as opposed to coercion. The influence over outcomes does not require changing the behavior of other states since their ideals enjoy widespread appeal. Many radicalists interpret it as cultural imperialism. - Capabilities - Capabilities affect others’ perceptions, including what one has the opportunity to do and what one is willing to do - Threats and promises are instruments of influence - Capability is relative. What Iraq could do to Kuwait, it could not do to the United States - Natural Capabilities - States are constantly assessed in terms of size - Land mass and population are central elements of a state’s base of power - A large area often comes with a generous natural resource endowment but it is also difficult to defend - A large population is an important factor in providing a country with the potential for great-power status, the quality of its people - Synthetic capabilities - National economy is crucial - The wealth and economic growth of a state is measured by the availability of natural resources. They provide states with wealth through trade and self-sufficiency - The more self-sufficient, the less vulnerable it is to economic coercion by other international actors - Correlates of War: combines demographic capabilities, industrial capabilities and military capabilities - Political and Social Resources - Political capacity and social legitimacy that will permit it to mobilize the resources that exist within its borders and to convert those resources into elements of influence - Efficiently administer resources - As a dimension of power, the willingness to suffer can be a stumbling block for advanced democratic societies. - Neither France nor the United States was able to drive the North Vietnamese to a breaking point, not so much because French or US military failed but due to an unimaginable willingness of the North Vietnamese to accept losses much higher than those of previous wars. - The reluctance of the american public to bear the costs of long military engagements is still referred to as the Vietnam syndrome - Balances and Imbalances of Power - International stability is most likely when there is balance of power - Balance exists when no single state or coalition of states dominates the international system - Imbalance will engulf the system un destructive warfare - Balancing and Bandwagoning - Balancing: a defense policy of joining with the less strong - Type of state behavior we observe when looking back in history - Bandwagoning: should avoid joining with the stronger and sharing the fruits of its conquest - There is nothing to prevent the stronger from turning back on its allies whenever that suits its purposes - Unilateralism: places a premium on freedom of action and regards international cooperation as worthwhile only when it clearly serves the national interest narrowly defined - System Polarity - A pole often consists of a single nation state but also comprise cohesive alliances - Unipolar system - Single state dominates all other states - Never in history there has been one - “The United States is the only country with the military, diplomatic, political and economic assets to be a decisive player in any conflict in whatever part of the world it chooses to involve itself” - Bipolar system - Two really big powers are not too common in world history, aside from thr Cold War - American Primacy and World Order - REALIST VIEW: If today’s system is not unipolar, then at the very least it is characterized by US primacy - Unprecedented concentration of global power and the potential for fundamental new patterns of state interaction - US should resign itself to the ride of new challengers like China, since it is inevitable for a system governed by a balance of power logic. - It should also apply containment towards Russia - LIBERAL VIEW: highlight the importance of multilateralism for the maintenance of world order - A multilateral foreign policy is one that treats international norms as binding on all states at all times, and not simply applicable when it suits a state’s interests - Unilateral actions are likely to be seen as arrogance of power - Instruments of Influence - Diplomacy - Involves direct, government to government interaction in order to communicate desires and accomplish goals on behalf of the states - Normally regarded as peaceful means of state interaction - Maintain clear channels of communication and reduce misunderstanding and distortion in interstate dialogue - Involves negotiation and conflict managing, protection of citizens and other interests abroad, management of the foreign policy decisions of one country in regard to others Chapter 5 - Foreign policy - Rarely a consensus on either the goals or means of achieving them - The spread of democracy has been a pillar of US foreign policy - Realist view on foreign policy - Military and security objectives and downplay economic ones - Intended to enhance or preserve the power of the nation state - “As is of every man, against every man” Thomas Hobbes - Liberal view on foreign policy - Longer term economic and social welfare of society - Radical view on foreign policy - Designed to promote the interests of particular classes in society, not it as a whole - All governments pursue such interests in the anarchy of world politics - Branches of foreign policy - Political and strategic culture - Common experiences of citizens help provide the basic structure of belief through which they view their place in the world and thus the roles of their government - Individuals, groups, and classes dominant within societies use their power to perpetuate a belief system that will reinforce their power - Societal Influences - Leaders have to adjust their responses to simultaneous developments t the international and domestic levels - Political openness means that opposition can contest groups in government - Governments do not just passively respond to societal demands, they also attempt to shape and control them - Power Elite - Radical perspective, meaning that interests converge according to class - highest echelons of society determine the nation’s goals - Pluralism - Liberal view where there is no single power elite, but rather a plurality of elite groupings - Military-industrial complex - Public opinion - Leaders respond by doing what will be popular in the short run when domestic economic and political conditions encourage them to maximize votes. - Leaders manipulate public opinion - Rally round the flag and diversionary war - Gender Gap - Standpoint feminism - Aggression and violence are male characteristics and women are more forgiving and peace-loving - Liberal feminism - Some of the observed differences between men and women really boil down to education and income - Democratic peace - No serious competitor to western liberalism - Conflict erupts between states that have not yet adopted it - Democratic norms (everyone in the state can have their opinion heard) - Democratic institutions (regular elections, division of power within governments) READINGS Osama’s Dead, But How Much Does it Matter? - To break the enemy is to break his morale - Pivotal boost to American morale and blow to the morale of Al-Qaeda - Boosts American prestige in Afghanistan - The killing of a leader, although of heavy symbolic meaning, does not always resolve
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