INTS 1700 Study Guide - Comprehensive Midterm Guide: Limited War, General Agreement On Tariffs And Trade, Economic Sanctions

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INTS 1700
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Intro to International Relations Theories
Theory : : : set of propositions and concepts that combine to explain phenomena by
specifying the relationships (to predict phenomena)
Good theories: span space, time, and are testable; effectively span levels
Theories aren’t proven, settled, or fact, always can be refuted
Theory and the Levels of Analysis
Individual level: personality, perceptions, choices, activities of individual decision
makers (world leaders) and individual participants provide the explanation
State Level: domestic factors, explanation is derived from characteristics of the
state, the type of government (democratic or authoritarian) type of economic
system (capitalist or socialist), interest groups in a country, or national interest
International System Level: characteristics of that system (distribution of power)
international and regional organizations and their relative strengths and
weaknesses
Adding layers: normally 3-6, makes it more descriptive, makes explanation and
prediction more difficult
Realism
Realism : : : product of a long historical and philosophical tradition; view of the individual
as primarily fearful and power seeking; each state unitarily pursues its own national
interest (in terms of power)
Power: material resources needed to physically harm or coerce other states (fight
and win wars)
States can rely only on themselves, and their only concern is to increase their
power
1) war and conquest 2) balance, like dividing power of rivals or making
alliance, building up by raising armies
Roots of Realism
History of the Peloponnesian War Thucydides
States are the principal actor in war and in politics, international
institutions impact the system marginally
Unitary actor: : : even if there is debate within the state, when they reach
a conclusion they act as one
Rational actors: : : states are rational acts
Rational decisions advance national interest
The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must
St. Augustine: humanity is flawed, egoistic, and selfish
Reason states aren't at peace more is that they exist in an anarchic international
system (Hobbes)
Realism 21st Century
Morgenthau: intl politics is a struggle for power
Flawed individual struggles for self preservation, autonomous and unitary
state struggles for power, balancing power, preserve national interests,
international system is anarchic (no higher power exists)
Kenan, Kissinger based their policy off of this
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Defensive realists: few major wars end up benefitting states that start them,
threatened states balance against aggressors
Offensive realists: readiness to go to war builds reputation
Bandwagoning: : : threatened state joins the state its being threatened by
Neorealism: : : structural realism, Waltz Theory of INternational Politics; the lack
of progress in social scientific theory of interpol; use general laws to explain
events
Give precedence to their analyses to structures of international systems
(traditional realists also attach importance to characteristics of states and
human nature)
Waltz: the amount of peace and war in an anarchic international systems
depends on the distribution of power
1) unipolar ( one state can beat them all combined) 2) bipolar 3(multipolar
In the end: emphasis on unitary state in anarchic international system, threat of
war can be managed but not erased
Liberalism
Liberalism: : : human nature is basically good, people can improve their moral and
material conditions leading to societal progress and lasting peace; evil behavior is the
product of inadequate or corrupt social institutions and misunderstandings
Injustice, war, aggression is not inevitable and can be moderated/eliminated
through reform or collective action
Expansion of human freedom through democracy and well-regulated market
capitalism
Roots of Liberalism:
18th century Enlightenment optimism
19th century political and economic liberalism
Twentieth century Wilsonian idealism
Greek idea that individuals are rational human beings and are able to understand
universal laws governing both nature human society
Montesquieu
Human nature is not defective, problems are a result of forming separate nations
and civil society
War is a product of society
Education = way to overcome defects in society
Immanuel Kant
International anarchy can be overcome through collective action by federation of
republics that retain their sovereignty
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