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Chapter 1

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Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

Political Science Chapter 1 Summary Qualities of TheoriesAccuracy How often is this theory correctGeneralizability how broadly can I apply this theory For how many cases is it usefulParsimony refers to degree of simplicity is theory simpler than others attempting to explain same phenomenon Is it cleaner or neater explains the most w least materialFalsifiability can we ascertain eh incorrectness of our theories It should be possible to disprove The Modern Study of International RelationsWWI produced the first real impetus towards understanding international relations via more scientific methodsModern study of international relations began w an emphasis on developing predictive and prescriptive theories The Realists versus the IdealistsCore assumptions of classical idealism 1 Human behaviour can be perfected 2 Theres harmony of interests between peoplenations 3 War isnt appropriate way to solve dispute but underlying harmony must be uncovered and emphasized 4 correct lawsinstitutions guide behaviour good in human can be evoked illuminates harmony of interests btwn peoplestatesBeing revolted by behaviour in WWI spawned the idealist perspective that dominated IR2 major camps arose a debate one drawing lineage back to study of diplomatic history and other proceeding from work in international lawLineage from legal studies emphasized importance and utility of international law which was thought to shape and guide human behaviourThose who stressed laws to create peaceful society of states became known as utopians or idealists bc they wanted to perfect the behaviour of manIdealists stressed choice rationality and potential or actual existence of a harmony of interests between individuals and statesThose focusing on history expected war it settles disputes known as realistsRealists stressed importance of power in IR believed humans were selfish greedy and interested in dominating each other Realism Emerges DominantEH Carr was one of the proponents of realismCarr thought idealists were overly optimistic idealism stressed prescriptions and normative goals prior to developing an understanding of how things actually workedCarr points out flaws in realism failure to develop normative goals or present emotional appeal to publicrender moral judgements which undermine realisms ability to provide grounds for actionMorgenthau rooted his version of realism in human nature and desire for powerwill to survive becomes a will to power Core assumptions of classical realism 1 Humans have a will to survive making them selfish 2 Will to survivewill to dominant environment and other humans 3 Creation of competition to dominant will to survive creates a search for power The Cold War and the Evolution of RealismRealism changed in the 50s and 60s as the US and Western powers were locked in ideological struggle and arms race against Soviet UnionWaltz argued that human naturewas neither good nor evil but had the capacity to be both particularities of the situation influenced how humans behaved it didnt matter whether one assumed human nature to be basically good or evil sometimes good people acted the same was as evil people changed realismAnother Great DebateBehaviouralism and Realism Transformed Second debate in IR found primarily among realists concerned research methods one should employTraditionalists argued for continued emphasis on history and study of historical episodes as unique events and behaviouralists stressed need to aggregate information in order to apply methods of data analysis to interpret evidenceMost important actors in realism are statesexercise sovereignty holding ultimate legitimate political authority States are anarchic in the sense of no govt superior to actors in question so states are under constant threat and must defend their own interests Waltzs view change in structure leads to change in state interactions leads to new outcomeAccording to Waltz structure has 3 characteristics an ordering principle the differentiation of parts and distribution of capabilities Differentiation of parts refers to similarity in functions the actors perform internationally since they all provide legal systems defensemonetary policy etc they are rivals each units differ in capabilities to perform such activities well so some are better than others Waltzs assumptions dont fit premodern states Realists focus on how systemic factors constrain behaviour of states not how the individual human nature behaves Security dilemma fear of being dominated by ones neighbour cause each state to treat its neighbours as potential sources of threats so in international environment each state must prepare to deflect potential dangers Core assumptions of structural realism 1 Statesmost important actors in international relations but arent the only ones 2 States are unitary rational actors 3 International system is anarchic 4 States in order to protect their own interests in this environment seek to maximize power Realists evade question of national interestModern realists minimize importance on survival and therefore power and push it more towards other goals once power is attainedCore Assumptions of NeoRealism 1 Statesmost important actors in IR 2 States are unitaryrational 3 International system is anarchic 4 States seek to maximize their utilityRealisms ChallengesCore Assumptions of Classical Marxism 1 Social classesmost important actor 2 Classes act in own material interest 3 Expropriation of surplus value of exploitation Marxists believe states act in interest of capitalist classCore Assumptions of Instrumental Marxism 1 Social classesmost important actors in politics 2 Classes act in own material interest 3 Expropriation of surplus value is exploitation 4 States act in interest of national capitalist classCore Assumptions of Structural Marxism 1 Social classesmost important actors 2 Classes act in own material interest 3 Expropriation of surplus value is exploitation 4 States act to maintain capitalism even if such actions are inconsistent w interests of their national capitalist class in the shortrun Modern WorldSystems ApproachCore Assumptions of Modern WorldSystems Analysis 1 World is structural whole and is appropriate unit of analysis 2 Various parts of system are functionally related via international division of labour 3 Statesmarkets are products of underlying social ie class0 dynamicsMarxisms Original Rival LiberalismLiberalism aimed to free individual economically and politically from the state Core Assumptions of Classical Liberalism 1 Individuals householdsfirms are most important actors 2 Individuals are rational unitary actors 3 Individuals maximize their utility 4 Everything can be traded 5 Individuals indifference curves can be aggregated into social indifference curves Emphasis of liberalism is economic gainCommercial liberalism thinks that free trade is the route to international peace
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