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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 244
Jason Scott Ferrell

Pp 7Six Principles of Political Realism by Morgenthau1Political realism believes that politics like society in general is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human natureFor realism theory consists of ascertaining facts and giving them meaning through reason2Concept of interest defined in term of powerAssume that statesmen think and act in terms of powerKnowledge of the statesmans motives may give us one among many clues as to what the direction of his foreign policy will beRational foreign policy is a good foreign policy3The key concept of interest defined in terms as power is an objective category which is universally valid but it does not endow that concept with a meaning that is fixed once and for allPolitics is unaffected by circumstances of time and placeThe content and manner of powers use are determined by the political and cultural environmentTo transform the world would require manipulation of perennial forces that shaped the past and will shape the future4Political Realism is aware of the moral significance of political action and the tension between moral action and successful political actionUniversal moral principles cannot be applied to the actions of the states in their abstract universal formulation but must be filtered through the circumstance of time and placeBoth individual and state must judge political action by universal moral principles5Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral laws that govern the universeWe can judge other nations as we judge our own and having judged them we are capable of pursuing policies that respect the interests of both nations6The difference between political realism and other schools of though is real and profoundPolitical realist maintains the autonomy of the political sphere as the economist the lawyer etc maintain theirsoPower vs wealth vs lawPolitical realists believe in other views and acknowledge that a man who is only a political man would be a beastIn order to understand different facets of human nature one has to deal with it on its own termsPp 15A Critique of Morgenthaus Principles of Political Realism by TicknerMorgenthaus Principles of Political Realism A Masculine PerspectiveMorgenthau only has a partial understanding of politics because his assumptions about human nature are partial and masculineWomen are socialized into a mode of thinking which is contextual and narrative rather than formal and abstract they tend to see issues in contextual termsMorgenthaus realpolitik prescription is a prescription mostly to avoid the mistakes of WWII rather than timeless applicabilityoAre they still valid as we move away from this eventA Feminist Perspective on International RelationsDefinition of power is control of man over manoThis type of powerasdomination has always been associated with masculinityoWhen women write about power they stress energy capacity and potentialWomens domestic activities are comparable to coalition buildingIn IR priority is usually given to order rather than justiceoFeminist theory could contribute to new thinkingEcological and feminist movement are closely tiedWe should make contextual judgments rather than appealing to absolute standardsWomen support male wars in the same sense that they treat their childrens enemiesToward a Feminist Epistemology of International RelationsFeminist literature emphasized connection and contingency rather than an outline with universal applicabilityFeminist literature encourages us to value difference and ambiguityMorgenthaus Principles of Political Realism A Feminist Reformulation1Dynamic objectivity which offers a more connect view2National interest is multidimensional and contextually contingent cannot only be defined by power3Power as collective empowerment rather than domination4Moral command and politics cannot be separated5Find common moral aspirations which could become the basis for deescalating international conflict6There is not autonomy of the politicalAn engendered discourse becomes possible only when women are adequately represented in the discipline and when there is equal respect for the contributions and women and men alikePp 29 The Anarchic Structure of World Politics by WaltzTo define a structure requires ignoring how units relate to one another and concentrating on how they stand in relation to on anotherStructures may endure while personalitybehaviorinteractions varyDefinition applies to a wide variety of substances as long as the arrangement of the part is similarTheories for one realm may be valid for anotherStructure is not a collection of political institutions but rather the arrangement of themDomestic politics is hierarchically organizedThe ordering principle of a system gives the first bit of information about how the parts of a realm are relatedSpecific functions of formally differentiated parts gives the second bit of informationThird bit acknowledges that while specific functions remain unchanged units come to stand in different relation to each other through changes in relative capability1Ordering PrinciplesParts of domestic political systems stand in relation of super and subordinationDomestic systems are centralized and hierarchicInternational systems are decentralized and anarchicoIn the absence of agents with systemwide authority formal relations of super and subordination fail to developStructure and anarchy are in contradictionA market constrains the unites that compromise it from taking certain actions and disposes them toward taking othersInternational political systems are individualist in origin spontaneously generated and unintendedIn a micro theory The motivation of the actors is assumed rather than realistically describedthe structure selects means simply that those who conform to accepted and successful practices more often rise to the top and are likelier to stay there2 The Character of the UnitsAnarchy entails relations of coordination among a systems units and that implies their samenessInternational structures vary only through a change of organizing principles or failing that through variations in the capabilities of unitsStates are not the only actors in international politicsInternational politics is mostly about inequalitiesStates are the units whose interactions form the structure of international political systemsStates are sovereign political entitiesoDifferences of capability not of functionInternational politics consists of like units duplication one anothers activities3The Distribution of Capabilities
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