Textbook Notes (367,936)
Canada (161,516)
POLI 244 (71)

Poli244 Week 1 Readings.pdf

7 Pages
Unlock Document

Political Science
POLI 244
Jason Scott Ferrell

WORLD POLITICS INTRO Interests: what actors want to achieve through political action; their preferences over the outcomes that might result from their political choices Interactions: the ways in which the choices of 2 or more actors combine to produce political outcomes Institutions: a set of rules, known and shared by the community, that structure political interactions in particular ways. Bargaining: an interaction in which actors must choose outcomes hat make one better off at the expense of another. Bargaining is redistributive, it involves allocating a fixed sum of value between different actors Cooperation: an interaction in which 2 or more actors adopt policies that make at least one actor better off relative to the status quo without making the others worse off Levels of Analysis • International Level: Representatives of states with different interests interact with one another, sometimes in the context of international institutions • Domestic Level: Subnational actors with different interests (politicians, businessmen) interact within domestic institutions to determine the country’s foreign policy choices. • Transnational Level: Groups whose members span borders (MNCs, FTOs) pursue interests by trying to influence both domestic and international politics Realism Assumptions: • States are the dominant actors on the international stage • The institutional setting of world politics is characterized by anarchy o Anarchy: absence of a central authority with the ability to make and enforce laws that bind all actors o Anarchy profoundly shapes interests and interactions that matter in world politics o States must live in constant fear of one another, because of no central government o All states have an interest in security, and it is dominant ▯ Leads to an interest in acquiring power ▯ Brings states into conflict with one another o All interactions result in bargaining and coercion o Zero-sum game ▯ Bigger concern with division of benefits that overall gain • International institutions are thus weak and exert little independent effect on world politics. o They reflect interests and power of dominant countries Liberalism • Many different types of actors • Doesn’t require that any one interest dominate all others o Flexible in ascribing goals to actors • Actors can be treated as if they desire to maximize wealth • Optimistic about cooperation in world politics o See many areas with common interests • Believe conflict is evitable o Arises when actors fail to recognize common interests • Cooperation depends on institutions, domestic and international o Domestic ▯ Democracy is the best way to ensure government’s foreign policies reflect underlying harmony of interests o International ▯ Scope for cooperation gives rise to a demand for institutions ▯ Institutions facilitate cooperation by resolving dilemmas that arise in strategic interactions Constructivism Assumption: • Interests are not innate but are constructed through social interaction o Actors don’t have predetermined interests, they acquire them in the social environment • Social actors pursue what they believe is right and proper given their conceptions of who they are and how they wish others view them. o Institutions embody the rules appropriate for behavior in different identities ▯ Profound effect on action and observed outcomes • Interactions and institutions aren’t fixed, they evolve ONE WORLD, RIVAL THEORIES – JACK SNYDER Realism • Core: belief that international affairs is a struggle for power among self-interested states o Often pessimistic about human nature, but not a theory of despair • Balance of power! o Weaker states will ally to protect themselves from stronger ones and thus form and reform a balance of power ▯ Problem in theory when it comes to the US • Policies must be based on positions of real strength, not on empty bravado or hopeful illusions of a world without conflict • Clearsighted states can mitigate the causes of war by finding ways to reduce the danger they pose to each other • A ruthless pragmatism about power can actually yield a more peaceful world • Shifting distribution of power among states • Instills a pragmatic appreciation of the role of power • Warns that states will suffer if they overreach • The theory that everyone loves to hate • China’s current foreign policy is grounded in realist ideas that date back millennia o “developing its military slowly but surely as its economic power grows, avoiding confrontation with superior US forces” • When a state grows vastly more powerful than any opponent, realists expect that it will eventually use that power to expand its sphere of domination Liberalism • Democracies will not attack each other and will regard each other’s regimes as legitimate and nonthreatening o Closest thing we have to an iron law in social sciences, almost proven • Though democracies never fight each other, they are prone to launch messianic struggles against warlike authoritarian regimes to “make the world safe for democracy” o Emerging democracies often have nascent political institutions that cannot channel popular demands in constructive directions or credible enforce compromises among rival groups • Rising democratic tide creates the presumption that all nations ought to enjoy the benefits of self-determination. Those left out may undertake violent campaigns to secure democratic rights. • Rule of law and transparency of democratic processes make it easier to sustain international cooperation, especially when these practices are enshrined in multilateral institutions • Only elected governments are legitimate and politically reliable • Realism has a stunted vision that cannot account for progress in relations between nations • Rising number of democracies and turbulence of democratic transitions • Highlights cooperative potential of mature democracies, especially when working together through effective institutions • Notes democracies’ tendency to crusade against tyrannies • Notes the propensity of emerging democracies to collapse into violent ethnic turmoil • International trade and democracy! Idealism • Foreign policy is and should be guided by ethical and legal standards • Constructivism: new version of idealism o Social reality is created through debate about values, often echoes the themes that human rights and international justice activists sound • Changing norms of sovereignty, human rights, and international justice • Increased potency of religious ideas in politics • Stresses that a consensus on values must underpin any stable political order • Recognizes that forging such a consensus often requires an ideological struggle with the potential for conflict • Debates about ideas are the fundamental building blocks of international life! o Individuals and groups become powerful if they can convince others to adopt their ideas o Constructivists think their theory is deeper than realism and liberalism because it explains the origins of the forces that drive those competing theories • International change results from the work of intellectual entrepreneurs who proselytize new ideas and “name and shame” actors whose behavior deviates from accepted standards • Believe that ideas and values helped shape the modern state system, they expect intellectual constructs to be decisive in transforming it ▯ Political orders arise from shared understanding = Need for dialogue across cultures about the appropriate rules of the game Liberalism + Realism = Democratic Realism DOES ORDER EXIST IN WORLD POLITICS – BULL Three competing traditions of thought • Hobbesian/realist tradition o Views international politics as a state of war • Kantian/universalist tradition o Sees at work in international politics a potential community of mankind • Grotian/internationalist tradition o Views international politics as taking place within an international society Hobbesian Tradition (Realist) • International relations as a state of war of all against all, an arena of struggle in which each state is pitted against every other • IR = pure conflict between states • Zero-sum game o Interests of each state exclude interests of any other • War o Peace = period of recuperation from the last war and preparation for the next • State is free to pursue its goals in relation to other states without moral or legal restrictions of any kind Kantian Tradition (Universalist) • Essential nature of international politics to lie in the transnational social bonds that link the individual human beings ho are the subjects or citizens of states • Relationship among states o Relationship among all men in the community of mankind • Interests of all men are one and the same o Non-zero sum game • All conflict is superficial • Conflict of ideology cuts across boundaries of states and divides human society into two camps o Trustees of immanent community of mankind ▯ True faith; Liberators o Those who stand in its way ▯ Heretics; Oppressed • Moral imperatives in the field of IR limiting the actions of states o These imperatives enjoin not coexistence and cooperation among states but rather overthrow of the system of states and its replacement by a cosmopolitan society Grotian Tradition (Internationalist) • Describes international politics in terms of a society of states or international society • States are not engaged in simple struggle but are limited in their conflicts with one another by common rules and institutions • Accept Hobbesian premise that sovereigns are the principal reality in international politics • IR expresses neither complete conflict of interest nor complete identity of interest. o Resembles a game that is partly distribu
More Less

Related notes for POLI 244

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.