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4,8,11 Chapter Reviews: Political Sci 2I03 Summer 2013

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Political Science
Mark Busser

Session 5 - Chapter 4,8,11 Chapter 4 From the cold War to the World Economic Crisis The end of the Cold War The cold war wound down in 1989.  Byproduct of the Second World War that left the international order divided between two great superpowers o Both with formidable Capabilities (The USA & The USSR) o Representing rival social systems (Capitalist & Socialist) o Withdrawal from Eastern Europe and then shifted into the Third World (USSR)  Should be regarded less of a war and more of a managed rivalry. o The shared aim of the two superpowers was not so much to destroy the other, but to maintain the peace by containing the ambitions of the other The USA in a world without Balance Globalization  Barely been used before 1989, but not came to be employed more regularly to define an apparently new system of international relations where, according to one reading, markets would come to matter more than states  Boundaries, and frontiers rendered increasingly porous, by the sheer volume of cross-border activity  Emergence of a new ‘unipolar’ system – USA  Events began to unfold o USA stunning victory over Iraq & collapse of USSR in 1991  By the turn of the century, the USA had been transformed from a mere superpower, to a ‘hyper power’ (French Minister, Hubert Vedrine) Hegemony  US Hegemony would last well into the 21 century because it enjoyed special advantage in nearly every sphere.  Exercise of US power under conditions of unipolarity.  What was the purpose of the US power? Other than to spread democracy and promote globalization?  The USA during the 1990s remained a superpower without a mission Session 5 - Chapter 4,8,11 Europe: A work in progress Dirigistes who favored greater state involvement in the management of a specifically European social model, and free marketers – led by the British – who argued that under conditions of global competition such a protected system was simply not sustainable and that thoroughgoing economic reform was essential. Europe benefited as much from the cold war as the USA Europeans were divided over a series of key issues, most notably the degree of European integration, economic strategy and the foreign policy aspirations of the European Union. Russia: from Yeltsin to Putin and Medvedev One of the many problems facing the West after the cold war was how to define its relationship with post-communist Russia, a country confronting several degrees of stress after 1991 as it began to travel the road that would one day move it from what it has once been – a super power with a planned economy and a formal Marxist Ideology – to what it might one day become – democratic, liberal and market-oriented.  Speedy adoption of Western – style privatization, Russia experienced something close to a 1930’s style depression, with industrial production plummeting, living standards falling and whole regions once devoted to cold war military production experience free fall.  President Boris Yeltsin’s foreign policy was not standing up for Russia’s National interest  Shifts inside Russia produced much confusion in the West  Russia was not the same geographical entity as the USSR. Economic reform meanwhile had made it dependent on Western markets.  War between Russia and Georgia in 2008 East Asia: primed for rivalry? Where as Europe managed to form a new liberal security community during the cold war, East Asia did not.  The result of the formation of the EU and the creation of NATO  In 1993 East Asia was still ripe for new rivalries  The USA played a crucial role by opening its market to East Asian goods while providing the region with critical security on the cheap.  Whatever the cause or combination of causes, the simple fact remains that East Asia by the end of the 20 century had become the third power house in the global economy, accounting for nearly 25% of world GDP.  Conflicts in the past in East Asia were beginning to be overridden in the 1990s by a growth in regional trade and investment. The process of EAST ASIAN economic integration (ASEAN) Session 5 - Chapter 4,8,11  Third reason is Japan. Adopted its peace constitution in the 1950s and renounced nuclear weapons. Japan strong holder of the NPT. Spread international aid and investment and fostered better relations in the regions.  ‘Rising China’ – Viewing as a benign instrument of development rather than of threat.  One of the great ironies of international history may be that china as a rising capitalist power playing by the rules of the market, may turn out to be more of a problem for the West than China the communist power in those far-off days when it denounced the imperialists across the ocean and called upon Asians to drive the Yankees out of the region. The war on Terror: from 9/11 to Iraq The events compelled the USA to act in a far more assertive fashion abroad.  One of the reasons for the attack on the USA in the first place was that it had not been assertive enough in the 1990s  The events of 9/11 had changed the original formula where by the USA turned a blind eye to autocratic regimes that existed in the region in exchange for cheap oil and stability  The war on Iraq – Factors to explain the war, o Ideological influence exercised by the ‘neo-cons’ o USA’s close relationship with Israel o Desire to control Iraq’s oil  So-called ‘war of choice’ was a strategic blunder that neither delivered stable democracy to Iraq nor inspired others in the region to undertake serious political reform. o PERSONAL NOTE – There are only two conflicts?  A conflict between those who on the one side supported democracy, pluralism, individualism and a separation between state and church  Those on the other hand who preached intolerance and supported theocracy, while calling for armed struggle and jihad against the unbeliever, the Zionists and their supporters in the west o PERSONAL NOTE - Islam doesn’t call out for this at all. It is in itself a religion of peace, which only states defense if someone is going to invade your home. Which is reasonable! If someone is going to come and hurt you, while you’re in your home. You have the complete right to ensure that no one hurts your family. This is practiced in the USA, so why are Muslims labeled terrorists when they’re only trying to protect their families? The World Economic Crisis Two things happened that appeared to change world politics forever. Session 5 - Chapter 4,8,11 1. Internal to the USA and involved in the critical transition from one president who had been defined by 9/11 to a new leader who sought to change the terms of the debate about the USA’s role in the world 2. Directly linked to another great event in world politics – the near meltdown of the world’s financial system in 2007 and 2008. Barak Obama  Elected in 2008 in the midst of the deepest financial crisis in the USA since the 1930s  Foreign policy aimed to correct many of the errors committed by the Bush administration – notably in the middle East  Comprehensive approach to World affairs raised US standing but by itself could not solve the many challenges facing the USA  The economic crisis had left the USA in a weakened international position Chapter 8 Marxist Theories of International Relations Introduction: The continuing relevance of Marxism 1 – What was termed ‘actually existing socialism’ was plainly not the communist utopia that many dreamed of and that Marx had apparently promised. nd 2 – Marx’s social theory retains formidable analytical purchase on the world we inhabit. Compared to realism and liberalism, Marxist thought presents a rather unfamiliar view of international relations. Marxist theories are discomfiting, for they argue that the effects of global capitalism are to ensure that the powerful and wealthy continue to propsper at the expense of the powerless and the poor. Marxist theorists argue that the relative prosperity of the few is dependent on the destitution of the many. “Accumulation of wealth at one pole, is therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality at the opposite pole.” Session 5 - Chapter 4,8,11 The Essential elements of Marxist theories of world politics Karl Marx  History had taught the working classes the duty to master for themselves the mysteries of international politics  The social world should be analyzed as a totality The central dynamic that Marx identifies is tension between the means of production and the relations of production that together form the economic base of a given society.  Means of production o As means of production develop, previous relations of production become outmoded and indeed become fetters restricting the most effective utilization of the productive capacity. o Leads to a process of social change where by relations of production are transformed in order to better accommodate the new configuration of means. o Change in the economy base ultimately lead to change in the ‘legal and political superstructure’  Class o Society is systematically prone to class conflict. o History of class struggle o Conflict between bourgeoisie and proletariat  Emancipation o Expected an understanding of the dynamics of capitalist society to overthrow the prevailing order and replace it with a communist society, a society in which wage labor and private property are abolis
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