Chapter 1: The Globalization of International Relations.pdf

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University of British Columbia
Political Science
POLI 260
Robert Farkasch

Monday, January 6, 2014 Chapter 1: The Globalization of International Relations ▯ • International relations (IR) — the relations among the world’s governments. • Affected by other actors (international organizations, multinational corporations, and individuals) and social structures (economics, culture, domestic policies) • Globalization: • 2 events: September 11, 2011 attacks and 2008-2009 global recession • Both marked by expanding communications technology and integrated markets • Main question of IR: how can a group serve its collective interests when doing so requires its members to forgo their individual interests? • Collective goods problem — the problem of how to provide something that benefits all members of a group regardless of what each member contributes to it • Dominance, reciprocity, identity — three possible solutions to the collective goods problem • Dominance solves the collective goods problem by establishing a power hierarchy in which those at the top control those below, a bit like a government but without an actual government • Advantages: order, stability, predictability; disadvantages: oppression, resentment • Sometimes a hegemon or superpower stands atop the great powers as the dominant nation — the UN Security Council, in which the world’s five strongest military powers hold a veto, reflects the dominance principle • Dominance forces members of a group to contribute to the common good and minimizes open conflict within the group. Disadvantage is that stability comes at a cost of constant oppression of, and resentment by, the lower-ranking members in the hierarchy. Conflicts over position in the hierarchy can occasionally harm the group’s stability. • Reciprocity rewards behaviour that contributes to the group and punishes behaviour that pursues self-interest at the expense of the group • Advantages: incentives for mutual cooperation; disadvantages: downward spirals, complex accounting • Reciprocity may be positive or negative • Identity does not rely on self-interest, members of an identity community care about the interests of others in the community enough to sacrifice their own interests to benefit others. Principle lies in kinship. • Advantages: sacrifice for group, redefine interests; disadvantages: demonizing an out-group • Non-state actors, such as nongovernmental organizations or terrorist networks, rely on identity politics to a great extent • International politics — decisions of governments about foreign actors, especially other governments. Political relations depend on diplomacy, war, trade relations, alliances, cultural exchanges, participation in international organizations, etc. • Policy makers of one nation can behave cooperatively or conflictingly • IR comprised of 2 subsets: international security and international economic policy • International economic policy (IPE) — concerns trade and financial relations among nations, and focuses on how national have cooperated politically to create and maintain institutions that regulate the flow of international economic and financial transactions State — a territorial entity controlled by a
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