Why study theories of World Politics.docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 2231E
Donald Abelson

Why study theories of World Politics- Jan 8 Exploring World Politics 2-20 • World politics- the study of how global actors activities entail the exercise of influence to achieve and defend their goals and ideals and how it affects the world at large • The challenge of investigating international relations o Have to take into account every factorthat influences human behaviour (Einstein thought it was near impossible) o So much new info and developments…ppl by habit resist change to how they think about things • How perceptions influence images of global reality o Some images of the world that we have exaggerate reality ; can become outdated o We create MENTAL MAPS- a habitual way of organizing info..we look for info that reinforces what we already think o Schemas guide our peceptionsand help us org info o SCHEMATIC REASONING- the process of reasoning by which new info is interpreted according to a memory structure, a schema, wich contains a network of generic scripts, metaphors and simplified characterizations of observed objects and phenomena o COGNITIVE DISSONANCE- the general psych tendency to deny discrepancies between our pre-existing beliefs (cognitions) and new info • Should we believe what we see o People can look at the same thing and see diff things o Ex. Cartographers (make maps)  Mercator projection- exaggerates europe at center of world and its importance but was pretty well mapped and used  Peter’s- draws attention to global south…proportion good but shape and position is wrong  Orthographic- distorted to make sense with sphere  Upside down- global south above north..challenges Eurocentric • Impact of perceptions of world politics o Leaders cannot be entirely objective o Founders of US affected foreign policy towards isolation and its goal of reforming the world to its views o MIRROR IMAGES- tendency of states and ppl in competitive interaction to perceive eachother similarly; the same hostile way they see them  Cold war o ENDURING RIVALRIES- prolonged competition fueled by deep seated mutual hatred that leads opposed actors to feud and fight over a long period of time without resolution of their conflict…same as above (C WAR and causes mirror)… Israel and middle east…US and al qaeda  Hard to resolve these conflicts ….creates cycle bc they see them as hostile so they act the same way..causing them to actually be • Perceptions, freeom and equality o Cuba and US each see the other as aggressive and hostile towards the others interests o Castro nationalizing so much land, taxing US exports and Cuban missle crisis pissed off the US o US put heavy sanctions on things other than meds and foods, severed diplomatic ties bc cuba was in cahoots with the SU, seen as imperialist, causing cubas hate o It is still very entrenched in the societies • Key concepts and terms for understanding world politics o ACTOR- an indiv, group, state or org that plays a major role in world politics o POWER- factors that enable one actor to change another actor’s behaviour for the originals benefit/ ag
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