Global Politics Chapter One
Transnational actors are organizations that may or may not be states: multinational companies,
terrorist groups, or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
Nonstate actors are international or regional organizations that are composed of states: the United
Nations, European Union, etc.
Multinational corporations are large business organizations who spread out their business
between multiple countries. These are important in several ways but most significantly because a
factory can provide vital jobs in a developing country.
A nation is a group of people who share the same geographic space, the same language and
culture, and the same history and a common identity.
A state is the highestlevel political structure that makes authoritative decisions within a
territorially based political unit.
A nationstate is a political unit within which people share an identity.
Sovereignty suggests that within a given territory the leaders of a state have absolute and final
The modern nationstate might be adversely affected by globalization in four ways:
1.states cannot effectively manage global problems unilaterally and thus suffer a crisis of
2.policy makers are not always representative of their citizens’ interests and therefore there is a
crisis of legitimacy.
3.citizens are being pulled toward their cultural identity and affiliation with NGOs and other
civil society actors, but a variety of forces pull them away from citizen identity and thus there
is a crisis of identity.
4.globalization has increased inequality in many states and created a crisis of equality.
A normative position is a position that looks at what ought to be. Idealists line themselves with
this kind of thinking and often have a commitment to changing the world.
Realists see the world as it really is rather than how we would like it to be.
In the 1980s the interparadigm debate among realism, liberalism, and Marxism (the three major
theories) showed how each theory is a version of what global politics is like rather than partial
pictures of it they do not agree on what global politics is fundamentally all about.
The historical approach: historians arrive at an understanding of why states take certain actions
or why events happen after a careful review of public documents, memoirs, and interviews with
key actors. The goal is not to understand all wars or actions but to create a history of a particular
war or action. The social scientific approach develops hypotheses based on dependent (y) and independent (x)
variables. They seek to explain international relations behavior, predict what others may do in
similar situations, and develop a list of policy options or prescriptions for relevant policy makers.
Independent variables reside in one of four levels of analysis:
1. individual/human dimension this explores the range of variables that can affect leaders’
policy choices; ie. crises, secrecy, can only involve a few actors, timely
2. domestic sources or national attributes: factors include a state’s history, traditions, &
political, economic, cultural, and social structures.
3. systemic factors: individual and collective actions states have taken to cope with