Chapter at a glance crude summaries.docx

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University of California - Los Angeles
Political Science
Leslie Johns

World Politics Dumbed-down “at-a-glance” summaries Chapter 2  It is easier for a smaller group to act effectively, because they can coordinate together and be more efficient  Iteration, Linkage, and strategies of reciprocal punishment are all ways to aid cooperation between actors  The availability of information also aids in cooperation between states  A better deal can be made for an actor in bargaining due to: o Coercion: The threat or imposition of costs on other actors such as military force or economic sanctions o Outside Options: The alternatives to bargaining with a specific actor o Agenda-Setting Power: A “first mover” advantage that helps an actor to secure a more favorable bargain  Institutions can facilitate cooperation in 4 main ways: o Setting standards of behavior: Clear standards of behavior through organizations such as NAFTA, which reduce ambiguity in acceptable actions o Verifying Compliance: Means of verifying and judging compliance can be set such as the UNSC making sure that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq through inspections o Reducing the Costs of Joint Decision Making: Essentially “rules of the road,” rules are put in place that help everyone stay on the same page, such as those created by the United nations o Resolving Disputes: Mechanisms to resolve disputes are important because if an actor violates an agreement, it is helpful to have rules set in stone that can minimize conflict Chapter 3  War can commonly take place due to incomplete information: o The capabilities or resolve of one side may not be fully known to the other side o States may have an incentive to represent their capabilities, and it is not always clear whether the message a state sends is credible o Coercion can be used to sway opponents, as well as bluffs which can cause the opponents to overestimate a state’s resolve or capabilities o Ways of demonstrating credibility include brinksmanship and tying hands  Brinksmanship involves a state taking actions that may start an accidental war, showing that they mean business  Tying hands involves leaders making statements and threats that they cannot back down from, and if they do back down they are subject to audience costs  War can commonly take place due to commitment problems: o Sometimes in bargaining, actors bargain over things that are a future source of power, such as a strategically advantageous territory o Changing power may result in the stronger state instigating war in a preventative manner in order to keep their power o Similarly, if a state thinks that they may be attacked in the near future, they would strike preemptively o First strike advantages are commitment problems because a state may have the opportunity to have a huge advantage if they are the ones to strike first  War can commonly take place due to indivisible goods: o Regime/Religious superiority o A holy land such as Jerusalem o Many times the good may actually be divisible in some way, but leaders have incentive to represent the good as undeniably indivisible  Ways to make war less likely: o Raising the cost of war such as by mutually assured destruction o Increasing transparency can help solve incomplete information, especially when related to military capabilities o Providing outside enforcement of commitments can help, such as state acting in compliance with WTO rules or rules of other organizations. In addition linkage and iteration can serve as a sort of enforcement o Dividing apparently indivisible good, whether physically or symbolically Chapter 4  Nationalist interests as well as individualistic interests can contribute to decision- making, such as national security as well as the economic interests of oil company executives o Small groups, such as United Fruit, are able to impose better organized interests that groups such as American taxpayers, so they are able to influence the government substantially o The military and other interest groups wield a disproportionate amount of power due to coercive advantages  Politicians may have incentive to instigate war for their own benefits o Ideological reasons may cause incentive for politicians to start war with opposing nations o The rally effect: The tendency for people to become more supportive of their country’s government in response to dramatic international events, such as crises or wars o Diversionary incentive: The incentive that states leaders have to start international crises in order to rally public support at home o However, most leaders do not fall prey to the diversionary incentive due to audience costs, as well as the high cost of war  Countries may fight wars to satisfy interest groups: o The military industrial complex: An alliance between military leaders and the industries that benefit from internati
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