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COLORADO / Political Science / POLSCI 2223 / What Is International Relations?

What Is International Relations?

What Is International Relations?


School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Political Science
Course: Introduction to International Relations
Professor: Jaroslav tir
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: international relations
Cost: 25
Name: Notes for Intro to International Relations
Description: Notes from first week of school up until week of Feb 1
Uploaded: 02/06/2016
10 Pages 8 Views 16 Unlocks

princessjakelin (Rating: )

Intro To International Relations

What Is International Relations?

Lecture 1/13/16 01/24/2016 I. What Is International Relations?

∙ A. A game of politics on the international level

∙ B. What are Politics?

o A game of resource allocation

o Who gets what, when, and how (ex. Water, oil, security, land,  information)

∙ C. The object of Global Politics

o Get more of the resources you value

o How do you accomplish this?

 Set the rules of the game  Different countries are  

trying to rig the game in their benefit

 Rules according to Russia vs. US vs. China vs.  

Netherlands vs. North Korea vs. Palau

II. How Do We Study International Relations?

∙ A. Types of knowledge:

o Descriptive (the facts)

o Explanatory (why, how)

o Predictive (if certain conditions are met, what will be the  


o Prescriptive (figuring out how to change policies  to get y,  

What are the levels of analysis?

must do x)

∙ Methodology

o Logic, behavioral observation (not so much the rhetoric, but  the actions)


Recitation 1/13/16

∙ Do actions in one part of the globe affect others?

∙ Do political actors have to take into account these impacts to get  what they want?

Conflict- war, militarized disputes

International Economics- trade policy, international finance Other- Immigration/refugees, human rights, environment

Key Theories: Realism, Liberalism/Institutionalism, Marxism III. Where do we look for clues? What influences international events?

∙ Levels of analysis: 

o Individual (look at key people who influence international  events)

 Ex. WWII- Hitler

o State (focus on some conditions/attributes dealing with the  state)

What does it mean for something to be scientific in political science?

If you want to learn more check out What is the process for evaluating and correcting table structures to minimize data redundancy ?

 Ex. WWII- Economy, no moral, no leadership

o Dyadic (focus on interactions/relationships between states)  Ex. WWII- Treaty from the leagues of nations/reparations o Systemic (politics as a whole, system structures) Don't forget about the age old question of What are the closing entries in accounting?

 Ex. WWII- Weakness of league of nations (missing the  US)


Recitation 1/20/16

Theorizing About IR

∙ What does it mean for something to be scientific? (political  SCIENCE)

o Generalizable, explanatory theories

 Who does a specific phenomenon occur?

o Empirical Evaluation?

 How do we know whether the theory is right?

International Relations: Politics at the international level, who gets  what how

∙ Who acts?

∙ What they want?

∙ Why they want it?

∙ How they plan to get it?

IV. The State 

∙ The dominant way of political organization

∙ Meaning of the term “state”

o US Politics: State=Colorado, etc.

o Comp. Politics: State= Gov’t/regime

o IR: State=Country, such as Russia, etc.

∙ Ex. Of alternatives to states:

o Tribes, empires, feudal entity, principality, city-state, city  league, European union

∙ When is a political entity considered a state?

o Key properties:

 Territory

 Population

 Sovereignty  

 Diplomatic Recognition  you’re a state if other states  recognize you as a state

V. Where Do States Come From? If you want to learn more check out what is autumnal equinox?

∙ Origins of the Modern State:

o Late Feudal Period in Europe

 Presence of a monarch, but not as strong as the Church  Land=Resources

 Kingdoms dependent on feudal lords for  


 Roman Catholic Church reinforced that monarchs are  representatives of God

 Taught that even though living conditions were  

not good but, if they obeyed the rules, their  

rewards would be in the afterlife (Heaven).

 Micro/Macro system of order

∙ Key Changes 

o Renaissance and Reformation

 Science and Art education drew people away from the  Church  undermine the Church, undermine “the rules”

 Invention of gun powder

 Cannons can shoot through castle walls,  We also discuss several other topics like What is Law of Supply?

undermined the power of lords

 30 years way and the Treaty of Westphalia (1648)

 between Protestants and Catholics

∙ Treaty: Cuius Regio, Eius Religio (whos  

realm, his relgion)

o Kings has sovereignty over their  

states, population of their state has to

follow that king’s religion

∙ Why did the rest of the world organize into states?

o Europeans expanded and colonizes, left behind principles of  sovereignty

VI. Reinventing the State:

∙ French Revolution and Napoleon

o Louis XIV- “I am the state”

o Gov’t was operating on its own behalf, not the people’s behalf o Revolution: Gov’t should govern on behalf of the people  Subjects became citizens

∙ A Potentially Unintended Consequences

o Who are “the people”?

o Birth of nationalism  the people are the French nations o Nation: A community defined by some similarity

 Key nationalist agenda

 Self-determination: nation gets to decide its own  Don't forget about the age old question of Innate behaviors means what?


o The concept of the state transformed into the one nation-one  state ideal

 Every nation should have its own state

 Napoleon spreads this idea around

_____________________________________________________________ Recitation 1/27/16

The State 

∙ The State: political entity controlling define territory, population,  with sovereignty and recognition

∙ The Nation: a group of people that identify as a nation o Based on shared culture, language, religion, history  There is no clear way to evaluate if something is a  nation or not

 Its existence is subject to politics and debate Don't forget about the age old question of What is the matrix organizations?

∙ Nation-State: the nation=the state

o The nation falls within the boundary of the state- very rare

∙ Different From States:


o NGOs- ICRC, Amnesty International, MSF, GreenPeace o MNCs- Airbus, ExxonMobil

o Terrorist/Rebel Groups- ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc.

∙ Why do we focus on states?

o States have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force  How?  Sovereignty

∙ Future of the State?

o What is Barber’s “Jihad”?  how the state is falling apart  Threat from below

 Deuling nationalism will fragment the state

o What is Barber’s “McWorld”?  globalization, borders are  becoming less important and eroding the sovereignty of the  state

 Threat from above

 Ending sovereignty  

VII. The State Under Threat?

∙ How common are true nation-states?

o Not very common- maybe Japan, Denmark, Iceland, Slovenia ∙ What is the problem if national and state boundaries do not  correspond?

o Nationalists argue the state is wrong, people want to change  boundaries

o Loyalty to the state or the nation?

o Secessionist movements

∙ In addition to the threat from below (or within) is there also  a threat to the state from above?

∙ How is globalization challenging the state?

o Some would argue that nationalism or globalization are the  forces that are fundamentally shaping the world we live in.  

VIII. Neorealism 

∙ Key principle: Power

∙ Basics of Realism (per hobbes)

∙ Realism believes the world hasn’t changed, the basic dynamics of  politics is the same

o Intellectual origins:  

 Hobbes, Machiavelli, Morgenthau, Thucydides,  

o General View of the Word

 Unlimited competition among humans to satisfy their  unending wants  

 Unchecked by a higher authority, how far does this  competition go?

 The world is in a state of chaos

 People are self-serving

 State of nature is a state of war

o War is normal

o In the Hobbesian competition, what determines who gets  what and how much

 Relative power

 Power is the most valuable commodity  

 Dahl’s Definition: the ability to get someone to  

do something they would otherwise not do

 Where does this power come form?

∙ Realists say military/weapons


∙ Realists- How do you know when you’re well off?

∙ Relative power (satisfaction is relative)

∙ Key goal= acquisition + preservation of relative power

o A zero sum view of the world

 The International Arena

∙ States are much like humans

o Greedy for power

o Rational, preferring more power to less

o International politics as a ceaseless and unlimited struggle for  power

∙ How is the behavior of states checked?

o No world government

 Anarchy (anarchy does not equal chaos)

o Who will look after you

 Self-help world

∙ Given anarchy, relative power variations shape preferences and  determine outcomes


Recitation 2/3/16

Barber’s “Jihad”

∙ Threat to state from below

o Nation and State doesn’t match

o Can lead to

 Violence

 Terrorism

 Undermining sovereignty

 Barber’s “McWorld”

∙ Threat to state from above

∙ Globalization

o Economic Integration

o Transnational environmental problems

o International organizations

∙ Leads to

o Increasing constraints on state action

Future of the State

∙ Is Barber correct that the state will no longer be the central actor in  international politics?

What is Power?

∙ “The ability to get someone else to do something they otherwise  wouldn’t”

∙ What gives a state power?

∙ Hard Power

o Military

o Economic

∙ Soft Power

o Culture

o Values

o Persuasion

∙ Power is fundamentally relative

∙ Can only measure power in relation to other states/actors

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