Intro To 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,
must do x)
o Logic, behavioral observation (not so much the rhetoric, but the actions)
∙ 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)
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)
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:
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: 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 IGOs- UN, WTO, AU, NATO
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
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.
∙ 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
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
∙ Given anarchy, relative power variations shape preferences and determine outcomes
∙ Threat to state from below
o Nation and State doesn’t match
o Can lead to
∙ Threat to state from above
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
∙ Soft Power
∙ Power is fundamentally relative
∙ Can only measure power in relation to other states/actors