SHORT ANSWER SECTION: do all of them in advance
Theory:Theories are a set of assumptions about how the world works and acts as a filter for looking at this complicated picture. They are based upon history, disciplinary conventions, and imagination which creates hypotheses to tell us about our reality and may also change that reality. We use theories in IR to help explain events and trends in history so that we can predict future outcomes. The three types of theories include: Human nature based theories, International environment based theories, and decision making theories. For Human nature, the starting assumptions work around a philosophical idea of humans’ innate tendency to be good or bad. This includes discussion on the state of nature being how a human behaved towards other humans before civilization. International environment based theories, this relates to the relevant situation of international politics and the current relationships states have with one another. Usually based off the level of power and status of each state. Decision making theories are ones that explain how people make decisions whether they be rational or not.
Importance of theories lies in that they can be applied to modern times as a way to predict or explain the current situation. Human nature theories for example help suggest whether or not a state or leader is going to act against other states and leaders. International environment based theories could also help explain the situation between North Korea and the United States as of right now. Depending on what theory you use, the outcomes can vary drastically. If you want to learn more check out What is the knowledge gap?
Hypothesis: A prediction of future behaviors and interactions between groups, based on previous trends, theories and knowledge. Don't forget about the age old question of Explain the 8 stages of life according to erikson.
Idealism: Idealism states that human nature is fundamentally good and provides the best prospects for cooperation in international relations. This was a very optimistic theory striving for peace and a utopian version of the world through cooperation at the international level. Woodrow Wilson incorporated idealism into his 14 points and when he created the League of Nations. Liberal democracy is the system that is most important for creating peace. War is ultimately bad for business and it destroys possible trade relations. Idealism values transparency and fairness to allow people’s innate goodness to surface and take control of international politics.
Don't forget about the age old question of How do you read a line angle structure?
Idealism is important because of its prospects for cooperation and how international organizations can really improve the world under its principles. Idealism is the most optimistic theory of international relations that results in the best outcome. Don't forget about the age old question of How do we control for confounding variables?
Realism: http://internationalrelations.org/realism_in_international_relations/ If you want to learn more check out What does metabolic pathway mean?
Don't forget about the age old question of What was the nullification crisis in 1832-1837?
∙ Realism is the antithesis of idealism, realists like Carr believed idealism was too optimistic
∙ Fundamentally people are bad, only selfinterested and would take the first chance they got to kill someone
∙ Major player of policy is the state and, because of selfinterest, cannot trust anyone else. Making international politics competitive, violent, and intense.
o International organizations exist only as long as they are viable and align with the states’ selfinterests
∙ If states are too weak to compete, they are destroyed by the stronger ones.
∙ Realism is important because it puts a reality check on idealism and brings a more cautious mindset of other states’ motives. In trade agreements, states should be skeptical of how much they’ll benefit, if at all.
o It’s more of a survival theory compared to idealism which is a prosperous and cooperative theory.
∙ Based on the economic theory of Karl Marx that challenges free market capitalism because the system is more about exploiting people by setting the prices of goods lower than the cost of the labor required to produce them. International Relations analyzes the effects of this economic system on politics. Marxism creates a class system of elites and laborers in one system and those systems having to interact with other similar systems around the world.
∙ Marxists would criticize the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for promoting neoliberal policies. They might also challenge the World Trade Organization fails to provide sufficient protections for workers, or protections for the environment.
∙ In marxism, multinational corporations are able to produce products in countries where human rights standards are not protected; making exploitation of workers very easy. ∙ Marxism also speaks of rebellions happening against the elites when the laborers finally gather and organize.
∙ Neorealism is based off the rational choice theory in which every actor or state is a rational actor that will only choose the beneficial choice and no emotions are involved in the decision making process.
o Each main unit is roughly the same, having the same survival goals, however, the distribution of power in the international system puts structural constraints on the way states behave.
∙ International system’s ordering principle is anarchy: there is no such thing as a world government; there is no higher authority above the main units that exist in the system the states.
o Unipolar: one dominant power whose mission is to preserve its position. They will prevent the emergence of a competitor and undermine any state that seems capable of rising to peer status.
Only existed a couple times, Holy Roman Empire, and the Post Cold War period.
o Bipolarity: Waltz is most interested in this system with two great powers. Commonly compared to the Cold War relationship between the United States and The Soviet Union. Bipolarity increases the likelihood of peace because the two actors only have to be concerned with what the other is doing. Strong incentives to not let the crisis get out of hands.
o tripolarity : Most dangerous, balance is difficult, two have large incentives to gain up on the third
Decision making approaches:
End of History:
Clash of civilizations:
ESSAY SECTION: (3 show up on exam)
Probably should prepare at least 3 outlines just to be sure you can use one of them.
1. “Science accumulates knowledge faster than society accumulates wisdom, said Isaac Asimov. Because of this, science fiction is our best guide to the nature of international politics today and into the future.” Discuss.
2. “Worldbuilding in speculative fiction and theory building in international relations are ways of escaping the practicalities of international politics: learning languages, living in other countries, building bridges at the level of real people. International relations, in its academic form, is typical navelgazing by professors, who are shielded from the real world. The unserious nature of IR is illustrated by how easy it is to draw links between speculative fiction and IR theory.” Discuss
3. Should international relations study high impact, short term episodes like crises, or concern itself with long run trends and patterns of international politics, such as the nature of the international system or the structure of imperialism?
4. Some argue that international politics today is much the same as it was during the Cold War and, indeed, the entirety of the 20th Century. Others see fundamental change in the way states and other actors relate to one another in the 21st Century. 1) Discuss the balance of continuity and change in international politics. 2) Offer an answer to this question: will the future look like the past? Justify your answer.
Technological advances and the race for dominance between states that was so evident during the Cold War has continued, however, the changes are the different states and circumstances that the world is in. There are a couple theories that touch upon how the world will move forward commenting on the balance of continuity and change. They stem from the Cold War, including: End of History, clash of civilizations, and globalization.
a. End of Historyfukuyama
i. The world has reached a climax with the Cold War. Western democracy and peace will slowly and eventually spread throughout the world until the world is completely at peace.
ii. liberal democracy has won in the separate reality or world of ideas and is still yet to be realized in the world of materials. There has been an overall trend of western capitalist expanding to other countries who also adopt liberal policies to become modernized.
iii. I believe the only reason this theory is sound is because it does not put a time limit on the final product and therefore cannot be proven wrong. However, I do believe in light of western liberal ideas triumphing over others, socialism, communism, and other orthodox structures will be very stubborn and resist change.
b. Clash of civilizationsHuntington
i. Huntington comments that after the battle of democracy and communism in the Cold War, the differences in culture will perpetuate the propensity for conflict and war between regions. He divided the world into eight
cultural regions: Sinic, Japanese, Hindu, Islamic, Orthodox, Western,
Latin American, and Africa.
ii. Huntington believes that the Islamic culture is the most antagonistic and hostile, which can be criticized for only representing the extremist groups that are in conflict with their government and outside influence. This does not represent islamic culture as a whole.
iii. The current Western decline is a very slow process and is not an immediate threat to World powers today.
iv. Decline of power does not occur in a straight line; it may reverse, speed up, or pause.
v. The power of a state is controlled and influenced by the behavior and decisions of those holding power.
i. describing the spread and connectedness of production, communication and technologies across the world. That spread has involved the interlacing of economic and cultural activity.
b. Conclusion: There are many ideas going around about change and continuity from the end of the Cold War. However, each theory can be combined in this way: the World is increasingly becoming more connected and interconnected with democracy and liberal ideals leading the pack, however cultural differences are being preserved and will continue to provide reason for conflict amongst states.
5. Draw together the themes and ideas in Arrival, Rogue One, and Wrath of Khan. Taken together, what do we learn about international politics by reading these movies as metaphors for the real world? Do we learn more by reading these movies than we would be reading three history books?