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CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY / OTHER / POLI 205 / What are the requirements of an analytical model?

What are the requirements of an analytical model?

What are the requirements of an analytical model?


School: Concordia University
Department: OTHER
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: international relations
Cost: 50
Name: Midterm Study Guide (POLI 205)
Description: Covers everything from week 1 to week 6
Uploaded: 10/19/2017
29 Pages 7 Views 5 Unlocks

IR Framework of Main Concepts for Weeks 1-6 (Midterm Study Guide)

What are the requirements of an analytical model?

Note: I have taken from my own notes, directly and paraphrased from the readings, parts from Dr. Paradis’ powerpoint, and also from other sources which I will be linking below the subheader “Resources” within each section/week of the class. I highly recommend you look back directly at the readings and make sure you know the main concepts, and their relevance. Please be sure to use your own notes and any other resources you find useful and NOT just my notes as it always helps to have concepts described in your own words in your own notes. Aside from all of this, I truly do hope that this study guide helps, and best of luck on the mid-term!

NOTE: All first few bullets under each author are their big conclusions, so essentially big points they are trying to get across and/or come to. Figured it might be easier to have this placed in the beginning so you can remember the big ideas of each author much easier.

What are the types of theories/ideas?

NOTE: This study guide will be updated throughout the week to make sure it is as helpful as possible!

Week​ ​1:​ ​Introduction 

Authors and their stances: 

David J. Singer

1. Requirements of an Analytical Model:

a. It must correlate with objective reality and coincide with our empirical referents (the object or event to which a term or symbol refers) to the highest possible degree.

b. It must have a capacity to explain the relationships among phenomena under investigation.

i. Focuses on the validity of the model, and is not so concerned with the accuracy of the description

c. It is reasonable to demand that any analytical model offer the promise of reliable prediction

What is the international system?

We also discuss several other topics like solutuo

2. International System as a Level of Analysis

a. It is the most comprehensible of the levels available encompassing the totality of interactions which take place within the system and its environment

i. It permits us to examine international relations in the whole

b. In terms of explanatory capability:

i. The international system “tends to lead the observer into a position which exaggerates the impact of the system upon the national actors and,

conversely, discounts the impact of the actors on the system” (Singer 80). ii. This particular level of analysis almost inevitably requires that we develop a common and universal way in which national actors decide to act or


3. National System as a Level of Analysis

a. It permits significant differentiation among our actors in the international system i. This is able to be done because the national system require that national actors be the same in how they behave Don't forget about the age old question of Which of the following is TRUE about what Herrnstein and Hineline concluded?

b. An “implication of selecting the nation as our focus or level of analysis is that it raises the entire question of goals, motivation, and purpose in national policy” (Singer 84).

i. This raises a question of whether national behavior is purposive or not. As a result of this, two distinct dimensions must be discussed:

1. The first issue is “whether those who act on behalf of the nation in

formulating and executing foreign policy consciously pursue rather

concrete goals.” (84).

2. The second issue is, “how and why certain nations pursue specific

sorts of goals” (85).

4. The phenomenal is that which is discerned by the human senses

5. Conclusion:

a. Evaluation of the two levels of analysis (International and National) and their descriptive, explanatory, and predictive capabilities If you want to learn more check out what distinguishes protein from other macronutrients?

i. “In terms of description, we find the systemic level (international level) produces a more comprehensive and total picture of international

relations” (Singer 89).

ii. “The subsystemic or actor orientation (national level) is considerably more fruitful, permitting as it does a more thorough investigation of the Don't forget about the age old question of pvamu con

processes by which foreign policies are made” (89-90). l

Stephen M. Walt

● Types of Theories/Ideas

○ Realism

■ Realism emphasizes the enduring propensity for conflict between states ○ Liberalism

■ Identifies several ways to mitigate these conflictive tendencies

○ Constructivism

■ Emphasizes the impact of ideas

■ Constructivists regard the interests and identities of states as a highly malleable product of specific historical processes

○ Radical Approaches

Jack Snyder

Key Concepts: 

What is the international system? Don't forget about the age old question of » If a tax is placed on some good, how will people’s choices change?

● A system is “a set of interrelated units.”

Structure: describes the configuration of the units within the system If you want to learn more check out land navigation study guide

Domestic vs. International Politics 

● Domestic politics is hierarchical 

● International politics is anarchic 

In domestic politics:

The government has a monopoly on force

There is a strong sense of community and society

In international politics:

Community and society are much weaker

No monopoly on force


● International actors differ in the amount of power they possess

● Power is the ability to get another to do something that they would not otherwise do (Robert Dahl)

● Hard power

○ The direct use of coercion or payments to obtain desired ends (threatening) ● Soft power

○ The indirect use of attraction or persuasion to obtain desired ends (changing minds)

Research Methods: Types of studies

● Experiments

● Observational Studies

○ Case studies or comparative case studies

○ Large-N studies

● Modeling

○ Forecasting

○ Chicken (the game)

Levels of Analysis 

● The international system

● The nation-state (domestic level)

● The individual

Week​ ​2:​ ​Realism 

Authors and their Theories/stances: 


● His work was the first recorded political and moral analysis of a nation’s war policies. ● He composed a strictly contemporary history of events that he lived through and that succeeded each other almost throughout his adult life 

Classical​ ​Realism​:

Hans Morgenthau

● “Morgenthau regards realism as a way of thinking about international relations and a useful tool for devising policies.” (Jepson 2012) 

● Morgenthau recognises a plurality of influences upon state behaviour which include; ○ “Nationalism, ideologies, imperialism in a variety of forms, the diplomatic skills of the domestic government and popular support both domestically and 

internationally” (Jepson 2012) 

■ Essentially, Morgenthau is saying that there are a lot of influences on state behavior

● “Morgenthau also stressed the virtues of the classical, multipolar, balance of power system and saw the bipolar rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union as especially dangerous” (Walt 31). 

Neorealism/Structural​ ​Realism: 

Kenneth Waltz 

● Waltz believes that theories are ‘statements which explain laws (Jepson 2012) ● Waltz attributes the ‘self help’ nature of the international realm as the sole factor in deciding states’ behaviours (Jepson 2012) 

○ In contrast Morgenthau believes state behavior is pluralistic in nature 

● Waltz “ignored human nature and focuses on the effects of the international system” (Walt 31). 

● Due to the anarchic nature of the world, Waltz believed that this would make states weaker and result in weaker states balancing against stronger states, and not bandwagoning (joining) with them 

● Contrary to Morgenthau, Waltz claimed that bipolarity (two great powers) was more stable than multipolarity (more than two great powers) 

Key Concepts: 

Hans Morgenthau’s Six Principles of Political Realism: 

1. Politics is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature 2. Interests defined in terms of power

3. While interests defined in terms of power is universal, the content and use of power is contextual

4. Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It is also aware of the ineluctable tension between moral command and the requirements of successful political action

5. Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral laws that govern the universe

6. The political realist maintains the autonomy of the political sphere

For all realists the struggle for power is the main motivator in political life 

Human nature is a starting point for classical political realism. 

● Realists view human beings as inherently egoistic and self-interested to the extent that self-interest overcomes moral principles.

Neorealism is a structural theory 

Key Terms: 

● States

● Realism

● Classical Realism

● Structural Realism

● Power

● Security

● Politics


● https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/realism-intl-relations/ 

Comparing and Contrasting Classical Realism and Neorealism: A Re-examination of Hans Morgenthau’s and Kenneth Waltz’s Theories of International Relation:

● http://www.e-ir.info/2009/07/23/comparing-and-contrasting-classical-realism-and-neo-re alism/ 

The Differences Between Classical Realism and Neorealism:

● http://www.e-ir.info/2012/01/24/the-differences-between-classical-realism-and-neo-realis m/ 


● https://www.britannica.com/biography/Thucydides-Greek-historian 

Week​ ​3:​ ​Realism​ ​(Part​ ​2) 

Authors and their Theories/stances: 

Realism​ ​Continued….

John J. Mearsheimer

● Argues that, great powers are always searching for opportunity to gain power over their rivals

○ Hegemony (dominance) being their final goal 

Explanation derived from five assumptions of the international system:

1. The international system is anarchic

2. Great powers possess some sort of offensive military capability

3. States cannot be certain of other states intentions

4. Survival is the primary goal of survival

5. Great powers are rational actors

States operating in a self help world almost always act according to their own interests A hegemon is a state so powerful that it dominates all the other states in the system Security also trumps wealth when those two goals conflict

Two factors inhibit cooperation:

1. Considerations about relative gains

2. Concern about cheating

Any two states contemplating cooperation must consider:

● How profits or gains will be distributed among them

Cooperation is more difficult to achieve, however when states are attuned to relative gains rather than absolute gains

Bottom line is that cooperation takes place in a world that is competitive at its core No amount of cooperation can eliminate the dominating logic of security competition

Stephen S. Walt

● It is safer to balance against potential threats than to rely on the hope that a state will remain benevolently disposed

When confronted by a significant external threat, states may either:

● Balance

○ Allying with others against the prevailing threat

○ Aligning with the weaker side

○ States are more likely to balance in peacetime or early stages of war

○ The restoration of peace, restores the incentive to balance

○ Is​ ​the​ ​the​ ​dominant​ ​tendency​ ​in​ ​international​ ​politics 

● Bandwagon

○ Refers to the alignment with the source of danger

○ Aligning with the stronger side

○ Weaker states are more likely to bandwagon

○ States will be also be tempted to bandwagon when allies are simply unavailable ○ Is​ ​the​ ​opportunistic​ ​exception 

If balancing is more common than bandwagoning then states are more secure because aggressors will face combined opposition

Whereas, if bandwagoning is more common, then security is scarce because successful aggressors will attract additional allies therefore enhancing their power while reducing their opponents as well

In a balancing world:

● Credibility is less important

● Policies that convey restraint and benevolence are best

In a bandwagoning world:

● It is much more competitive

Robert Jervis

● “Although actors may know that they seek a common goal, they may not be able to reach it” (Page 168, bottom of first paragraph).

● Security dilemma: many of the means by which a state tries to increase its security decrease the security of others (Page 169, bottom of it)

● “One state’s gain in security often inadvertently threatens others.” (Page 170) ● Developed offense-defense theory

○ “War was more likely when states could conquer each other easily.” (Walt 31). ○ When defense is easier than offense this results in:

■ An increase in security

■ A decline in incentives to expand

■ Cooperation capable of being successful

● Anarchy and the Security Dilemma

“Although actors may know that they seek a common goal, they may not be able to reach it” (Page 168, bottom of first paragraph).

Security dilemma: many of the means by which a state tries to increase its security decrease the security of others (Page 169, bottom of it)

“One state’s gain in security often inadvertently threatens others.” (Page 170) 2. What makes cooperation more likely? 

1. Anything that increases incentives to cooperate by increasing the gains of mutual cooperation

a. And/or decreasing the costs the actor will pay if he cooperates and the other does not

2. Anything that decreases the incentives for defecting by decreasing the gains of taking advantage of the other

a. And/or increasing the costs of mutual noncooperation

3. Anything that increases each side’s expectation that the other will cooperate

“The fear of being exploited (that the cost of CD (cost of being exploited)) most strongly drive the security dilemma” (Page 172)

● “By contrast if the costs of CD (cost of being exploited) are lower-they can afford to take a more relaxed view of threats” (Page 172)

“When the costs of CD are tolerable, not only is security easier to attain but, > the relatively low level of arms and relatively passive foreign policy that a status quo power will be able to adopt are less likely to threaten others” (bottom of page 172)

“A world of small states will feel the effects of anarchy much more than world ones.” (Page 173, at the top)

“Defensible borders, large size, and protection against sudden attack not only aid the state, but facilitate cooperation that can benefit all states” (Page 173, top)

The ultimate cost of CD is of course loss of sovereignty

● This varies by situation

The main costs of a policy reacting quickly and severely to the increases in another’s arms are not the price of one’s arms, but:

● The sacrifice of potential gains from cooperation (CC)

● The increase in the dangers of needless arms races and wars (DD)

○ The greater these costs the greater the incentives are for cooperation

The Basic Points to consider about war: 

1. War is to set off a chain of unpredictable and uncontrollable events

2. Domestic costs of war must be weighed

3. Turning to the advantages of cooperation-​ for states with large and diverse economies the gains from economic exchange are rarely if ever sufficient to prevent war 4. The gains from cooperation can be increased, not only if each side gets more of the traditional values such as wealth, but also if each comes to value the other’s well being positively

a. Mutual cooperation will have a double payoff as there is

i. Direct gains

ii. And the satisfaction of seeing the other prosper

Technology and geography are the two main factors that determine whether the offense or the defense has the advantage (Page 194)

“The other major variable that affects how strongly the security dilemma operates is whether weapons and policies that protect the state also provide the capability for attack” (Page 199) Assuming that the defense is equal to the offense, the differentiation between them allows status quo states to behave in ways clearly different from aggressors

● These include:

1. Status quo powers can identify each other, thus laying the foundations for cooperation

2. Status quo states will obtain advance warning when others plan aggression 3. If all states support the status quo, an obvious arms control agreement can be put into place

a. thus rendering attacks less likely

In context to deterrence, offensive weapons are those that provide defense

The first world is the worst for status quo states (Refers to scenario chart in article) ● There is no way to get security without menacing others

● Security through defense is difficult to obtain

Gideon Rose

● “The neoclassical realist school has much to offer students of foreign policy” (Rose 168). ● “In the end, neoclassical realism’s relative modesty about its ability to provide tidy answers or precise predictions should perhaps be seen not as a defect but rather a virtue, stemming as it does from a judicious appraisal of its object of inquiry” (Rose 172).

● Terms the fourth concept he reviews, as “neoclassical realism”

“Neoclassical realists argue that relative material power establishes the basic parameters of a country’s foreign policy” (Rose 146).

● Relative power defines the range of influence that a state may seek

Instead of seeking security, states try to “control and shape their external environment” (Rose 1998, 152).

Key Concepts: 


● Defined in Jervis section above

Balancing and Bandwagoning

● Defined and covered in Walt section

Anarchy and the Security Dilemma

● Defined and covered in Jervis section

Neoclassical Realism

● Defined above in Gideon Rose section

Offensive Realism

● Argues that systematic factors are always dominant

● Reverses Innenpolitik logic

● Assumes that security is scarce

○ States try to achieve it by maximizing their relative advantage

Defensive Realism

● Assumes that security is often plentiful than scarce

Innenpolitik theories

● Stresses the influence of domestic factors on foreign policy

Key Terms: 

● Hegemony

● Balancing

● Bandwagoning

● Neoclassical realism

● Offensive Realism

● Defensive Realism

Week​ ​4:​ ​Liberalism​ ​and​ ​Domestic​ ​Politics 

Authors and their Theories/stances: 


Andrew Moravcsik

● Three major variants of liberal theory:

○ Ideational liberalism

○ Commercial liberalism

○ Republican liberalism

Liberalism prioritizes:

● The configuration of state preferences

Realism prioritizes:

● The configuration of capabilities

Institutionalism prioritizes:

● The configuration of information and institutions

Three major variants of liberal theory: Look at it as variables/typology

1. Ideational liberalism

a. Stresses the impact on state behavior of conflict and compatibility among social values or identities concerning the scope and nature of public goods provision 

2. Commercial liberalism

a. Stresses the impact on state behavior of gains and losses to individuals and groups in society from transnational economic interchange 

3. Republican liberalism

a. Stresses the impact on state behavior of varying forms of domestic representation and the resulting incentives for social groups to engage in rent seeking 

Michael W. Doyle

● Transition between hegemonic leaders is the greatest danger of international change ● Constitutional + International + Cosmopolitan law connect the characteristics of liberal polities (a form or process of civil government or constitution) and economics

Liberalism has been identified with an essential principle; the importance of the freedom of the individual

● This a belief in the importance of moral freedom

● The right to be treated and a duty to treat others as ethical subjects

○ This principle has generated rights and institutions

Commitment​ ​to​ ​a​ ​threefold​ ​set​ ​of​ ​rights​ ​forms​ ​the​ ​foundation​ ​of​ ​liberalism 1. Freedom from arbitrary authority (often called “negative freedom”) 

a. Includes: It’s freedom from something

i. Freedom of conscience

ii. Free press

iii. Free speech

iv. Equality under the law

v. Right to private property (to hold and exchange property without fear of arbitrary seizure)

2. Rights necessary to protect and promote the capacity and opportunity for freedom (positive freedoms) 

a. Includes social and economic rights: It’s freedom to something

i. Equality of opportunity in education

ii. Rights to healthcare and employment

1. These things are necessary for effective self-expression and


3. Democratic participation or representation 

a. Necessary for the other two rights to exist

The liberal tradition has evolved two high roads to individual freedom and social order ● One is laissez-faire or “conservative” liberalism

○ Laissez faire liberalism includes;

■ Less government control

■ More of a role for private property and the market

● The other is social welfare or social democratic or “liberal” liberalism ○ Welfare liberalism is the opposite, so it includes;

■ More government

■ Less market

The​ ​four​ ​essential​ ​institutions​ ​shared​ ​by​ ​the​ ​political​ ​order​ ​of​ ​laissez-faire​ ​and​ ​social welfare​ ​liberals

1. Citizens possess juridical equality and other fundamental civil rights a. Such as freedom of religion and press

2. The effective sovereigns of the state are representative legislatures deriving their authority from the consent of the electorate and exercising their authority free from all restraint apart from the requirement that basic civic rights be preserved

3. The economy rests on a recognition of the right of private property a. Including the ownership of means of production

4. Economic decisions are predominantly shaped by;

a. The forces of supply and demand

b. Domestically and internationally

c. Free from strict control of bureaucracies

Statistically, war between two states (in any single year or other short period of time is a low probability event

However, war between any two adjacent states, considered over a long period of time, may be somewhat more probable

Realism in its classical formulation holds that:

● The state is and should be formally sovereign

● Effectively unbounded by individual rights nationally

○ Thus capable of determining its own scope of authority

Truths​ ​to​ ​a​ ​realist: 

● These factors direct the policy of all states

○ International anarchy extends over all states

■ This system is anarchic

○ Fundamental quest for power

Unlike individuals, states are not equal

A policy of safety is not a guarantee of peace

Things that may affect foreign policy attitudes:

● Geography

○ Insular security

○ Continental security

Explanations that fail to confirm liberal peace

● To adopt peaceable policies and negotiate disputes

● Level of Social determinants

○ Relations among group of states with similar social structures or with compatible values would be peaceful

● Level of interstate relations

○ Neither specific regional attributes nor historic alliances or friendships can account for the wide reach of liberal peace

Three types of interstate peace: 

1. Empire

2. Hegemony

3. Equilibrium

a. Draws upon prudential sources of peace

4. Some realists might suggest: the absence of deep conflicts of interest among liberal states

Kant’s Perpetual Peace includes: Three Definitive Articles of Peace

1. The civil constitution of the state must be republican

2. Liberal republics will progressively establish peace among themselves by means of the “pacific union”

a. The pacific union is neither a single peace treaty ending one war nor a world state or state of nations

3. Establish a cosmopolitan law to operate with the pacific union

Kant’s central claim is that a natural evolution will produce “a harmony from the very disharmony of men against their will

John M. Owen

● “I define liberal democracy as a state that instantiates liberal ideas, one where liberalism is the dominant ideology and citizens have leverage over war decisions” (Top of pg. 89) ● Liberal ideology and institutions work together to bring about democratic peace

Two things needed for Freedom:

1. Persons or nations must be themselves enlightened, aware of their interests and how they should be secured

2. People must live under enlightened political institutions which allow their true interests to shape politics

Liberals disagree over which political institutions are enlightened

Liberalism gives rise to an ideology that distinguishes states primarily according to regime type ● Liberalism asks whether the state is a liberal democracy?

○ This is in contrast to neorealism, which distinguishes states according to capabilities

Ceteris paribus, people are better off without war, because it is costly and dangerous ● War is called for only if it serves liberal ends which include:

○ Enhancing self-preservation and well-being

● War is only waged against adversaries that are NOT liberal democracies

On the other hand, illiberal states are viewed as unpredictable, unreasonable, and potentially dangerous

● These states are ruled by despots or unenlightened people

“Liberalism seeks to actualize the harmony of interests among individuals by insuring that the freedom of each is compatible with the freedom of all” (Owen 99).

● Thus calls for structures that protect the right of each citizen to self government (negative freedoms; free speech, freedom of press, freedom of conscience, equality under the law, and the right to private property)

● Regular, competitive elections are necessary because they provide citizens with the possibility of punishing officials who violate their rights

● Liberalism says that people who fight and fund war have the right to be consulted, through representatives they elect, before entering it


“Liberalism says that all persons are best off pursuing self-preservation and material well-being, and that freedom and toleration are the best means to these ends” (Owen 123-124). 

“The liberal commitment to individual freedom gives rise to foreign policy ideology and governmental institutions that work together to produce democratic peace” (124). 

Threats to liberalism from itself: 

● Liberalism’s inability to fulfill the material expectations it raises

● Liberalism’s tendency to destroy traditional ways of life and sources of meaning

Graham T. Allison

● “The principle purpose of this essay is to explore some of the fundamental assumptions and categories employed by analysts in thinking about problems of governmental behavior, especially in foreign and military affairs.” (Alison, 689).

● “Deterrence is the cardinal problem of the contemporary strategic literature” (692). ● Includes three paradigms/models:

○ Rational Policy paradigm

■ “Governments select the action that will maximize strategic goals and objectives” (694).

■ “The general principle can be formulated as follows: the likelihood of any particular action results from a combination of the nation’s (1) relevant values and objectives, (2) perceived alternative courses of action, (3) estimates of various sets of consequences (which will follow from each alternative), and (4) net valuation of each set of consequences.”

○ Organizational Process Model

■ “According to this organizational process model, what Model I (Rational Policy Model) categorizes as “acts” and “choices” are instead outputs of

large organizations functioning according to certain regular patterns of

behavior” (pg. 690)

■ “Faced with the problem of Soviet Missiles in Cuba, a model II analyst identifies the relevant organizations and displays the patterns of

organizational behavior from which this action emerged.” (690).

○ Bureaucratic

■ The third model focuses on the internal politics of a government

■ What happens is categorized as outcomes of various overlapping

bargaining games among players hierarchically in the national government (690).

■ “In confronting the problem posed by Soviet missiles in Cuba, a Model III analyst displays the perceptions, motivations, positions, power, and

maneuvers of principal players from which the outcome emerged” (690). Key Concepts: 


Ideational liberalism

Commercial liberalism

Republican liberalism

Three types of Interstate Peace:

1. Empire

2. Hegemony

3. Equilibrium

Kant’s Perpetual Peace

Three paradigms/models:

1. Rational

2. Organizational

3. Bureaucratic

Key Terms: 

● Ideational liberalism

● Commercial liberalism

● Republican liberalism

● Paradigm

● The state

● The international system

● Insular security

● Continental security

Week​ ​5:​ ​Rationalist​ ​Theories 

Authors and their Theories/stances: 


Duncan Snidal

● The ultimate criterion for game theory is whether it expands our understanding of substantive issues

James D. Fearon

● Main argument revolves around addressing the need to avoid war and should have incentives for negotiated settlements rather that going to war

● Under broad conditions the fact that fighting is costly and risky implies that there should exist negotiated agreements that rationally led states in dispute would prefer war ● Two causal mechanisms explain why rationally led states are sometimes unable to agree on a bargain:

○ The combination of private information about resolve or capability and incentives to misrepresent these

○ States’ inability in certain circumstances to uphold a deal

Neoliberal​ ​Theories: 

Kenneth A. Oye

● The shadow of the future, strategies of reciprocity, and payoff structure interact in determining the likelihood of cooperation

Robert O. Keohane and Lisa L. Martin

● International institutions operating on the basis of reciprocity will result in lasting cooperation

● The successful functioning of institutions depends heavily on the operation of reciprocity (the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another), both specific and diffuse

Key Concepts: 

Game Theory


● Allows for the creative transfer of ideas across intellectual realms


● Analogic references are tentative until empirically confirmed

● Key task is to distinguish between two types of analogies

○ Negative (incorrect)

○ Positive (correct)

● Includes inductive and external logic

● A wrong correspondence in an analogy need not impair the (external) logic of inference if sufficient other correspondences still hold (pg. 33)


● Includes a formal logic that is both deductive and internal

● In a model, a single wrong correspondence may disrupt the (internal) logic of deduction and produce false conclusions (pg. 34)

○ Thus with stronger requirements for its correspondence rules and stronger deductive powers > a model makes stronger claims about the world (pg. 34) ● Promotes parsimony and simplicity

● Models of processes or of things (i.e., of a specific phenomenon such as a particular arms race) need to be distinguished from models of theories (i.e., of a general category of phenomena such as arms races)


● Contains a deductive structure and an interpretation of fundamental assumptions and theoretical constructs

○ Thus provides for greater richness of explanation

● Multiple models can be contained in a theory

● Game theory viewed as a theory of intentional behavior illustrates the relation between a theory and its model

● A primary virtue of game theory as theory is the enormous diversity of models contained within it

● For game theory to be a theory of international politics, specific empirical assumptions are required

● As a general theoretical approach to international politics, game theory does assume goal-seeking behaviour in the absence of centralized, authoritative institutions

Metaphor, analogy, model, and theory are complementary in social scientific research ● Each is appropriate at various stages of research

● As research advances, metaphor and analogy are of increasingly limited usefulness ● Game metaphors and analogies are widely used to illuminate and clarify international issues

Strategic rationality/Rationality

● No state can choose its best strategy or attain its best outcome independent of choices made by others

● National policy makers need to pursue opportunities for cooperative interactions even as they seek to protect against conflictual interactions

● Two aspects of rationality important for game-theoretic analyses include: a. The ability to forgo (avoid) short-run advantages for longer-run considerations b. Actors choose courses of action based on preferences and expectations of how others will behave 

■ This is the distinguishing trait of strategic rationality 

Rationalists Arguments:

1. Anarchy

2. Expected benefits greater than the expected costs

3. Rational preventative war

● Does not address the question of what prevents state leaders from bargaining to a settlement

4. Rational miscalculation due to lack of information

5. Rational miscalculations or disagreement about relative power

● Addresses the question of what prevents state leaders from bargaining to a settlement, but does not go far enough answering it 

Three defensible answers/mechanisms:

1. Rational leaders may be unable to locate a mutually preferable negotiated settlement due to private information about relative capabilities or resolve and incentives to misrepresent such information 

2. Rationally led states may be unable to arrange a settlement that both would prefer to war due to commitment problems 

a. Situations in which mutually preferable bargains are unattainable because one or more states would have an incentive to renege the terms 

3. States might be unable to locate a peaceful settlement for both prefer to issue indivisibilities

a. Some issues simply cannot have compromise basically

Under very broad conditions bargains will exist

Commitment problems as the second class of defensible rationalist explanations for war ● Preemptive war and offensive advantages

○ Three ways to interpret offensive advantages:

i. Odds are better to attack first

ii. Costs of fighting are lower for an attacking side

iii. Military technology and doctrine increase the variance of battlefield outcomes

○ Preventative war is properly understood as arising from a commitment problem occasioned by anarchy

i. Preventative war occurs despite the states’ agreement about relative power ii. The declining state attacks not because it fears being attacked in the future but because it fears the result of the peace where its rival has grown


iii. While preventative wars arise from states’ inability to trust each other to keep a bargain, the lack of trust is not due to states’ uncertainty about

present or future motivations

● Like in typical security-dilemma and spiral-model accounts

iv. The commitment problem of preventative war may be undermined if the determinants of military power can reliably be transferred between states

Territory is the main issue over which states fight wars due to its economic resources or strategical location

● Increases a state’s chances of a successful attack or defense


The article develops two major claims:

1. Under broad conditions the fact that fighting is costly and risky implies that there should exist negotiated agreements that rationally led states in dispute would prefer war 2. Two causal mechanisms explain why rationally led states are sometimes unable to agree on a bargain:

a. The combination of private information about resolve or capability and incentives to misrepresent these

b. States’ inability in certain circumstances to uphold a deal

Payoff Structure and Conflicting Preferences

1. Mutual cooperation (CC)

2. Mutual defection (DD)

3. Unilateral defection (DC)

4. Unrequited cooperation (CD)

● Payoff structure serves as an intervening variable between cognitive, domestic, and international structural factors and international cooperation

● In games that are not repeated, only ordinally defined (ranked) preferences matter

Two factors to consider:

a. Changes in the value attached to outcomes can transform situations from one ordinally defined class of game into another

i. Essentially adjusted values to outcomes change the entire situation or game being played

b. Under iterated conditions, the magnitude of differences among payoff within a given class of games can be an important determinant of cooperation

1. Shadow of the Future: Single play and Iterated Games

a. Bilateral strategies (strategies of issue linkage) can be used to alter payoff structures by combining different games

b. Multilateral strategies focusing on the formation of international regimes can be used to alter payoff structure in two ways:

i. Norms generated by regimes may be internalized by states and thereby alter payoff structure

ii. Information gathered by regimes may alter states’ understanding of their interests

c. Consider attributes of iterated (repeated) situations

i. States must expect continue dealing with each other

ii. Payoff structures must not change substantially over time

iii. The size of the discount rate applied to the future affects the iterativeness of the games


2. Number of Players: Two Person and N-Person Games

a. Three important channels of influence:

i. Cooperation requires recognition of opportunities for the advancement of of mutual interests, as well as policy coordination once these opportunities have been identified

ii. As the number of players increases, the likelihood of autonomous

defection and of recognition and control problem increases

iii. As the number of players increases, the feasibility of sanctioning defectors diminishes

The shadow of the future, strategies of reciprocity, and payoff structure interact in determining the likelihood of cooperation

Bilateral and Multilateral Strategies

Institutionalism and realism

Key Terms: 

● Game Theory

● Metaphor

● Analogy

● Model

● Theory

● Preemptive war

● Territory

Week​ ​6:​ ​Constructivism​ ​and​ ​Feminist Theories 

Authors and their Theories/stances:


● Tremendous diversity within constructivism

● Constructivists agree on:

○ The social construction of knowledge

○ The construction of social reality

● “the social world is made of intersubjective understandings, subjective knowledge and material objects” (Adler 2010, 100).

● Agents and structure are mutually constitutive or essential (101)

● Social structure within constructivist theory can include elements like: ○ Culture and norms

● Constructivism focuses on the logic of appropriateness (also of habit, practice, and arguing)

○ Someone “who acts out of habit or decides what to do by posing the question ‘how is a person in my role (or with my identity) supposed to act in this circumstance?”

● A self-help institution is created through the combination of an anarchic structure and the occurrence of predation

● Constructivism helps explain why people converge around specific norms, identities, and cause-effect understandings, and thus where interests come from​…. Constructivism advances the notion that interests are ideas” (Adler 2010, 102)

● Compared to Neorealism and Neoliberalism: 

○ Neorealism: no role for norms

○ Neoliberalism: norms “serve a regulative function, helping actors with given interests maximize utility. Agents (states) create structures (norms and institutions)” (327)

○ Neorealism and neoliberalism focus on the logic of consequence

■ Essentially, what is the most efficient way of achieving their goal

Alexander Wendt

● All theories of international relations are based on social theories of the relationship between agency, process, and social structure

“Self-help and power politics do not follow either logically or causally from anarchy and that if today we find ourselves in a self-help world, this is due to process, not structure” (Wendt, 394). ● Structure has no existence or causal powers apart from process

● Self-help and power politics are institutions, not essential features of anarchy

a. A fundamental principle of constructivist theory is that people act toward objects, including other actors, on the basis of the meanings that the objectives have for them

i. Ex: States act differently toward enemies than they do towards friends because enemies are threatening and friends are not

b. Identities are the basis of interests 

i. The absence or failure of roles makes defining situations and interests more difficult 

1. Identity confusion may result as a consequence

c. An institution is a relatively stable set or “structure” of identities and interests i. Institutions are fundamentally cognitive entities that do not exist apart from actors’ ideas about how the world works

ii. Identities and such collective cognitions do not exist apart from each other they are “mutually constitutive” (constitutive meaning essential)

1. Institutionalization is a process of internalizing new identities and


a. Affects only behavior

2. Socialization is a cognitive process, not just a behavioral one

a. Institutions may be cooperative or conflictual

d. Self-help is an institution, one of various structures of identity and interest that may exist under anarchy 

i. Processes of identity-formation under anarchy are concerned first and foremost with preservation or “security” of the self 

ii. Concepts of security differ: 

1. Competitive security system

a. States identify negatively with each other’s security 

b. Self-help form of anarchy

2. Individualistic security system

a. States are indifferent to the relationship between their own 

and others’ security 

b. Self-help form of anarchy

c. Concerned with absolute gains rather than relative gains

d. One’s​ ​position​ ​in​ ​the​ ​distribution​ ​of​ ​power​ ​is​ ​less 

important,​ ​and​ ​collective​ ​action​ ​is​ ​more​ ​possible 

3. Cooperative security system

a. States identify positively with each other so that the

security of each is the responsibility of all

b. Restructures efforts to advance one’s own objectives as

shared norms

Jeffrey Checkel

● Checkel’s Conclusions about constructivist literature:

1. They have shown the empirical value of their approach

2. At the same time, constructivists theorizing is in a state of disarray ● It is not clear what one does with constructivism


● “why international politics is perceived as a man’s world and why women remain so under-represented in the higher echelons of the foreign policy establishment, the military and the academic discipline of international relations” (1988, 430).

● “the issues that get prioritized in foreign policy are issues with which men have a special affinity.”

● ”all too often, claims of gender neutrality mask deeply embedded masculinist assumptions which can naturalize or hide gender differences and gender inequalities” (1997, 614).

● Morgenthau’s realism is a “partial description of international politics because it is based on assumptions about human nature that are partial and that privilege masculinity.” ○ All these points above summarize and point to the fact that international relations is a male dominated field

Ann J. Tickner

● Not denying the validity of Morgenthau’s work

● Aims for ungendered or human discourse that goes beyond masculine and feminine perspectives

● Suggests how feminist approaches can offer new ways to understand contemporary problems

● “Feminists define gender… as a set of variable but socially and culturally constructed characteristics—such as power, autonomy, rationality, and public—that are stereotypically associated with masculinity. Their opposites—weakness, dependence, emotion, and private—are associated with femininity. There is evidence to suggest that both women and men assign a more positive value to masculine characteristics. Importantly, definition of masculinity and femininity are relational” (Tickner 1997, 614)

● “feminism is also committed to progressive or emancipatory goals, particularly the goal of achieving equality for women through the elimination of unequal gender relations. (616).

● “Feminists are arguing for moving beyond knowledge frameworks that construct international theory without attention to gender and for searching deeper to find ways in which gender hierarchies serve to reinforce socially constructed institutions and practices that perpetuate different and unequal role expectations, expectations that have contributed to fundamental inequalities between women and men in the world of international politics. Therefore, including gender as a central category of analysis transforms knowledge in ways that go beyond adding women; importantly, but frequently misunderstood, this means that women cannot be studied in isolation from men” (Tickner 1997, 621).

Key Concepts: 



Morgenthau’s Six Principles of Political Realism 

1. Politics is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature 2. Interests defined in terms of power

3. While interests defined in terms of power is universal, the content and use of power is contextual

4. Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It is also aware of the ineluctable tension between moral command and the requirements of successful political action

5. Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral laws that govern the universe

6. The political realist maintains the autonomy of the political sphere

A Feminist Reformulation of Morgenthau’s Six Principles of Political Realism 1. A feminist perspective believes that objectivity, as it is culturally defined, is associated with masculinity. Therefore, supposedly “objective” laws of human nature are based on a partial masculine view of human nature. Human nature is both masculine and feminine: it contains elements of social reproduction and development as well as political domination.

Dynamic objectivity offers are more connected view of objectivity with less potential for domination

2. A feminist perspective believes that the national interest is multidimensional and contextually contingent. Therefore it cannot be defined solely in terms of power. In the contemporary world the national interest demands co-operative rather than zero-sum solutions to a set of interdependent global problems which include nuclear war, economic well-being and environmental degradation.

3. Power cannot be infused with meaning that is universally valid. Power as domination and control privileges masculinity and ignores the possibility of collective empowerment, another aspect of power often associated with femininity

4. A feminist perspective rejects the possibility of separating moral command from political action. All political action has moral significance. The realist agenda for maximizing order through power and control prioritizes the moral command of order over those of

justice and the satisfaction of basic needs necessary to ensure social reproduction 5. While recognizing that the moral aspirations of particular nations cannot be equated with universal moral principles, a feminist perspective seeks to find common moral elements in human aspirations which could become the basis for de-escalating international conflict and building international community

6. A feminist perspective denies the validity of the autonomy of the political. Since autonomy is associated with masculinity in Western culture, disciplinary efforts to construct a world view which does not rest on a pluralistic conception of human nature, are partial and masculine. Building boundaries around a narrowly define political realm defines political in a way that excludes the concerns and contributions of women.

Key Terms: 

● Self-help

● Identities

● Interests

● Institutions

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