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What is ir theory?

What is ir theory?


School: University of Florida
Course: Introduction to International Relations
Professor: Richard nolan
Term: Fall 2015
Tags: international relations, inrtheory, Realism, Liberalism, constructivist, Marx, IRTheory, Ontology, Deontology, Communitarianism, cosmopolitanism, pacifism, propaganda, politicalrealism, Classicalrealism, structuralrealism, anarchy, typologies, state, nation, nationalism, Sovereignty, Imperialism, englishschool, Cold War, normative theory, structuraltheory, neorealist, NeoLiberalism, unitednations, European Union, pluralism, and solidarism
Cost: 50
Name: INR Midterm Study Guide
Description: These notes cover all relevant material from Modules A1-A6 and B1-B6 that will be covered on our midterm exam. Detailed commentary from the online lectures.
Uploaded: 02/27/2018
44 Pages 106 Views 8 Unlocks

Intro to International Relations Notes  

What is ir theory?

Module B1 

What is IR Theory  

• Academic disciplines are not easy and simple

• International Relations is no exception

Defining International Relations  

• Insights from the readings

• Looking forward to the course

How to think in this class  

• Think in terms of the author’s motive for writing the article. What was his or her goal? To  whom is she writing? Is she trying to convince you?

• Are you convinced? Why or why not?

What is a Theory  

• Simplification of reality

• A theory can never account for every single complexity that realities have  • Instead tells us part of a story in order for us to better understand it

What is a theory?

If you want to learn more check out What types of religious specialists have anthropologists classified?
Don't forget about the age old question of What is the slope factor?

• Which theory helps us the most?

• Perspective - tells you where to look

• Narrows down the list of things that you will look at

• Statement about cause and effect

• Which variables go together (correlation between phenomena) We also discuss several other topics like Under the mailbox rule, acceptance is valid when?

• Why does this regularity occur? (cause mechanism)

• Statement about constitution

• What properties does something have? (traits)

• What is the seance of the thing being studied? (ontology)

• How do you understand what something is and how it came to be what it is

Why theories are necessary  If you want to learn more check out What are the characteristics of disco music?

• Too much info available to be able to process it without guidance about what is relevant or  irrelevant

• Theorizing is a combination of intellectual exercise and analysis and a way to take a short  cut that makes us able to do that analysis

Why theories are necessary?

We also discuss several other topics like What are the three basic categories of political science and comparative politics?

Steve Smith Theorizing International Relations  

• Concerned that students get frustrated by all the theories, because there isn’t just one right  answer

• He doesn’t think we can evaluate accounts of why people act as they do in a way that leads  to one definitive story.  

• He suggests that in a social world there are always multiple stories, therefore multiple  theories.  

Thinking about IR theorizing  

• Framing it as the history of “great debates”

• Because it helps us understand the different conflicts of how and why to theorize • The “fourth debate” between rationalist and reflectivist theorizing If you want to learn more check out What are the factors influencing consumer behavior?

• Most important now

• Smith suggests this was launched in 1988 by Robert Cohen in his presidential address.  He suggested rationalist approaches were the proper way to do international relations  theories, and that reflectivist approaches are used to develop a research program like the  rationalist, in order to get traction on global politics.

• A lot of people disagreed with this  

• There are positivist ways of theorizing

• There are post-positivist. People that suggest that there isn’t an objective way to  know the world out there. Not something you can mention scientifically about how  people/states behave. Reject the foundationalist approach of positivism.

Parts of IR Theorizing  

• Ontology

• How you understand the world to be. What is out there? What is in the world? • Epistemology

• How you would know the answer to that question. What’s a source of knowledge/what is  knowledge that will help us understand the ontology of the world

• Methodology

• Tools you would use to achieve that knowledge. So assuming you know how to know,  how will you go about getting the knowledge that will help you understand how the world  is.  

• These terms are a part of theorizing how you will theorize global politics.  • What are the diverse ontologies, epistemologies, and methods?

• How many theoretical traditions are there out there that matter?

Is IR Diverse?  

• Yes

• Look at all those chapters!

• The world is so diverse, so theories about it should be

• No  

• Steve Walt suggests that IR is really just a continual debate between realism and  liberalism and everything else is just fluff.

• Fundamentally, realism and liberalism are the only things that matter

• Steve Smith disagrees, saying that not only is the discipline diverse, that diversity means  that all of those theories have something to tell us  

• But there is still debate that this might not be a good thing

Is IR’s Diversity Good?  

• Yes

• The more differently we think, the more we know

• The more voices we count, the better we are

• No

• More people we let theorize, the more ideas we get

• “Diversity” is just another word for losing a sense of purpose

• Smith suggests that INR has become everything and nothing all at once due to its  diversity  

• He says not all paradigms have something really important to contribute • Is INR so diverse we can’t figure out what it is?

• Is this a good or bad thing?  

Toni Erskine Normative IR Theories  

• Theories exclusively normative in purpose and nature

Thinking about what happens to people in global politics  

• We often talk about things are just/unjust, moral/immoral, celebrated/tragic • Things that are disgusting: genocide, torture, abuse

• Things that make us feel like there is promise in the world: peace movements, children being  born, people who clean up the environment

• The right to food, housing, shelter

• What people need, deserve, human rights

• We need to grasp the difference between “should” and “is”, the fuzzy line between it • Grasp how we need to talk about the “should” in global politics

How can you think about ethics in IR?  

• Deontology/consequentialism  

• Deontology: idea that there are things that are objectively right and wrong regardless of  the consequences. Meaning even if something did not negatively affect someone/ something, it can still be “bad”

• This would mean there is a code of morality which states should obey and comply  regardless of its consequences. That would mean the rules were clear, but we don’t  take into account the consequences.  

• Consequentialism: saying things are “bad” based on the consequences, for example, if  something affected someone negatively, then that thing is “bad”

• If we were to judge the global value of acts in moral politics simply by their impacts,  even if they are well intended, if they have negative consequences then they may be a  a bad thing to do.  

• Communitarianism/cosmopolitanism

• Communitarianism: a term that normative IR theory has barred.  

• Criticize cosmopolitan suggestions for understanding, disregarding the particularity of  your own life in order to try and make decisions from an impartial point of view. • They say someone in Iraq or Kenya is never gonna be as important to you as  someone in your house or street.  

• It’s not because they’re worth less, but because we can’t distance ourselves from  our connections, and those connections give us moral duties as agents to take  care of the people we know.  

• Cosmopolitanism: two sorts.  

• Political: advocates the illumination of radical transformation of state borders.  Achieving either world government or a system of representation that transcends  those borders.

• Ethical: Looking for what might be called a global sphere of equal moral standing.  When neither friends or family or fellow citizens help for more than others. Ethical  cosmopolitans think about all people as of the same value. The life of someone in Iraq  or Kenya is worth the same value as that of someone in your house or on your street.  

• This suggests that the people we need to ask about the consequences is  everybody in global politics.  

• No single answer

• Things we can choose between as long as we know the pros and cons of each.

Examples of Ethical Theories  

• Pacifism

• Suggests violence is morally wrong on a day ontological level and as a result it is  important not to make war under any circumstance.  

• Important not to make war to address any grievances because war is more wrong than  any grievances.  

• Just war theorizing

• Tries to cross the ontological questions of right and wrong about how to treat people.

• Its consequentialist questions about when it’s worthwhile and necessary to make war to  address bigger injustices.  

• Questions when war would be unjust because it would be more unjust than living with the  injustice. This is the consequentialist paradigm of understanding the impacts of war as  compared to the impacts of not war.  

• Much of just war theory blocks the line trying to figure out when its okay to pay attention  to the ideas and when its really important to compare which wrongs are less wrong. • But all of these theories can’t be imagined without an “ought or should”, a “good or bad”,  because they are fundamentally normative prescriptive theories.  

Normative Theory Suggests…  

• The global arena is one of moral agents and moral responsibilities

• The difference between normative theory and other IR theories is not in Erskine’s  understanding that normative theory is the only one with normative content • Instead, she suggests that what distinguishes normative theory is actually that it is  primarily concerned with what’s right or wrong in the global political arena. It explicitly  gives moral instruction, which is very different from other theories that just attempt to  explain or predict what’s going on in global politics.  

Applying Normative Theorizing to Iraqi Civilian Casualties  

• Story about a car which was fired on by the American military which had women and children  who were clearly not a threat, but were killed.

• Erskine asks, who’s fault is that? Is it the fault of the several people who had attacked that  checkpoint before, giving the soldiers a real understanding that their lives were constantly at  risk? Is it the fault of the car for not being able to recognize they were being called to stop? Is  it the fault of the soldiers for being unable to communicate with the car? Is it the fault of the  guy who didn’t shoot his warning shot soon enough?  

• Obviously soldiers have a moral responsibility not to kill civilians, but on the battlefield it  isn’t always that clear. Is it the fault of the U.S. for making the war in Iraq? The fault of the  Iraqi government for doing the things that gave the U.S. the grievance?

• How do you figure out who the moral agents are that need to be held responsible, and how  much its fair to hold them responsible?

• What Toni is trying to illustrate is that there isn’t just only one question and only one answer  to who’s fault is this.  

• Instead, it depends on whether you look ontologically or consequentialist, cosmopolitan  or communitarian, depends on what level of moral responsibility you assign different  people for what, and fundamentally it depends on your politics.  

• Figuring out what’s wrong or right in global politics can be theorized, but it is also  politicized.

Module A2 - Finding and Evaluating Resources 

Where do we get information from?  

• Mediation: we don’t have first hand access to much of the world. It comes to use mediated  through other sources (media, family, teachers)

• This changes historically with changes in technology and trends (radio, newspapers, tv, talk  radio, internet news, social media…)

• Consolidation and narrowing of major news sources with simultaneous widening of access to  news through the global internet sources are current phenomena

• Types of Information Sources: news media, academic articles and books, primary  documents, popular culture  

What is/should be the role of media?  

• “Watchdog”. The media informs the public and acts like a watchdog on the government and  those in power. Viewing the media as the “Fourth Branch” of government. Part of checks and  balances. (example: Watergate, Vietnam, Spotlight film)

• “Mouthpiece”. Those in power (government and corporate elites) use the media to secure  their interests. Media is a tool of persuasion to get audiences to pay attention to certain  stories and ignore others and to see stories from a certain point of view. (example:  consolidation of news companies and silencing certain stories, Wag the Dog film)

What is the role of the viewer/consumer?  

• At the extremes some claim that people are either completely passive, being manipulated by  media and culture (just accepting what they see) or that they are completely free from  influence. Probably something in between. We have agency in interpreting what we see, but  we are also constrained by what is available, our own upbringing, culture and biases, etc.  


• The ownership of major media (TV and radio) networks is now in the hands of only a few  companies and individuals. Went from about 50 companies in the early 1980s owning 90% of  news outlets to now 6 owning 90%.

• Comcast, Newscorp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS

• What might this mean for access to information and the diversity of information offered?

Rise of New Media  

• Most young people report using the Internet as main source of news. Social media is a major  source of information and communication.

• Moving towards shorter sound bites and clips (Twitter)

• More infotainment?

• Rise of blogs, unfettered news, “fake” news.

• Access to a wide variety of sources worldwide including citizen journalism.  • Does the increase in online access to diverse news result in more informed people?

Analyzing news media sources  

• Certain media sites are considered more reliable than others.

1. Who is the author? Professional journalist associated with a reputable company?  Individual blogger?

2. Do they fact check their information and provide reliable sources?

3. Is diversity represented in their company and information presented? 4. Do they issue a clear apology when presenting wrong information?

5. Do they produce sensationalist material?  

6. Are they affiliated with a source known for certain ideological leanings?

Academic Sources  

• What makes a source of information more valid? What makes a source “academic?”  • Academic sources

1. Authored by trained experts in their field

2. Provide clear information for how data was gathered and analyzed and provide support for  argument

3. Often go through a difficult blind peer review process and revisions before publication 4. Often list funding sources

Finding Secondary Academic Sources  

• Academic peer reviewed journals (can find through UF library online database, google  scholar)

• Books written by academic scholars (usually an elaboration of one or more journal articles  already written).

• Articles written by scholars in journals, op-eds, policy papers, geared towards a broader  audience (Foreign Policy)  

Reputable Academic News Sources  

• Foreign Affairs magazine and Foreign Policy (FP) magazine

Other sources of Information  

• Primary sources: government documents, interviews, photographs, popular culture (analysis  of film, books, artwork, etc.)

• Documentaries

• While “fiction” popular culture can be a unique window into the political and social  environment, it can be viewed not only as reflecting the values of society, but also helping to  construct them. Example: U.S. during the Cold War.

How does popular culture influence how we think about the world?  

• Is it just a movie, just a video game, just an ad, just a song, or does the culture we interact  with on a daily basis influence our thoughts and actions and those of our country?  • Specific ways - after Hunger Games books and films, archery gained popularity in the US.  After 9/11, the publication of Desert Romance novels increased by 500% • Less obvious - Does the portrayal of different cultures/ethnicities influence how we think  about them? Is a state more likely to go to war, treat differently a state/group it thinks  inferior?

1st and 2nd order representations  

• First order: seen as direct representations of life such as a news story - gives the “facts” • Second order: narratives represent elements of socio-political life, but through a layer of  fiction. This is where pop culture falls.

Different ways to view popular culture and global politics  

1. Popular culture as mirror

2. Popular culture as data

3. Popular culture as constitutive  

Popular culture as mirror  

• Use popular culture to illuminate aspects of global politics.

• By thinking about issues in a different context, perhaps we gain a new perspective. • Your professor using examples from the Star Trek to talk about Cold War politics or Hunger  Games as an example of a totalitarian regime.

Popular Culture as Data  

• Use popular culture as evidence of ideas, identities, beliefs circulating in a society. • How do people receive the messages in popular culture? What do the themes in popular  culture tell us about society?  

• Example: Alien invasion films during the Cold War reflect fears of Communism. Apocalyptic  films today perhaps reflect fears of an unsustainable economic and environmental system.

Popular Culture as Constitutive  

• Popular culture can actively shape social and political life

• Example: One could argue the overwhelming negative portrayals of Arabs in US pop culture  over the last century has shaped how Americans think about Muslims and the Middle East  and has played a role in foreign policy decisions towards the ME.  

• Four Ways Popular Culture Can Effect Global Politics  

• Determining: popular culture supplies knowledge upon which policy makers make  decisions.

• Informing: pop culture informs Global Politics along with other influences. • Enabling: use pop culture to draw references and make stories were effective. • Naturalizing: pop culture can make a particular way of seeing the world as natural and  “normal.”

Nukes, Spies, and the Red Scare: The USSR in US popular culture during the Cold War  • Fiction films, documentaries, tv shows, books, video games, children’s toys, music, sports • Dominic Sandbrook (2013) on “How James Bond Helped Win the Cold War”

• “…because it was above all an ideological conflict, a contest between two systems, it  touched almost every aspect of life: the books you read on holiday, the films you saw at  the cinema, the music you played in your student bedsit. Indeed, one of the arguments of  our series is that in the Cold War, the decisive weapon wasn’t the atom bomb. It was our  popular culture.”  

Representations of the Soviet Union before and after WWII  

• Propaganda

• “Together we shall struggle Hitlerism”

• “This man is your friend (Russian) he fights for freedom”

• “The Red Iceberg”

• “Is this tomorrow, America under communism:”

• Film and Novels

• Red Nightmare (1962) — Anti-communist propaganda film by US Armed Forces  Information  

• The Manchurian Candidate (1962) — “A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by  Communists into becoming a political assassin.”  

• Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) — A warning against communist brainwashing (an  alternate reading warning against McCarthyism (remade in 1978)

• Them! (1954) — Ants (aka communists) threaten US security by setting up a new colony  in the US.  

• Star Trek (original series 1966-69) —The Federation against the Klingons • Rocky IV (1985) — Rocky seeking revenge against Soviet Drago

• From Russia With Love — James Bond novels and films with Cold War anti-communist  themes

• Rocky and Bulwinkle (1959-1964) — thwarting adversaries Boris Badenov and Natasha  Fatale.

• Rain Over Moscow (1984, Commodore 64) — “..the player (an American space pilot) has  to stop three Soviet nuclear attacks on North America, then fight his way into and destroy  a nuclear facility located in Moscow’s Kremlin.”

• Firefox (1982) — “Firefox was essentially an into-the0screen shooter where the player -  flying the stolen Russian plane from the title - shoots down the approaching aircraft.” • SDI (1987, Sega) Player attempts to stop the barrage of nuclear missiles heading towards  Earth

• Chess (1984) — musical about a US/Soviet chess rivalry and love triangle • Games/Sports

• Atom Bomber

• Undercover

• Atomic Energy Lab

• Boris Spassky vs. Bobby Fischer at the XIX World Chess Olympiad in Siegen Germany • Hockey (1980) — “The 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ could be considered one of America’s  greatest sports moments. It had all the elements that creates a great rivalry: East vs.  West, Communism vs. Capitalism, Atheism vs. Christianity, Soviet Professionals vs.  American College Athletes.”

Is Objectivity Possible?  

• Objectivity: capable of being neutral and un-biased. Your own experiences and  understandings do not shape how you conduct research, interpret the world, analyze  arguments…

• Are scholars and people more broadly capable of this?


• The study of the nature of knowledge and how we know what we know • What counts as valid knowledge? How should the world be studied? How is knowledge  acquired? What do people know?

• Positivism and post-positivism are different starting points within epistemology.


• There is a real world out there we can objectively know.

• We can objectively observe and test the social world and create generalizable theories.  Generalizable ideas are valued over more specific ones.

• We can distinguish between value statements and neutral ones and normative theory and  objective theory.

• Human knowledge is singular and cumulative

Post positivist/constructivist  

• There may be a real world out there, but we cannot objectively know it outside of our own  understanding.

• Observations and experiences depend on the perspective of the investigator. They are not  neutral and may not be generalizable. Particular knowledge is valuable.  

• All statements and theories have a normative component to them.

• Knowledge is created from a variety of voices many with different understandings. There is  not one Truth.

What is critical thinking?  

• Developing critical thinking skills is a lifetime endeavor and something one can always  improve on. There is no end point or achievement.  

Stuart Hall - cultural theorist  

• How do we interpret information? Are we critical thinkers when watching news, tv shows? • He argues there may be a preferred meaning embedded in media, but consumers have a  degree of agency in how they interpret the meaning.

• Agency: the capacity of individuals to act independently and make free choices.

• Structure: the patterns that constrain or limit choice and agency.

Questions to ask while reading news sources  

• Who is the author and organization? What is their reputation?

• What evidence is provided?

• Who benefits?

• Who is funding? Follow the money trail.

• Whose voices are present? Whose are missing?

• Are images included? What are they trying to convey?

Confirmation Bias  

• People tend to seek out information that confirms what they already believe. • People tend to give more weight to information that confirms their positions.  • People tend to recall information that conforms to their beliefs.  

A few fallacies in arguments  

• Ad hominem: attacking the person rather than the issue.

• Either or: discussing an issue as if there are only two options available. • Red herring: attempt to distract audience by bringing in an unrelated subject. • Two wrongs make a right: defying something wrong by pointing to other wrong.  • Straw man: making a simplistic character of another’s point.  

Scrutinizing Polling Data  

• Many factors can contribute to the quality of your data and the results you get • Ways results are shaped:

• How sample derived

• Size of a sample

• Timing and communication choices

• Framing effects

• Response bias

• Push Polls


• What is your sampling frame? The whole US pop.? Dog owners in Gainesville? Citizens of  Berlin? Men age 21-25?

• How will you get your sample? How many people are you going to ask? How will you choose  those individuals? Random Sampling?  

• What is your margin of error (usually 3-5%)

• Ex: Literary Digest magazine used polls from readers to predict presidential elections. In 1936  it incorrectly predicted against FDR (he won by a landslide in all but 2 states).

Timing and Communication Methods  

• What group is favored when pollsters call during the day? Or when they go door to door  during the day? What group is favored when landing telephones are used at all? What group  is favored in an online poll?

• Ex: A pollster is enquiring about a people’s choice of candidate in an election. She selects  houses through a random generator to get a random sample and then goes door to door  from 10 am-2pm Monday-Friday to gather results. What might be the problem with this  approach?  

Response Bias (Lying)

• How do you think people might respond to questions about controversial issues or more  private issues such as alcohol consumption, sexual practices, thoughts about women,  minorities, etc.  

• Ex: a pollster goes door to door in a random sample asking residents about their weekly  alcohol consumption.

• Do you think most people will accurately report this?  

Push Polls  

• Negative campaigning masquerading as a poll

• Ex: A person who supported George W. Bush in the 2000 primary over John McCain  conducted a push poll in South Carolina asking “ would you be more likely or less likely to  vote for John McCain if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?”  

Five step process of critical thinking:  

1. Formulate your question

2. Gather your information

3. Apply the information (by asking critical questions)

4. Consider the implications  

5. Explore other points of view

Module B2 - Realisms 

Histories of Realisms  

• Talked about in Ned Lebow’s chapter on classical realism

• Discusses realism as a long standing theory of international relations

The Intellectual Roots of Realism  

• Displayed a fundamental unity across nearly 2,500 years

• Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue

• It all started with a little war in Greece…

• The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)

• Melians come into contact with the Athenians

• Athenians tell Melians they are going to invade them, and Melians tell them why it’s  wrong

• Athenians don’t even care who is right or wrong or who’s argument is better, at the  end of the day the Athenians are more powerful and will do whatever they want to the  Melians

• Idea that in global politics, power is everything.

• Machiavelli’s Prince

• Machiavelli suggests that Princes need to display ruthlessness in order to gain for their  kingdom  

• Hobbes’ War of Everyman against Everyman

• In Leviathan, Hobbes suggests that without government everybody needs to survive, but  the only person to rely on to survive is yourself, and if that’s the only person you can rely  on, then you need to be able to defeat whoever may challenge your survival.

• Everyone is gonna challenge your survival if there are limited resources.  • Hobbes suggests that before there was government, the state of nature was that  everybody was out to get everybody else

• Hobbes suggests we should give absolute power to a ruler in order to avoid a chaotic  state of nature

• Realists say that internationally the world remains as “all against all”

• Realists believe war is continuous and inevitable because it is incentivized  • Classical realists: incentivized by human nature

• Structural realists: incentivized by the international system structure

• Clausewitz’s war is an extension of politics by other means

• People argue Clausewitz is a military strategist, rather than a philosopher • Carr’s rejection of 20th century “idealists”

Classical Realisms  

• Delineated as the realisms before Kenneth Waltz’s break into structural realism • Realism is one of international relations main theoretical understandings • Emerge early 20th century

• 1910 Norman Angel wrote “The Great Illusion”

• Argument that there would never be another war between great powers, because given  globalization, states were now interested in what now is the equivalent of a credit score  • If they started wars and behaved badly, people wouldn’t trade with them anymore,  and trade is more important than war

• States were warned that it wasn’t in their great interest to make war.  

• However, In 1914 WWI started, 1939 WWII started and together they were the most  deadly wars in the history of humankind.  

Concerns of Classical Realisms

• Power

• Balance of power

• Maintaining order

• Not placing faith in reason

• Not placing faith that states will act in their rational capacities not to cause war • They want to make sure that however reasonable their opponent, they’ll be okay

Morgenthau’s Six Principles  

1. Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws  that have their roots in human nature. In order to improve society it is first necessary to  understand the laws by which society lives. The operation of these laws is impervious to  our preferences, men will challenge them only at the risk of failure.  

• We need a positive imperialist understanding of how the world works in order to  change it.

• However, it is important to note we can’t change it that much.

• Only thing we can change is operating within the objective laws we are governed by. • It is important to pay attention to the incentives of human nature because we are not  gonna change them, just learn how to live by them

2. The main signpost that helps political realism to find its way through the landscape of  international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of power. This concept  provides the link between reason trying to understand international politics and the facts to  be understood.  

• He suggests that states all have a national interest, and that national interest is to a  mass power.

3. Realism assumes that its key concept of interest defined as power is an objective category  that is universally valid, but it does not endow that concept with a meaning that is fixed  once and for all. The idea of interest is indeed the essence of politics and is unaffected by  the circumstances of time and place.  

• All states interests are defined by power, and the power they want is all fundamentally  same.

4. Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It is also aware of the  ineluctable tension between the moral command and the measurements of successful  political action. And it is willing to gloss over and obliterate that tension and thus to  obfuscate both the moral and political issues by making it appear as though stark facts of  politics are more satisfying than they actually are, making morality less exacting than it  actually is.  

• They are not arguing that you can’t do good things and bad things in global politics as  a person or as a state  

• They are however arguing that doing what’s good is often politically unsuccessful and  leads to your demise, and doing what’s bad is often politically successful and leads to  your survival.  

• He suggests that looking for a roadmap to success and survival is different than  looking for a roadmap to do good.  

• Realists pick the roadmap to success and survival.

5. Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral  laws that govern the universe. As it distinguishes between the truth and opinion, so it  distinguishes between truth and idolatry…to know that nations are subject to the moral law  is one thing, while to pretend to know with certainty what is good and evil in the relations  among nations is quite another.  

• Nations are subject to moral law, but pretending to know what moral law that is, is  problematic.  

• Making a road map between the good and the successful is different, anyone that  tries to make a road map to the good in global politics is fundamentally egotistical

and naive because they are taking on a task significantly bigger than they could  possibly fulfill

6. The difference, then, between political realism and other schools of thought is real, and it is  profound. However, much of the theory of political realism may have ben misunderstood  and misinterpreted, there is no gainsaying its distinctive intellectual and moral attitude to  matters political.

• Don’t do as you should, do as you must; don’t look for the right, look for success • It pays attention to these things in terms defined by power

• Morgenthau argues that’s how you distinguish political realism from other schools of  thought.  

What does political realism tell us about the world? The War in Iraq example  • Tragic miscalculation, where “great powers are their own worst enemies” • Classical realism suggests that the US actually acted outside of and contrary to its  interest defined by power

• It hurt its power and therefore its resources

• Misestimated how power politics works

• Not a tragedy in the sense of a moral wrong, instead a tragedy in the sense of an  outcome  

• If Morgenthau’s distinctions would’ve been understood, then it would have been  understood that it was happening the way it was happening before it happened, and they  would’ve stopped it.  

• It’s important to think about, in classic realist terms, how you’re going to amass power.  And how you’re going to keep, consolidate it, and amass more power, while maintaining  order in the international arena.

• The war in Iraq missed these goals and it did so because it was miscalculated on the  part of the US.

• Structural realists agree, although for different reasons  

Structural Realisms  

• Kenneth Waltz in his books “Man, the State, and War” and “Theory of International Politics” • Main difference between classical and structural realists, is that structural realists assume  that the source for the incentive for survival and the looking for power does not come from  human nature and isn’t focused on the state.  

• Instead, structural realists suggest some humans are evil, and some humans are good.  Some states are evil, some states are good.

• It’s not the human nature to survive that’s the problem, it’s that the international system  without a government between states doesn’t punish people in states that behave badly,  so it creates an incentive to protect yourself.  

• It’s international anarchy, not human nature, that incentivizes conflictual behavior between  states and then makes the international arena a place of conflict.  

• They agree with classical realists and that the states are out for power, but suggest it is  structured by the international system, and incentivizes all states because of the way the  system is structured anarchically.

• All states are like units, incentivized to behave similarly.  

There are two sorts of people in the world…  

• As suggested by John Mearsheimer

• Those who admit they are realists and

• Those who do not admit they are realists even though they are…i.e., those that hold realism  as an unconscious ideology while insisting otherwise.  

• Even those of us who talk like we aren’t interested in relative power, we don’t really think  that

• At the end of the day, if we feel our survival was threatened, we would be as realist as  Mearsheimer  

Realism Today (ad in the 9/26/2002 NYT)  

• “As scholars of international security affairs, we recognize that war is sometimes necessary  to ensure our national security or other vital interests. We also recognize that Saddam  Hussein is a tyrant and that Iraq has defied a number of U.N. resolutions. But military force  should be used only when it advances U.S. national interests. War with Iraq does not meet  this standard.

• Saddam Hussein is a murderous despot, but no one has provided credible evidence that Iraq  is cooperating with al Qaeda.

• Even if Saddam Hussein acquired nuclear weapons, he could not use them without suffering  massive U.S. or Israeli retaliation.

• The first Bush administration did not try to conquer Iraq in 1991 because it understood the  doing so could spread instability in the Middle East, threatening U.S. interests. This remains a  valid concern today.

• The United States would win a war against Iraq, but Iraq has military options — chemical and  biological weapons, urban combat — that might impose significant costs on the invading  forces and neighboring states.

• Even if we win easily, we have no plausible exit strategy. Iraq is a deeply divided society that  the United States would have to occupy and police for many years to create a viable state.  • Al Qaeda poses a greater threat to the U.S. than does Iraq. War with Iraq will jeopardize the  

campaign against al Qaeda by diverting resources and attention from that campaign and by  increasing anti-Americanism around the globe.

• The U.S. should maintain vigilant containment of Iraq — using its own assets and the  resources of the United Nations — and be prepared to invade Iraq if it threatens to attack  America or its allies. That is not the case today. We should concentrate instead on defeating  al Qaeda.”

Notes on the ad  

• The ad basically says the war in Iraq shouldn’t happen.  

• Tried to inform people what would happen.  

• This ad makes the argument the war would go poorly, and that Hussein is not a direct threat  to the US, and the war would be long and brutal, Iraq has military options that may be  problematic, and that the U.S. would not be able to get out of Iraq.

• The war wont make it better, won’t make the U.S. more powerful, and won’t serve its national  interest.

• Realists get a bad rep about advocating war. Yes, they’re not pacifists, but most realists  object to most wars. So if evil is to be found in realism, it should be found where it actually  belongs.  


• A word of greek origin meaning “without authority” which is currently used to connote the  absence of government, a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the  Supreme power; political disorder.  

• Realists argue that the international arena is this.

• International anarchy is the absence of government between nations.

• Does this appear to be true? Is there a government to which we can look as the supreme  source of law between nations?

• No governmental agency in the international arena actually has authority to make states  behave. However, it can incentivize behavior sometimes.

• Some people suggest the anarchy assumption is too simple. Sure there is no denying there is  no government, but that doesn’t mean there’s no order. There’s lots of times when there is no  government, yet there is a sense of order.  

• There’s no ultimate authority but people negotiate the ways in which they interact, in  which their societies work. Sometimes without an ultimate authority there is still  cooperation.

• Perhaps these people suggest that there is not one pole or the other, not anarchy or  government. Instead they suggest there is a whole bunch of stuff in between. • Structural realists however, say there is either an anarchy or there is not.  

Three Assumptions of the Structural Realists about International Anarchy  1. International politics is composed of sovereign nation-states

• Those sovereign nation-states have authority over what’s inside them, but they do with  anarchy in what’s outside of them  

2. There is no world government which means there is no international order.  3. The absence of a world government or orderer by definition means that international  politics is anarchical  

Concepts in Structural Realism  

• Typologies

• Offensive realism

• Mearsheimer considers himself this type. He says it makes good strategic sense for  states to gain as much power as possible, and if possible pursue what’s called the  Gemini in the international arena, pursue being the biggest and the best state. The  

argument is that having overwhelming power is the best way to ensure survival.  • Defensive realism

• Mearsheimer classifies Waltz as a defensive realist. He says, that they maintain that it  is unwise for states to try and maximize their share of power because the system will  punish you if you try to get too much power.  

• Neoclassical realism

• Unlike classical, they take the structural assumption that the source of discord in the  international arena is the system.  

• They offer a corrective to both offensive and defensive realism in their argument.  • Both offensive and defensive pay attention to the way the system incentivizes state  behavior, but they assume that states live up to those incentives.

• However, looking at the realist ad in the NYT saying the war in Iraq would be bad  and that realists shouldn’t make it, and then the US making it, to show that states  don’t always behave within their realist incentives.  

• Neoclassical realists say this is because there are pathologies in foreign policy  making. You need not only study what the international system incentivizes states  to do, you need to study whether or not states are capable of living up to it. • Offensive and defensive = purely structural theories

• Neoclassical = crosses the structural theory divide, to look at how state governments  respond to international system incentives . It agrees with structural realism on what  these incentives are.  

• Factors causing wars

• Polarity (unipolarity, bipolarity, multipolarity)

• Where power is in global politics. Which is better for there to be peace in the system?  • Depends on how states treat the unipolar, bipolar, multipolar states.  

• Balance (balanced or imbalanced power)

• If power is massively imbalanced, does that mean there’s an enforcer state, or does  that mean all the other states get together to balance it back?

• Power shifts

• Between great powers.

• There are a number of states who were once great powers and no longer are, and a  number of other states which are really not factors in the international arena, who are  now among the international arena’s most preeminent powers.  

• Alliance behavior (balancing vs. buck-passing)

• How do states act in alliances?

• Do they help balance the power of the states they are trying to oppose or do they try  to manipulate other states to doing it?

• States look to gain relative, not absolute, power. States don’t look to gain power if  everyone else can to, they look to gain power advantages over other states.  

Concepts in Structural Realism (and the rise of China)  

• Offensive Realists will think that the rise of China is problematic, they would expect China to  imitate USA and become a regional hegemony. China would seek to maximize the power gap  between itself and its neighbors, specially Japan and Russia.

• From China’s perspective, Mearsheimer says, this makes perfect sense. On the other  hand, it’s clear from the historical record how the US policymakers would react if China  tried to dominate Asia. The USA doesn’t tolerate peer competitors and is determined to  remain the only regional hegemony.

• Therefore, Mearsheimer says, if China arises to become a regional hegemony, the US is  likely to behave towards China most likely how it behaved towards the Soviet Union  during the Cold War. That could be a source of conflict.  

• Defensive realism, offers a much optimistic story about China’s rise. They suggest the  international system creates strong incentives for states to want additional increments of  power, but a mighty China would look for opportunities to shift the balance of power in its  favor, yet not necessarily in a way that would make it conflict with the US.

• Defensive realists suggest that China should be able to co-exist peacefully with both its  neighbors and the USA.  

• For starters, it doesn’t make sense for both great powers to pursue hegemony because  their rivals would crush them. Instead, thinking about the mistakes of people like Adolf  Hitler, China would not attempt to dominate Asia. It would try to gain the amount of  power to ensure their survival without giving it balance for attack.  

• Mearsheimer makes the argument that defensive realists would suggest that the rise of  China might be peaceful, and the US might treat it as a bipolar or even as a little “step sister” power where they could work together.  

Structural Realisms’ Many Critics  

• Infeasible

• States can’t really act to maximize their power because they are diverse, and what one  part of a star would think is in its interest another would think is problematic.  • Ex: US interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict can’t possibly be unified because there  are Americans that think that Israel is Israel, and others that think that Israel ought to  be Palestine.  

• Immoral

• Looking for power is wrong, and if that’s the cost of success then it’s not worth it.  • Unrepresentative  

• States don’t actually calculate their relative power, even if they aren’t consciously looking  for it, but their calculations are more about what their perceive as nationalism, or threats,  or trade opportunities.

• Partial

• States don’t work as if they are just one, instead they have a bunch of leaders that do  different things. As a result they are partial. It is representative only of a particular part of  people who think like that.

• Doesn’t work in the real world

• Every realist suggested that the Cold War would end in a hot war, or would not end.  Because who would understand a state seeking relative power backing down, seating  relative power to the other state.

• Surrealism lost a lot of street cred when the Cold War ended with the Soviet essential  surrender long before they had to.

• Problematic assumptions

• The anarchy assumption being either world government or anarchy, nothing in between • Too rationalist

• Doesn’t allow you to plan in motion.  

• Not rationalist enough

• Kenneth Waltz fights back:

• Every time peace breaks out, people “pop up to proclaim that realism is dead” but the  international system (as an anarchy) has not changed, and the essential continuity of  international politics has not been disturbed — it remains an anarchy, where states must  help themselves and an ominous shadow of the future hangs over interacting states who  must privilege relative over absolute gains. In such an anarchic system states remain  severely limited in their cooperation and what they can accomplish by it.

Module A3 - The Global System and the State 

Themes to think about  

• What are the origins for the current global system?

• What are the origins of the state? Why did it become the dominant political unit? • Why did it start in Europe? What are the benefits and problems of the modern state system? • What exists beyond the state?

• What is a nation and how does that relate to a state?


• State: territorial political unit (predates nations)

• Nation: people with a shared identity tied to a territory…a conscious cultural-political  community

• Nationalism: a sense of identity and belonging to a nation (often strengthened and  heightened in conflict, can’t be separated from external forces - an “us” has to have a “them)

What is a state?  

• State: territorial political unit

• Max Weber: “a state is that human community which (successfully) lays claim to the  monopoly of legitimate violence within a certain territory…”

• He stresses: community, legitimacy, territory and violence

What is a nation?  

• Nation: people with a shared identity tied to a territory…a conscious cultural-political  community

• Some historians argue it developed in the 18tth century within the framework of  modernization and the state

• Benedict Anderson wrote about the development of nationalism which he argues was  possible due to technologies such as the printing press and printing in the vernacular  language.

Imagined Communities  

• Nation: an imagined political community - and imagined as both inherently limited and  sovereign

• Imagined: “the members of ten the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their  communion

• Community: “regardless of the actual equality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the  nation is always conceived as a horizontal comradeship. Ultimately it is this fraternity that  makes it possible, over the past two centuries, for so many millions of people, not so much  to kill, as willingly to die for such limited imaginings.”  

Do they coincide? Sometimes  

• A state with multiple nations: “multinational state.” Most states present as multinational.  • India (over 200 tribal groups), Belgium, Spain, Iraq, China (over 50), Vietnam (over 50), US • A nation without a state: “a stateless nation”

• Palestinians (Israel and occupied territories)

• Tamils (Sri Lanka)

• Andulusians and Catalans (Spain)

• Tibetans (China)

• Maoris (New Zealand)

• A nation in more than one state

• Kurds (Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Armenia)

• Koreans (North and South Korea)

Historical Political Units  

• Hunter/gatherers and pastoralists (move across land, small groups). Most of human  existence

• Tribal and indigenous communities (tied certain areas but not “owners” of land) • Agriculture communities (larger, settled on specific areas) early civilization and feudalism —  most of recorded history

• Empires (control of large territory by a central authority)

• Borders are not fixed in any of these early groupings. There were areas of frontier zones.  

Feudal Europe  

• Reciprocal relationships among the kings, lords (vassals to the king), knights (vassals to the  lords), and peasants (serfs)


• Conflict in Europe in the 1500s-mid 1600s over the role of the Catholic Church • Protestant Reformers challenged the Church.

• Several bloody religious wars fought during this time ended in the Thirty Years War.  

The Thirty Years’ War: 1618-1648  

• Millions died

• Resulted in famine and disease

• Pretty horrific and destructive  

End of the Thirty Years War  

• Treaties of Westphalia 1648: brought an end to most fighting in the 30 years war. Viewed  often as a starting point of the modern era of politics and state sovereignty. States can raise  taxes, declare war and peace, make laws, keep an army, make alliances without approval of  the Emperor.  

• Treaty of the Pyrenees 1659: settled the exact border between Spain and France creating the  first modern state boundary.  


• Sovereignty: the power to command and rule through a legitimate claim to authority.

What else helped create the modern state system?  

• Technology

• Geometry: coordinates

• Cartography and land surveying developments

• Accurate measure of time

• Ideas

• Modern political theory (Hobbes, Rousseau), philosophy (John Locke, Adam Smith),  modern science (Newton, Galileo), statistics (measuring, quantifying states).

Growing Nationalism  

• Unification of Italy 1861 and unification of Germany 1871.  

• Italian nationalism arose in 1830

Why did the nation-state system win out?  

• Charles Tilly argues: military and economic interests

• This European model created under specific circumstances in a specific place was then  exported through colonization to much of the rest of the world.  

• “…the increasing scale of warfare and the knitting together of the European state system  thorough commercial, military, and diplomatic interaction eventually gave the war-making  advantage to those states that could field standing armies; states having access to a  combination of large rural populations, capitalists, and relatively commercialized  economy won out. They set the terms for war, and their form of state became the  predominant one in Europe. Eventually European states converged on this form: the  national state.”

Benefits of the Modern State System  

• Less territorial and sovereignty disputes (recognition of the right of other states to own and  control their land)

• Protections for those who are now citizens

• Security, order and law, justice system, state services (public education, libraries,  transportation, medical care, fire department, disposal of trash and waste, clean water, etc.)

Concerns with the modern state system  

• Fixed borders, which is problematic for those from nomadic heritage (Bedouins in Sinai and  Jordan)

• For native groups, their understanding of land, of their traditional and sacred places is  dismissed.  

• With fixed states come borders, citizens, id cards, legal and illegal aliens…less freedom of  movement for people. (Mexicans in US, Africans crossing to Europe).  

Is the Westphalian state system representative of reality?  

• Eurocentric model

• Focus on the state, diminishes the importance of people and other units of analysis.  

Will the state always be the main political unit?  

• Question to keep in mind

Auroville in India  

• A dream

• “There should be somewhere on earth, a place which no nation could claim as its own, where  all human beings of good will who have a sincere aspiration, could live freely as citizens of  the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme truth; a place of peace, concord  and harmony.” - The Mother (one of the founders)


• A direct poltical control of a people by a foreign state

• Has been a part of global politics for a long time, but it took on new forms and capabilities in  the post-Columbus era with long-lasting consequences.

Settler and Domination Colonies  

• Settler: Intention for the controlling country to re-settle part of population in the territory • Examples: US, Australia, South Africa

• Domination: controlled for economic resources and activities and a presence there, but no  intention of living there permanently

• Examples: Belgians in the Congo, British India, Japanese in Korea

Imperialism “The Scramble for Africa”  

• Imperialism: Military, political, cultural, and economic dominance of people and nations.

• Partition of Africa 1885-1914

• Split up occurred during the Berlin conference of 1884

• These divisions were not done with awareness or sensitivity to the different ethnicities and  groups of people who lived in these areas.  

The Congo and King Leopold II  

• He was given money from the government and created a private holding company which was  disguised as a charitable organization meant to civilize the Congo, and he received donations  for this effort

• Really it was a brutal business venture of his part. Led to the death of 10 million people,  about 50% of the people who lived in the Congo

• Catastrophic form of imperialism

• Lot of abuses, widespread beatings, killings, and mutilations  

Colonialism and imperialism  

• Definitions are contested  

• Edward Said: imperialism involved “the practice, the theory, and the attitudes if a dominating  metropolitan center ruling a distant territory”, while colonialism refers to the “implanting of  settlements on a distant territory.”

• Colonization is an expression of imperialism. Sometimes differentiated base don whether  long-term settlement and/or occupation occurred or not.

• Forms of imperialism can occur in a time when colonization is no longer common.  

Colonization of India  

• England’s East India Company, sought to trade with India and went to get these trade rights,  but the Mongols had resources in India. The Mongol empire declined.

• After one battle, the East India Company got the right to collect land revenue in Bengal which  led to them staring to control large portions of India.  

• They were collecting taxes, and corruption, which led to a revolt. However, sovereignty was  given to queen Victoria and India became an official colony of England

• There were economic policies in place, India could not develop or protect its own industries • The British empire rose in power and wealth and India spiraled downwards. • There was no use of communal land, it became privatized under the British empire • Resulted in landless, impoverished peasants

• Millions died of starvation  

Justifications Made  

• Political and economic benefits to the home country and population.

• The natives are “savages” “children” don’t know how to run a country.  • They need European interference for moral, political, economic, and social guidance. • They are genetically inferior/less human so the same ethical codes of interaction do not  apply.  

Making the 1st/3rd world  

• Why did Europe emerge as the dominant power?

• Burst of development in Europe starting in the 15th centuries in science, industry, military  technology…and the legacy of colonialism.  

• Jared Diamond - technological advances in weaponry (guns), European diseases killing and  weakening local populations (germs) and means of transportation from steel led to European  domination.

• Many of these patterns set in place during the colonial period still exist today.  20th and 21st Centuries

• WWI and WWII

• Cold War (Bi-polar system)

• U.S. and USSR

• U.S. dominance (Uni-polar)

• State still the main unit of analysis  

• But increasing importance of international organizations, treaties, non-state actors such as  terrorist organizations

What exists beyond of the state? Non-state actors in IR  

• Supranational Organizations (EU)

• Inter-governmental Organizations (UN, OPEC, NATO)

• NGOs (Greenpeace Doctors Without Borders)

• Social movements (BDS South Africa and Israel)

• Terrorist organizations, international drug rings

• Multi-National corporations (MNCs)

• People!

Inter-governmental Organizations  

• Organizations made up of member countries created for the purpose of coordination,  cooperation, alliances  

• importance to IR/global politics?

• In a nutshell, these institutions can help facilitate cooperation between states and reduce  conflict. Skeptics (aka realists) argue these institutions are business as usual — the most  powerful nations are protecting their interests

Issues that don’t fit within a state centric model  

• Many world issues do not stop at state borders (trafficking of humans and drugs, migration,  terrorism, pollution…)

• With environmental concerns this is particularly prevalent. What happens in the rainforests of  Brazil, waters of the Pacific, carbon emissions in China, etc. affect all of us.  

Social Movements — People have power  

• Disinvestments from South Africa

• Major pressure on cities, corporations and universities to divest from investments in South  Africa

• Led by churches, students, NGOs in countries around the world in addition to all the efforts  by activists in South Africa itself.

Module B3 - Liberalisms  


• Perhaps the second oldest and most dominant understanding of international relations • Like realism, liberalism claims a long history. It claims some commonalities with realisms and  some very stark differences  

Histories of Liberalisms  

• Liberalism didn’t write much of its own history

• Liberalism here is not the same thing as a present day “liberal” in politics. In fact, liberals are  somewhat conservative, and most conservatives in American politics hold the views of  traditional liberals on individual subjectivity and the purpose of the state.  • Instead, here we talk about liberalism in the philosophical tradition.

• That philosophical tradition is bound up in an enlightenment interest in individuals and the  purpose of government for those individuals to protect those individuals and to protect those  individuals’ rights.  

• So liberalism is bound up in the idea of individual subjectivity and then understanding how to  make that individual subjectivity most successful politically.

The “Idealist” Tradition in IR  

• The world idealist was meant as an insult to the liberals. The realists called them idealists.  • Often portrayed as the “opposite” of realism

• “If you’re a realist, then you know how the world really works, so you’re not an idealist” • “If you’re am idealist you’re in denial of realism — the realities of the world, so say the  realists”

• Has many facets, but they are linked by the idea that anarchy can be tamed • Be aware that the label “liberal” preferred by members of the community, because “idealist”  was a mean name realists called them


The “Tradition”  

• Starts with Norman Angell, The Great Illusion

• Argell argued that, given the globalization of the world economy and states’ concern for their  credit ratings, war could never be in states interests, and they would realize this, and there  would be no more war

• 1910, before WWI

• The liberals called WWI the war to end all wars

• Also refers to Woodrow Wilson, President of the US, who called WWI “the war to end all  wars” and whose 14 point plan at the end of WWI was to ensure it never happened again • Then there was WWII, the deadliest sarin human history

• At that point the realists said they couldn’t afford the idealism of liberalism anymore,  because that’s what makes these wars worse, being in denial that they’re happening and  having an unrealistic view about conflict

• The liberals suggest, that that’s not at all what happened and that liberal ideas can still  help us understand and mitigate conflict.

The Lineage of Liberal Thought  

• Work like Locke’s and Kant’s that suggests it is possible to make the world more peaceful  • “Perpetual Peace” - Immanuel Kant

• Kant proposed that Republican constitutions, commercial exchange embodied in  cosmopolitan law, and a system of international law domestically governed by the rule  of law, would provide a basis for sustained peace between states

• Peace was not simply an ideal to Kant. Instead he believed that natural processes of  self-interest, could compel cooperation to lead to peace.  

• The Kantian perspective is frequently characterized as idealist.  

Is it time for liberalism again? Leading “idealist Charles Kegley thinks so  

• Writes at the end of the Cold War, in a period of “profound change”  

• The defining moment of the end of the Cold War transcends realpolitik and shows we can  have “idealist ideas” again

• He suggests the Berlin Wall coming down demonstrates the power of ideals and the  possibility for peace.  

• As the Cold War ends he suggests that idealism returns

• There are others who make the argument that it might be time for liberalism, given massive  changes in the world, and that those changes in the world demonstrate the enduring power  of liberal theory  

Russett’s Big Changes in the World that Go Together  

1. Big drop in battle deaths

2. Big drop in number of autocracies in the world and increase in number of democracies 3. Big rise in trade interdependence

4. Big rise in international organization membership

• The liberal argument then is that regime, type, trade, and international organizations are  tempering war.

Liberal Constraints on Conflict  

• Democracy

• Trade  

• International institutions

The Democratic Peace: 2 Models  

1. Normative

• Democracies operate internally on the principle that conflicts are to be resolved  peacefully by negotiation and compromise without resorting to threat or use of violence.  Democratic peoples and their leaders recognize other democracies as acting under the  same principles, and so extend to them the principle of peaceful conflict resolution.  

• Therefore, democracies are more likely to treat other democracies peacefully, and more  likely to treat dictatorships as problematic because democratic norms are to be  respected

• States, to the extent possible, externalize the norms of behavior that are developed within  and characterize their domestic political processes and institutions.  

• The anarchic nature of international politics implies that a clash between democratic and  non-democratic norms is dominated by the latter, rather than by the former”  2. Structural

• Democratic leaders who fight a war are held responsible through democratic institutions  for the costs and benefits of the war. When the costs outweigh the benefits, the  democratic leaders who start wars risk being voted out of office, especially if they lose.  Additionally, when looking for wars, they’re constrained by both the processes that take a  long time in democracies for congresses or parliaments to approve war and also by  citizen public opinion.

• International challenges require political leaders to mobilize domestic support to their  policies. Such support must be mobilized from those groups that provide leadership the  kind of legitimacy that is required for international action.

• Shortcuts to political mobilization of relevant political support can be accomplished only  in situations that can be appropriately be described as emergencies

• These models were tested, and then “peace” was defined as “less than 1,000 battle deaths”  • That means that covert operations, coups, and internal conflicts field to buy or paid for by  other leaders don’t count as conflicts between democracies  

• They also test whether the normative or structural model explains it more.

Maoz and Russett’s Conclusions  

1. The democratic peace phenomenon, that is, the relative lack of conflict and complete  absence of war between democracies, is probably not a spurious correlation. When  controlling for other potentially confounding factors, regime type has a consistent  dampening effect on international conflict

2. These results are robust. They usually hold regardless of the conflict data set used, the  definition of the dependent variable, and the scale and type of measure of democracy. This  increases confidence in the substantive results.  

3. Both political constraints and democratic norms provide reasonably good explanations of  why democracies rarely fight each other

4. However, the relationship between institutional constraints and measures of dispute and  war occurrence is not as robust as the relationship between measures of democratic norms  and the dependent variables. This suggests that the normative model may be a better  overall account of the democratic-peace phenomenon than the structural model.  

Liberal Theory Today  

• “America is a Nation with a mission - and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs.  We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace - a  peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman” - President George W.  Bush

The “Trade” Peace  

• Trade = ties between states = trust and interest = peace  

• OR

• Trade = mutual capitalism = commonality between states and interest = peace • Russett suggests that if you measure a trade in a dyad. a set of two states, as a sum of its  imports from and exports to the other state, divided by its gross domestic product, a given  volume of trade will exert greater economic and political impact on a small country than a big  one.  

• On the other hand, even controlling for that, the argument is that states that trade more with  each other are more likely to make less conflict between each other.  

• Others say this is not caused by the level of trade but instead, the level of trade is caused by  whether or not states have good relations, and so is the likelihood of war • And, others say that trade is how states might get to know and like each other and a process  that is important in building trust in interactions.

Institutions and Conflict Mitigation  

• Institutions build trust

• Institutions reduce transaction costs

• Institutions punish cheaters

• Institutions decrease the risk of relative gains

• Institutions provide rules and laws

Kantian understanding of liberal peace  

• Democracy, economic interdependence, and membership in international organizations both  actually end up confirming and furthering each other, and peace.  

• So this is a recipe then in order to find peace.

• Critics suggest democratization, and the transition to globalized trade, are two of the most  violent states that a state can be in.  

• On the other hand, Russett and other liberals suggest that it’s possible that they have found  the way to mitigate conflict, particularly conflict between great powers, and have a place in  the world among many states, where there’s almost no risk of war.  

• There’s democracy, there’s economic integration, and there’s institutions. Russett  suggests that this did have a large impact on the fact that we can’t really imagine wars  between European powers now, despite its incredible frequency over the history of the  past 500 years.  

• Classical liberals suggest that that’s one way to promote order in anarchy


• Shares many neorealist assumptions

• assume the international arena is an anarchy

• assume that anarchy is a permissive cause, a condition of possibility of states making  war

• assume the international arena is likely to be conflictual

• Has been called the “neo-neo synthesis” by those outside the mainstream • because neoliberalism and neorealism looks so much like the same theory • Many neoliberal think they’re neorealists  

• The neoliberal suggests that this conflict likelihood in the international arena doesn’t extend  to all issues, that there are some issues on which states might seek absolute gains, while  there are other issues on which states might seek relative gains

• Absolute gains are things that you get that you don’t care whether or not other people get  for you to enjoy them

• Neorealists say that’s not true, states never care about absolute gains in the international  arena, instead they’re always interested in relative gains

Jennifer Sterling-Folker Neoliberalisms  

• First goal: critiquing the inaccurate parts of realism

• Interdependence

• States use each other in a way that’s voluntary, polite, and legal.  

• Hegemonic stability

• That there is one great power in the international arena, the United States.  • That great power, isn’t the government of the world, but it has allowed and facilitated  a number of different international cooperations kind of guaranteed by the leader and  therefore, more likely to produce trust

• So as a result, there is space, say the neoliberals, to start negotiating working  together and building the possibility to mitigate the conflictual nature of anarchy • Second goal: understand barriers to cooperation

• Prisoner’s dilemma (incentive to defect)

• In the prisoner’s dilemma, there are two prisoners held incommunicado by police and told  that if they provide evidence against each other, they’ll receive a reduced sentence.  • Both would be better off if they remain silent and thereby cooperated, because then  police would have no evidence and be unable to charge either one of them. • Yet the risk that the other person talks, incentivizes you talking, with means that most  people will defect and not cooperate, when indeed the best thing for them to do is to  cooperate, but the rational thing to do is for you to cheat.  

Neoliberalisms Studying Institutions  

• Key to study institutional design

• Three factors

• Bargaining

• In order to reach collectivel-agreed decisions, states need a degree of regularity in the  rules and procedures for bargaining, how to bargain, who bargains, what they give up,  what they link to it, what’s negotiable, what’s not negotiable.  

• Features of institutions that make it easier to bargain:

• The scope of the issue covered by the negotiations, where the issues need to be  narrow enough to be negotiated about

• The extent to which issues are linked, which they should be linked minorly to  issues that allow everyone to benefit but not majorly  

• The rules for controlling how decisions are made, including rules on voting • Defection

• Happens because states fear that their cooperative partners may fail to live up to  mutual agreements, so they cheat first

• Sterling-Folker suggests that institutions can play two roles in discouraging the  motive for defection, compliance and enforcement  

• Compliance involves the extent to which states can be induced or encouraged to  abide by international agreements  

• Enforcement involves the extent to which states can be forced into compliance  and are punished for failing to do so.

• International institutions can have both elements as long as they’re agreed upon  by all of the member states  

• Autonomy

• (the right or condition of self-government, especially in a particular sphere; a self governing country or region) • Institutions don’t simply pursue the mandates handed to them, according to  neoliberal institutionalists, instead, they actually have to make some autonomous  decisions and contributions to work  

• Principal-agent theory

• Examines how states as principals, delegate asks and authorities to institutions  who serve as independent representatives or agents within particular issue areas  • If institutions are against agents then, they have the ability to interact with the  principal and perhaps even constrain it in a way that they wouldn’t if they were  replicating the principal  

• Neoliberal institutionalists suggest that if you look at these three issues and pay attention to  the factors that make bargaining more likely instead of less likely, the factors which control  defection, and the factors which give institutions some sense of autonomy, when you’re  designing the legal constitution of an institution, you’re likely to be able to create institutions  that actually do facilitate cooperation that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.  • ex: World Trade Center

Module A4 Global Governance 

A World in Anarchy  


• + 50 million military and civilian deaths

• 2 atomic bombs used

• Anarchy

• Absence of government  

The Response?  

• United Nations

• “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from  the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…”

The United Nations  

• Founded in 1945

• 193 Members

• Purposes:

• To maintain international peace and security

• To develop friendly relations among nations

• To achieve international cooperation in solving problems  

Governance vs Government  

• Global Governance

• System for making and enforcing rules so that we can manage problems that we share. • Involves States and IGOs.

• Global Government  

• Authority with hierarchical powers

• But, do we still have anarchy?

Governing Globally  

• General Assembly

• 193 Members

• 1 state = 1 vote

• Committees

• 6 different: legal, administrative and budgetary, special political and decolonization,  social humanitarian and culture, economic and financial, disarmament and  international security.  

• Sustainable Development Goals

• Global Agenda Setting: 17 goals

• Security Council

• Charged with maintaining international peace and security

• 15 members, 5 permanent

• Nonpermanent: Bolivia, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Kazakhstan,  Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, and Peru  

• Permanent: china, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States  

• Majority needed  

• 8 votes

Sanctions in North Korea  

• Asks countries to inspect ships going in and out of North Korea’s port

• Bans textile exports

• Prohibits the sale of natural gas

• Sets a cap on refined petroleum sales

• Strengthened on December 22

How “Global” is this governance?  

• Established and led primarily by the US post WWII

• All other major European powers destroyed and exhausted from war

• Overarching principles reflect those supported by the US and Western Europe • Confidence in free markets  

• Self-determination of actors

• Prioritizing human rights

• Faith in democratization

• Multilateralism  

• Major organizations supporting Western principles

• World Bank

• United Nations

• World Trade Organization (WTO)

• International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The Liberal World Order  

• The character of these principles and institutions is liberal

• Founded by the West, more specifically the winners of WWII

• The nature of the order is not innocent

Challenging the Liberal World Order  

• “The Rise of the Rest”:

• The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa)

• Focus on development, regionalism as opposed to globalism, their own security  concerns.

• The current order does not reflect their primary interests or experiences • Adjust focus to issues of development  

• Regionalism rather than globalism

• Local security concerns

• Does this order deserve blame for international issues?  

• Syrian refugee crisis

• 2008 Global Financial Crisis


• The UN has been in charge of global governance since 1945, supposed to be protecting  international peace and security, yet we continue to see conflicts around the world • Challenges that the UN order might not be working

Can the liberal world order survive?  

• The structure pacifies challengers with rewards

• Adjustments to the current order could inhibit the future economic rise of a challenging  state  

• Those states powerful enough to adjust the order would be powerful enough to reap the  current order’s rewards

• Provides states a “seat at the table” in discussing important international issues • Liberal institutions encourage multilateralism and openness (example G-8 becomes G-20) • These institutions codify laws and standards to which states can be guaranteed (WTO) • There is not a viable world order to replace the current one

• Commitment to the illiberal principles is not widespread amongst state actors at this  point

• An order built on alternative principles (protectionism, regionalism) would not benefit the  majority of state actors

Module B4 - The English School 

The English School  

• Comes from the intellectual work of Hugo Grotius  

• Grotius introduces an idea that Bull finds crucial — that there is an international society  between states  

• Hedley Bull is one of the founding people in the English School of International Relations • Suggested that Grotius’ idea that there’s a society between states merits paying  attention

• For example, we have all sorts of long and drawn out understandings and ideas  about what diplomacy should look like, how diplomats should treat each other,  what appropriate gifts should be given, what the rules and laws should be around  the embassies in different places in the world.

• All those things, Bull suggests, demonstrates that there’s a society among  states, social norms, whether or not there’s a government, and formal legal  norms, and that international law is one of the many things that forms those  social norms

• Bull argues these ideas were crucial to the peace of Westphalia, and why it was successful  

Where in the discipline is the English School?  

• The English School seems to be a middle ground theory between the orthodoxy of realisms  and liberalisms and the more critical theories we will learn about later in the semester  • The English School suggests that there’s something unique about it which is studying the  social relationships between states, but still keeping states as the primary actors in the  international arena  

• There is a real difference between theorizing in the US and outside of it, as the cartoon video  suggested, but that difference isn’t all “English School”

• Key feature is an interest in international society  

International Society rather than “The System”  

• According to Bull’s classical definition, international society comes into being when ‘a group  of states, conscious of certain common interests and common values, form a society in the  sense that they conceive themselves to be bound by a common set of rules in their relations  with one another and share in the working of common institutions’  

• In this definition, a number of English School theorists have traced the history of  international Society. They’ve thought of international society as starting at the Peace of  Westphalia with a few states, and growing until now, where it includes most, if not all, of  the states in the world  

• The first key element of International Society then is mutual recognition, which indicates  the presence of a social practice. Recognition is fundamental to this sort of identity  relationship

• The primary players — the lens that this theory focuses on — is sovereign states • Tim Dunne suggests that they’re not strictly the only members of International society,  historical anomalies have always existed  

• Its important to think about International Society as a cooperative venture  

Five Features of International Society  

1. Central place of natural law (where realists believe central place of human nature) • Natural law is how people are entitled to social interactions, and how they can make  legal determinations without the existence of government  

2. Universality of international society

• It’s not something that affects one state differently than another or means something  different to another state

• Society is inclusive, whatever happens inside the society has the same rules and norms 3. Place of individuals and non-state group

• Usually but not always as members of states  

4. Solidarism in the enforcement of the rules (actual or potential solidarity in enforcement) • They see international society as enforcing the rules

5. Absence of international institutions (this is a “get-together” rather than a formal affair) • About social relationships outside of institutions.

International Society  

• There are two different branches of the English School that think of international society  differently:

• Pluralist

• Framework geared to the liberty of states and maintaining order among them • Solidarist

• Framework geared towards rule enforcement and guarding human rights • They disagree about the content of those social relationships, such that pluralists suggest  that states have social relationships, maintaining their individual liberty as primary, and  looking for order between them as they interact.

• Solidarists suggest there should be a little bit more to it. There should be rule enforcement  and guarding human rights, because the purpose of a society is to make sure it’s protecting  its most marginalized citizens.  

• Pluralist order suggests that the liberty of states is the most important part of the way that  states have social relationships, that they can establish some practices that go together that  actually then make interacting with other states significantly easier.

• Pluralism asserts that states that states are entitled to equal rights regardless of their  capabilities or internal arrangements.  

• Solidarism says that the ties that bind individuals to the greater society of humankind are  deeper than the pluralist rules and institutions that separate them and pay attention to the  liberty of states

• Solidarist international society is an extension of international society rather than its  transformation whereas world government would be its transformation.  

• In solidarity international society individuals are entitled to basic rights, and having them  enforced sometimes at the expense of the solidarity of states.

• Then, though the international arena is between states, it ends up prioritizing non-state  actors as well.

The English School Approach  

• Has a unique way of thinking about the subject matter of global politics.  • Taken from the text:

• “The subject matter of IR ought not to be restricted to inter-state relations, but to the  global political system as a whole. Particular emphasis needs to be placed theory  because our understanding of the world is mediated by concepts and values.”

• Dunne thinks that people that are looking at the international relations between  states are looking too narrowly. And although international society is among states,  it’s important both to look at social relations among states and the different entities  that then influences those social relations over he course of history and across  cultures.

• “IR must be understood in historical depth. Knowing the USA has strategic superiority  over its rivals is less significant than whether it is a status quo power or revisionist  power.”

• Until you know the history, you don’t know how that state socially interacts, how the  social interaction song the states will influence it, and how certain the social orders  came to be.

• “There is no escape from values. They inform the selection of topics to be researched and  taught, and therefore they need to be upfront and subjected to critical scrutiny.” • Hedley Bull uses tis argument and was targeting those who were obsessed with  policy relevance. He believed that the pursuit of political influence was likely to  significantly diminish the prospects of generating research that would be of interest  to practitioners. He was suggesting that once you start trying to pretend you’re all  objective about everything, then the values that we have become obvious in  different ways, not because we admit them, but because they still inform what we  do.  

• “IR is a normative enterprise. Values are not simply a mater for individual researchers; the  are at the heart of the discipline. What matters are the ideas that practitioners believed in  and how they sought to implement them.”

• According to the Tony Erskine chapter, the English School suggests that IR is a  normative enterprise. It’s not that there is some theory with normative implications,  instead it’s actually that theorizing is normative.  

• Values are not simply a matter for individual researchers, they are at the heart of the  discipline. What matters are the ideas the practitioners believed in and how they  sought to implement them. So it’s not only the values of the researcher, it’s also the  values of the practitioners and how they interact.  

• In these ways, the English School is different from the largely positivist approach in realist  and liberal understandings, an approach that thinks that we can know objectively, that we  can have apolitical international relations, and that apolitical international relations can come  to be policy relevant.

Module A5 - Europe in Global Politics 

The Context  

• “People who had resisted totalitarianism during the war were determined to put an end to  international hatred and rivalry in Europe and create the conditions for lasting peace.”  

10 Key Dates  

• 1951: The European Coal and Steel Community is set up by the six founding members • 1957: The same six countries sign the treaties of Rome, setting up the European Economic  Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) • 1973: The Communities expand to nine Member States and introduce more common policies • 1979: The first direct elections to the European Parliament (EP)

• 1981: The first Mediterranean enlargement  

• 1992: The European single market becomes a reality

• 1993: The Treaty of Maastricht established the European Union (EU)

• 2002: The euro comes into circulation

• 2007: The Eu has 27 Member States

• 2009: The Lisbon Treaty comes into force, changing the way the EU works

European Union Membership  

• 28 Members

• 6 founding members: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxinberg, and the Netherlands  • Switzerland has not joined the European union, one of a handful which has not joined, even  though it is bordered by member states

• In 2001 Swiss citizens voted on a popular initiative to open up member negotiations • 77% of voters decided that Switzerland should remain separate from the union

Membership Conditions  

• Legal Requirements  

• Sign on to EU treaties

• Follow EU law

• Lisbon Treaty - Article 49

• it respects liberty, democracy, respects for human rights and fundamental freedoms,  and the rule of law.  

• The Copenhagen Criteria  

• stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for  and protection of minorities;

• a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and  market forces within the Union;  

• the ability to take on the obligations of membership, including support of the aims of the  Union. They must have a public administration capable of applying and managing EU  laws in practice.  

The European Council  

• Heads of State or Government of all EU member countries  

• The European Council…

• fixes the EU’s goals and sets the course for achieving them;

• provides the impetus for the EU’s main policy initiatives and takes decisions on thorny  issues that the council of Ministers has not been able to agree on;  

• Tackles current international problems via the ‘common foreign and security policy’ —  which is a mechanism for coordinating the foreign policies of the EU’s Member States.

The Council of Ministers  

• 1 minister from each Member State

• The Council’s main job is to pass EU laws. Normally it shares this responsibility with the  European Parliament . The Council and the Parliament also share equal responsibility for  adopting the EU budget. In addition, the Council signs international agreements that have  been negotiated by the Commission.  

The European Parliament  

• The European Parliament is the elected body that represents EU’s citizens. • It supervises the EU’s activities and, together with the Council, it enacts EU legislation • Parliament holds its major debates at monthly gatherings (known as ‘plenary sessions’)  

attended, in principle, by all MEPs. These plenary sessions are normally held in Strasbourg,  and any additional sessions are held in Brussels.  

The European Commission  

• 1 Commissioner from each Member State

• Executive arm of the European Union that proposes laws, polices agreements, and promotes  the Union

• The Commission is answerable to the Parliament, and the entire Commission has to resign if  the Parliament passes a motion of censure against it.

• As members of the Commission, Commissioners are committed to acting in the interests of  the Union as a whole and not taking instructions from national governments.  

The Single Market  

• Border Controls

• All border controls within the EU on goods have been abolished, together with customs  controls on people, but the police still carry out random spot checks as part of the fight  against crime and drugs.

• Market Access

• EU countries have agreed to recognize one another’s rules on the sale of most goods.  Since the famous “Cassis de Dijon” ruling by the European Court of Justice in 1979, any  product legally manufactured and sold in one Member State must be allowed to be  placed on the market in all others.  

• Professions  

• Where services are concerned, EU countries mutually recognize or coordinate their  national rules allowing people to practice professions such as law, medicine, tourism,  banking or insurance

• Taxes  

• Tax barriers have been reduced by partially aligning national VAT rates, which must be  agreed by the EU Member States.  

• Contracts

• Regardless of who awards them, public contracts in any EU country are no open to  bidders from anywhere in the EU


• The Euro is the most tangible proof of European integration

• Common currency for 19/28 EU countries and used by over 338 million people every day


• On 23 June 2016 citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) • On 29 March 2017 the UK formally notified the European Council of its intention to leave the  EU by triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty

Article 50  

• Plan for any country that wishes to exit the EU, signed by all EU states

Brexit Timeline  

• Scheduled to leave on March 2019

Module B5 - Constructivisms 

Situating Constructivisms - Social Movements as the cold war waned  

• US Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign compared to the European Nuclear disarmament  movement

• Two points:

1. Ideas matter

2. Metaphor for IR constructivism

• Shared values (esp. critique of IR static nature)

• Different strategies and details  

Characterizing Constructivism  

• The international arena is a social construction. It is socially constructed how we interact.  • So while the realists think that anarchy is one of the salient values — and in fact, the liberals  mostly agree — the constructivists started out with an argument that Alex Wendt made in the  early 1990s that anarchy is what states make of it. The salient feature of the international  arena is actually the social interaction between states.  

Social Construction is…  

• To construct something is an act which brings into being a subject or object that otherwise  would not exist. Once constructed, these objects have a particular meaning or use within a  context. They are social constructs in so far as their shape and form is imbued with social  values, norms, and assumptions rather than being a product of purely individual thought and  meaning. They are, however, no less real for their social construction.  

• In other words, there are things that we give meaning to through our social interaction  that’s different from the meaning they would have without that social interaction, if we  could even imagine that.  

Fundamental Principles of Constructivism  

• Fierke says to look for:

• Social being

• Often theories have an individualistic autonomy understanding, whether it’s the  human or the state

• Constructivists question whether states really are individual units, like the realists say,  or whether people really are individual things with rights, like the liberals say.  • Instead, they come at it from what Fierke calls a social ontology. As fundamentally  social beings, she says individuals or states can’t be separated from the context of  the other individuals and states that they interact with. Instead, the context has  normative meaning which shapes not only what states do, but also in some sense  who they are.  

• Subjects of constructivism — even the personified state —act by a different logic than  the realist. In fact, the realists and liberals fundamentally think states act what’s called  the logic of consequences. There’s a fundamental rationalism to understanding what  happens next in realist and liberal theories. Instead, Fierke suggests that  constructivist states act with a logic of appropriateness, understanding the situation  around them, and trying to see what would be socially correct for them to do in a  particular situation.  

• When there are social norms, states as social beings look to follow them. Or when  they don’t follow them, look to understand the cost of behaving inappropriately rather  than the cost of behaving against their material interest.  

• Mutual constitution

• Fierke argues that a social structure is important to understand the actors in it,  because who states are relates very much to who they interact with both positively  and negatively.  

• So when a state interacts, each exercise is an element of choice — and, thus, agency  — in how their relationship develops. But their choice isn’t unlimited. Instead, they’re  constrained in a number of ways, both materially and socially and the choices are also  partially dependent on the responses of the other. So you act in a particular way  because other people act in particular ways towards you.  

• So that makes state’s identities built off of each other — not 100% dependent, but  never 100% independent either, thus mutually constituted.  

• Social facts

• Fierke suggests that it’s important to tie interest to identity because neither identity  nor interest can be detached from a world of social meaning.  

• Ex: it is not a fact that a woman in a white fluffy dress is a bride, it’s a social fact, we  have constructed that understanding that a white fluffy dress means a woman is  getting married.

• Social cognition

• Fierke discusses this in terms of Weberian understanding — that social meaning is the  function of what’s in people’s heads.  

• It’s important to think about how things get in people’s heads. There’s clearly a social  dimension.  

• People act towards objects, including other actors, on the basis of the meanings that  objects have for them. Actors acquire identities by participating in such collective  meanings. These identities are inherently relational, and form the basis for state  interests.  

• The social meaning of an object matters

• Identities and social meanings are co-constituted  

• The combination of identity and social meaning ends up forming the basis for  state interest, which often realists and liberals leave as just assumed.  

• Important question to ask the constructivist: Are foreign policy identities exogenous or  endogenous to the state system? Are state interests just given and assumed? Or do states  have choices and make choices based on their relationships with other states and their social  status in the international arena.  

Highlights of Constructivism  

• Explaining or understanding change at the international level

• Social dimensions of international relations

• International politics as a world of our making  

• This construction, for constructivists, is not always just a one-way street, but a path of  mutual constitution. A social structure leaves more space for agency, that is, for the individual  or state to influence their environment as well as to be influenced by it.  

Alexander Wendt and Constructivisms - Alex Wendt’s Goal  

• To “build a bridge” between these two traditions  

• Between neorealism and neoliberalism

• Argues sometimes the realists are right, and sometimes the liberals are right and the only  way that you can explain both is to see the social as a causal mechanism, that let states  choose between realist outcomes and liberal outcomes  

• He builds the bridge by developing a constructivist argument  

• This argument is drawn from structurationist and symbolic interactionist sociology, on behalf  of the liberal claim that international institutions can transform state identities and interests.  

Wendtian Social Construction in IR

• Wendt contains that foreign policy identifies are endogenous to the state system • Power politics, then, is a social construction, constructed by  

• signaling

• interpreting

• responding  

• Through reciprocal interaction, we create and instantiate the relatively enduring social  structures in terms of which we define our identities and interests

• The key variable is the conceptualization of the relationships between structure and process • Process creates structure

Module A6 - Asia in Global Politics 


• China and India have the largest populations in the world thus far  

• U.S. is third

• China and India have over 1 billion citizens each respectively

• The U.S. does not compare

GDP, Total  

• Size of a country’s economy

• U.S. has largest

• China second

• Japan third  

• India fourth

• South Korea fifth

GDP, Per Capita  

• Per individual, per citizen

• US at top as well

• Then Japan

• Then South Korea

• China and India at the bottom

• Has to do with the size of their population

CO2 Emissions, Total  

• Global impact on climate change

• China has the most

• Then the US

• Then India, Japan, and South Korea

CO2 Emissions, Per Capita  

• US has most

• Then South Korea

• Then Japan

• Then China

• India is last

• This is important because we should expect a larger amount of CO2 emissions in developing  countries with large populations

20th Century Economics: Asia  

• Asian Tiger Economies

• 60s-90s: per capita income levels had increased tenfold in Korea, fivefold in Thailand, and  fourfold in Malaysia.

• Annual GDP growth in the ASEAN-5 (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and  Thailand) averaged close to 8 percent in the 80s/90s.

• 1997 Asian Financial Crisis

• August 20, 1997: IMF announced an assistance package of $4 billion for Thailand • IMF’s commitments grew: by the close of 1999, IMF assistance to Thailand totaled $17.2  billion.

• South Korea’s total commitment from the IMF and other creditors stood at $57 billion at the  close of 1999.

• In 1999 the Heritage Foundation wrote a critical assessment of IMF policies and the Asian  Crisis.

• They wrote: “It is a fact of life that nationalist opposition is strengthened in reaction to  internationally imposed reform, whatever its merits.”

• They continue: “On top of this is the perception that the IMF is a mere instrument of US  policy.”

Beijing Consensus  

• Remember A4 - Global Governance?

• Josh Williamson - former World Bank economist

• Washington Consensus - he wrote that emerging economies should be open to capital  flows while moving towards transparency, privatization, and liberalization • Joshua Cooper Ramo - former foreign editor of Time Magazine  

• “The Beijing Consensus demands that ideas such as privatization and free trade, be  approached with caution.”

• Role of GDP

• Financial Sovereignty

• Government Intervention

China’s Aid Programs  

• China and the US have handed out similar amounts of money since the 2000s, but these  countries distribute the money in radically different ways

• The vast majority of US Financial aid fits under the traditional definition of aid, that aid is  given with the main goal of helping the economy and welfare of recipient countries.  • At least a quarter of that money represents a direct grant, not a loan that needs to be  repaid.  

• In contrast, only a small portion of the money China gives to other countries, can be  considered as traditional aid

• The rest is given as commercial loans that have to be repaid to Beijing, with interest • There’s evidence that China’s no strings loans have had an effect on the entire global lending  system, forcing traditional donors to stop placing so many requirements on receiving  countries.  


• The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in  Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the  Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and  Thailand.  

• Fundamental Principles

• Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and  national identity of all nations;

• The right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference,  subversion or coercion;

• Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another;  

• Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful manner;

• Renunciation of the threat or use of force; and  

• Effective cooperation among themselves

North Korea  

• Has conducted 6 nuclear tests.

• With a leadership change (Kim Jong Um), the country detonated weapons in Feb. 2013, Jan.  2016, Sep. 2016, Sep. 2017

• Plays a large role because of its nuclear capabilities

• Trump said if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies it would have “no choice, but to  tally destroy North Korea”

• Trump said Kim Jong Um was on a suicide mission for himself and his regime • Kim Jong Um called Trump mentally deranged, and said he would pay dearly for  threatening to destroy North Korea

• He also said Trump’s comments “have convinced me rather than frightening or  stopping me, that the path I chose is correct, and that it’s the one that I have to follow  till the last.”

Territorial Disputes - China’s Maritime  

• Maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas are a pressing matter for the US, China,  and much of the rest of the world

• It is a region that is rich in natural resources; home to many of the world’s most dynamic  economies, and an important global trade route for the energy supplies and other goods.  • It is also a region in which power politics are at play and defense budgets are rising rapidly  • For the East China Sea it is more political. China considers that Japan invaded them and  stole their island.

• For South China Sea, it is largely about economics: fishery and seabed. Has to do with  China’s sustainable development.  

• Economics empowers China’s international status.

Module B6 -Marxism  

Marxism’s Foundations  

• Directly related to the thought of Karl Marx.  


• Method  

• No separation between domestic and international politics — social self-production rules • Think about the international arena as neither realist nor liberal, because both are  limited.  

• There are social process through which actors have been historically constructed,  which implicitly deny the possibility for alternative worlds, which maybe latent in those  processes of social self-production.

• Relational and process-oriented view of historical materialism

• View of human history and possibility for human futures

• Marx suggests that humans live their lives at the intersection of a relationship  between the natural world, social relations, and humans.  

• These relations are organic

• Therefore, a dialectic view of history  

• Humans are historical beings simultaneously producing and the products of historical  processes  

• Critique of Capitalism

• Marx: market capitalism is bad for humanity, unsustainable, and something that should  go away.  

• Mix of freedom and unfreedom

• The productive powers of human societies were being raised by capitalism, but  that it was the few who were getting to have those productive powers.  

• Disabling

• Capitalism distorts real possibilities for social self determination.  

• Capitalism naturalizes itself such that the proletariat never really asks the question  “how can I get out of this?”

• Exploitative

• Undemocratic

• Thought about in terms of who makes the money for who does the work • Labor makes capital more valuable without particularly making labor more  valuable  

• Imperial

• Different states of different classes have different amounts of power and different  amounts of choice in the international arena  

• Rupert suggests this is translatable into thinking about hegemony in the  international arena  

• Hegemonic

• Gramsci developed a theory of hegemony as a subtle form of political power  which relies more on consent than coercion, which is much like Marxism thinks  about the proletariat.  

The Four Ways Neomarxism Corrects Neorealism  

1. Dialectic (the potential for alternative forms of development arising from the confrontation  of opposed social forces in any concrete historical situation)

2. Adds a vertical dimension of power to the historical dimension of rivalry among the most  powerful states — the dominance and subordination of the metropole over hinterland,  centre over periphery

3. Enlarges the realist perspective through its concern with the relationship between the state  and civil society

4. Historical materialism focuses upon the production process as a critical element in the  explanation of the particular historical form taken by the state/society complex.

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