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Intro to International Relations

by: Erin Butler-Córdova

Intro to International Relations Poli Sci 175

Erin Butler-Córdova

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These notes cover: International trade LIberalism Interdependence Social Theories IPE
Intro to International Relations
Class Notes
international relations, world affairs, Politics, political science, uwm, wisconsin, uwmilwaukee
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Erin Butler-Córdova on Tuesday January 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Poli Sci 175 at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee taught by in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Intro to International Relations in Political Science at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

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Date Created: 01/26/16
What is Interdependence? :  Interdependence: Situations characterized by reciprocal effects among countries or among actors in different countries (Keohane and Nye 1987, 730) o Implies that the actions of states, and significant non- state actors, will impose costs on other members of the system (Keohane and Nye 1987, 730)  Foreign policy: how to benefit from international exchange while maintaining as much autonomy as possible. Liberalism:  Concerned with: what should be  Int’l environment: anarchic  Actors: unitary states, groups, NGOs, IGOs, MNCs  Actors seek: peace, wealth  Assumes: economic incentives will always be more desirable than security; peace and prosperity over war. Incentives = rational.  Outcomes from: economic prosperity, concern with human rights, shared institutions  *****Mechanisms: economic interdependence (commerce), democracy, institutions  War from: power of arms, power of alliance, power of money  International system: how to generate and maintain a mutually beneficial pattern of cooperation in the face of competing efforts/interests Social Theories:  Constructivism o Interests defined: through interaction o Interaction in focus: b/w the individual actor (person, group, state) and environment (including other actors) o Outcomes from: context shapes identities -> identities shape interests -> interests produce outcomes  Other theories: o Constuctivism o Marxism o Postmodernism o Feminism o Peace studies IPE and International Trade-  IPE- concerns the social, political, and economic arrangements affecting trade, distribution, etc. Result of human decisions taken in the context of institutions and sets of structural lf-set rules and customs.  International trade: underscores the interdependence of states despite political disagreements. o Policy domain- rules, policies, and regulations produced by governments and IGOs. Public sector primacy. o Material domain- the private actor is the main player in the simultaneous pursuit of wealth and power.  International Monetary System: a web of IOs, policies, and agreements through which currencies and credits are calculated. o Policy domain o Material domain 5 Basic Characteristics of Global Economy: 1 Dynamic interaction b/w politics and economics. 2 Simultaneous pursuit of wealth and power. 3 Public- private Nexus- intermingling of public activities, focused first on power and second on wealth, and private activities, centered first on wealth and second on power. 4 Global interdependence. 5 Domestic conditions of political- economic stability and change influence behavior in global political economy. Approaches to IPE:  Economic Nationalism: the idea that the state should harness and use the country’s economic strength to further national interests. o Modern manifestations: a Imperialism and neo-imperialism b Economic incentives and disincentives c Protectionism and domestic economic support. o Characteristics:  Those who subscribe to this approach are not, and cannot be, true capitalists.  Economic nationalists want to interfere in and/or control the economy.  Marked by policies designed to protect domestic industries from foreign competition, by tariffs, etc. o Primary Theory: Mercantilism  Economic Internationalism: seeks to separate politics from economics. o Modern manifestations: a Capitalism b Laissez-faire economics and free trade o Characteristics:  Oppose tariffs, trade barriers, and government subsidies.  Favor removing the state from the economic control; self-regulating economy.  Few adherents; existing forms are modified to include IGOs that regulate competition and unequal distributions of wealth. o Primary theory: economic liberalism  Economic Structuralism: The conduct of world politics is based on the way that the world is organized economically. o Modern manifestations- a Haves and have-nots b Rentier states; north-south gap (haves exploiting have-nots) o Primary theory: Marxism (also dependency theory) 2 Dominant IPE Theories: in detail: Mercantilism:  Most similar foundation- realism  Actors- states  Beliefs- a Each state protects its own interests at the expense of others b IOs are not a framework for mutual gains c The importance of economic transactions lies in their military implications; economic outcomes matter for military power d Economics should serve politics as wealth underlies state power e Trade is desirable only when the distribution of benefits favor home state over rivals.  Emphasize- a Relative power, not a state’s absolute amount of wellbeing, but its positions relative to rival states. b Conflicting interests  Goal: to create the most favorable distribution of wealth through balance of trade.  Best for Understanding- macroeconomics Economic Liberalism:  Most Similar Foundation: Liberalism  Key Actors: Individual households and firms  Beliefs: a Cooperation produces common gains. b Shared interests in economic exchanges. c Markets and market competition produces stable patterns and prices; reducing sources of leverage, making power diffuse. d Free trade e Borders hinder market efficiency and free trade f Governments should not interfere; helping only to create market efficiency  Emphasize: a Absolute wealth; relative power does not matter, what matters is a state’s power in absolute terms. b Interdependence promotes peace.  Goal: create a maximum total of wealth by achieving optimal efficiency.  Best for understanding: microfinance Free Trade:  Liberal International Economic Order: the post-WWII int’l economic order embodying the traditional liberal preference for free and open trade as a means of promoting economic efficiency and prosperity.  The US sought to establish a regime in which the impediments to the movement of capital and goods were minimized. Thus, we see the creation of: o World bank o IMF o GATT -> WTO: to reduce the int’l tariffs to the lowest possible level.  Why move to a liberal economic order? o Great Depression: marked by economic nationalism (ever increasing tariffs and quotas) to shield their domestic industries from foreign competition.  Economic nationalism -> depression, fascism -> war  WWII: the US had the only intact industrial economy meaning that they could produce products where no one else could; US could charge whatever it wanted t/o concern for competition. More trade = more buyers.  2 Int’l components of free trade: o Division of Labor: states do not (and should not) produce everything they need and want.  Why not?: For there to be a division of labor, trade is necessary o Comparative Advantage: the idea that all nations benefit when they trade those commodities that each produces most efficiently.  Theory of Comparative advantage? o Explains why states engage in int’l trade even when one;s country’s workers are more efficient at producing every single good then workers in other countries o If 2 states that are capable of producing 2 commodities engage in the free market, each country will increase it overall consumption by exporting the good for which it has the comparative advantage and importing the other good.  Occurs when one country can produce a good at a lower opp. Cost than another country. Why trade?  Comparative Advantage: occurs when one country can produce a good ant a lower opportunity cost than another country. o Results from differences in factor endowments, and technological process. o Factor endowments: land, labor, capital Free Trade:  Link Between Free Trade and Comparative Advantage:  Comparative advantage results in efficiency, lower prices, production orients to market (supply and demand)  The idea behind the theory is that all nations benefit when they produce those commodities that each produces most efficiently.  Free trade allows nations and consumers to benefit from their different comparative advantages.  From the standpoint of economic theory, tariffs and other barriers to imports are bad because they distort the market.  In a free market, prices convey info to consumers about who is producing a commodity most efficiently (cheaply); this results in lower prices and thus consumers tend to buy those lower priced items.  So when people argue: free trade keeps prices low, but protectionism keeps job- both are correct. This, how do states choose between the 2?  Benefits: o free trade promotes economic efficiency o Diffuse benefits  Challenges: o Completely open free trade has never been achieved. o All states impose tariffs and other restrictions o Nontariff barriers: policies designed to inhibit trade and imports without imposing direct tariffs on imports o Free rider problems Effects of Free Trade:  Importing Cheap Goods: o Prices remain low o Inflation remains low o Consumers spend more $, Employment goes up o Short term job loses o Longer-tern wage gaps. o Decrease incentives to address HR violations o Decreased incentives for safe environmental practices o Production orients marketing Graph:  Too much demand = high prices  Surplus = layoffs, factory closures, etc. Selecting the Balance:  High demand- production increases; to meet demand  Low Supply: lower the supply of a good, the more a company can charge for it.  High Supply: As demand drops, goods flood the market. Given that those goods were made at a cost, companies must try to unload these goods for whatever price they can get. Why Interfere?  Int’l trade occurs in the world market; no world gov’t owns industries, provides subsidies, or regulates prices.  Political Interference in the form of:  Long term benefits may incur short term costs.  Newly imported goods may disrupt economies o Jobs o Non-convertible capital o Uneven distribution of a wealth within a state; political consequences.  Incomplete info  To protect infant industries  Interfering levels the playing field, allowing non-competitive home business the opportunity to exist and/or become competitive  Strategic trade policy; using trade policy to enhance national power and leverage over others.  Market imperfections: deviations from a free market. o Include political intrusions o Reduce efficiency Forms of Interference:  Monopoly; oligarchy (290)  Corruption  Taxation (tariffs)  Nontariff barrier o Quotas o Subsidies o Regulations  Sanctions  Cartels Policy-Based Interference: Protectionism:  Infant Industries o The new industry may never be competitive o Creation = political reality  Strategic Industries: o We are less likely to share info (via trade) on industries vital to our security  Developing Nations and the Problems of Underdevelopment: o Fair trade to equalize the playing field  Chronic Trade Imbalances Free Trade vs Fair Trade:  Fair trade is based on the understanding that some states are more disadvantaged than others. Three visions:  Free Rider Problem: States enjoy access to foreign markets, but do not allow others access to their market. o Should we demand reciprocity and punish if it is not given?  Wealthy Nations vs Impoverished Nations: Implementing trade policies to promote human rights (HR); only trade with those who meet min. safety requirements for their workers.  Giving the Option to Consumers: some products are now being labeled as fair trade. Those items come from poorer countries and also come at a cost over market value. o It is expected that wealthier consumers will make buying decisions based on values not just on price. Institutional Oversight: WTO:  General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) o Developed in 1947 o 23 states agreed to bilateral concessions; formed the basis of GATT. o Provides for multilateral negotiations on reducing tariffs and trade barriers.  GATT -> WTO o Based in reciprocity, most favored nation principle o WTO has formal decision- making  World Bank o Founded in 1944 o Founded at UN Monetary fund and financial conference in Bretton Woods, NH o Established to support reconstruction efforts in Europe after WWII. o Evolved into a bank of loans that allowed Global South countries to borrow loans at lower interst rates; now has strong development forces.  Decision-Making: o Decision made by board of governors  IMF: o Founded 1944 bretton woods conference o US pushed for an institution focused on currency exchange o Functions to maintain currency exchange stability by promoting int’l monetary cooperation and orderly exchange arrangement. o Serves as lender in financial crisis Operations: o Derives funds from 187b member states o Financial constitutions based on quotas  Multinational Corporations (MNCs) o A type of NGO referring to business enterprises organized in one society with activities in other societies growing out of direct investment abroad. Possesses resources, capital; thus, power. o Modern Movements:  A shift toward outsourcing- relocating headquarters and/or ops to locations where wages and costs are lower but skills are substantial.  Increasingly influential as primary agents of the globalization of production.  Some efforts toward social responsibility, sustainability, and HR promotions. Trade and the Economy:  Autarky  Capitalized economics  Centrally planned (command)  Mixed economics


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