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POLS 1020 week 3

by: Eunji Kim

POLS 1020 week 3 POSL1020

Eunji Kim
GPA 3.89

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About this Document

These notes cover "nature vs. nurture" and "war and human nature"
Introduction to International Relations
Dr. Aron G. Tannenbaum
Class Notes
Political Science 1020
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Eunji Kim on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSL1020 at Clemson University taught by Dr. Aron G. Tannenbaum in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Relations in Political Science at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 02/05/16
POSL 1020 Week 3 Four-Minute World Briefing Iran – Regional Hegemon - War and Human Nature The “Nature-Nurture” debate as applied to international relations. Our Dismal statistics. - Only 292 years of peace in last 5600 years. - 3.5 billion people killed in 14,000 wars The three levels of analysis of international relation (IR) 1. Level 1: the individual level of IR analysis [individual] 2. Level 2: the state/society level of IR analysis [what countries live in] 3. Level 3: the systemic level of IR analysis [anarchy, no rules] The “Nature vs. Nurture” Debate (Shimko p.108) Q: Is warfare the product of human nature? Is it instinctual and in our genes? Or is warfare a learned behavior, meaning that we could “unlearn” it? A: No, we were born with instinct, genes or not. What is “human nature”? - The sum of all qualities and traits shared by human beings. - Ways of thinking that are common to all humans. - That which distinguishes human beings from other animals Which behaviors are instinctual and which are learned? - Having sex (instinct) - Attending classes (learned) - Eating and drinking (instinct) - Learning foreign language (learned) - Fighting (learned and instinct) “Nature: determines of Human behavior - Biology and genes What is “nurture”? - Socialization - Occultation - “Informal learning” - Society - Culture - Doing “philosophy”, “abstract thought” Realists and liberals - Realists – Nature - IR Liberals (aka Idealists) –Nurture (not necessary American political liberals)  Realists say, - Humans are inherently brutal and warlike - Civilization tries to tame humanity’s savage heart - But humanity’s brutality often breaks through civilizations’’ veneer - Therefore warfare is inevitable - Answers “no” to “can’t we all just get along?” question.  IR Liberals say, - Humans are inherently peaceful - But our societies produce aggression and war - If we change society and its values, we can eliminate warfare - Therefore warfare isn’t inevitable - Liberals try to change society in warfare situation - Answers “yes we can” to “can’t we all just get along?” Questions to think about: which is the main point of Edward Hilsan’s “Is war inevitable”? article in Shimko? (at the end of chapter 5, points of views) Realism and human nature - Ethology (study of animal behavior) - Lethal animals ex. Lions (attract) - Non-lethal animals ex. Bunny rabbits - What about human beings? The evolution of man: non-lethal, we don’t have the claws or teeth to kill. How do we get involved in warfares? - Curse of intelligence Review of Realism and Human Nature - Our instinctual behavior takes all the responsibilities. (“no” to “can’t we just all get along?’) POSL 1020 Week 3 part II Four minute world briefing Oil’s fall: winner and losers War and Human Nature The “Nature vs. Nurture” debate  Nature – realists  Nurture – IR Liberals Liberal view of human nature and warfare  Human beings are peaceful  But our society produces aggression and war  If we change society and its value can eliminate the war Is Warfare an instinct? – NO  Warfare isn’t constant in human history  Most people have never fought in the war “Nurture” determines of human behavior  Society  Nurture Liberal Evidence  Peaceful societies 1. U.S 2. Europeans 3. The European Union (not necessary a state/country) sovereignty (28 countries) didn’t have wars for over 70 years.  Reluctance to kill  Social learning and conditioning Change society, change behavior Reluctance to kill: non – firers  Reluctance of soldiers to use their weapons to kill others Ex. Christmas Trenches of 1914 Notes of McCutcheon’s Song 1. That the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead 2. On each side of the rifle we’re the same Social learning and conditioning  Dehumanization of the “other”  Military training  Teaching children to become warriors  “How does society teach war?” – Shimko, P121 Nature vs. Nurture  Ongoing debate  Based on assumptions as yet unproven scientifically  Become aware of such assumptions in studying international relations


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