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Intro to International Relations- Week 3

by: Erin Butler-Córdova

Intro to International Relations- Week 3 Poli Sci 175

Marketplace > University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee > Political Science > Poli Sci 175 > Intro to International Relations Week 3
Erin Butler-Córdova

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About this Document

- Foreign Policy - Models of Foreign Policy - War - Economy and Currency
Intro to International Relations
Class Notes
uwm, milwaukee, university of wisconsin milwaukee, political science, International Studies, international relations
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This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Erin Butler-Córdova on Monday February 15, 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 34 views. For similar materials see Intro to International Relations in Political Science at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.


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Date Created: 02/15/16
The Currency System  Then and Now o Traditionally western states used precious metals as global currency o Today the international monetary system is purely abstract; currencies are valued against each other  Exchange Rate: The rate at which one state’s currency can be exchanged for another state’s currency in the global marketplace. o Affects every international economic transaction o Expressed in terms of the world’s most important currencies: USD, Japanese Yen, and the Euro. o Exchange rates that most affect the world economy are those within the largest economies. o Most world currencies have no value in the world market; a currency can only be convertible when the international system recognizes the viability with the strength of that country’s economy.  Non-convertible Currencies: Non-redeemable currencies o Can be sold in black markets, or by dealing with issuing government o Hard currency: Money that can be easily converted to leading world currencies. o Currency evolves with development o States maintain reserves of hard currencies.  Soft Currency: currency with a value that fluctuates as a result of the country’s political or economic uncertainty  Inflation: A sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods and services o As inflation rises, every dollar buys a smaller percentage of a good or service o Most developing countries try to maintain 2-3 percent annual inflation Causes of Inflation  Demand-Pull Inflation: Too much money chasing too few goods; occurs when demand is growing faster than supply, prices will increase. o Most often occurs in growing economies  Cost-Push Inflation: When companies’ costs go up, they need to increase prices to maintain their profit margins. o Increased costs can include wages, taxes, or increased costs of imports  Hyperinflation: More than 50% per month or 13,000% per year o Cost of bread in during Germany WWI Forms of Currency Exchange  Fixed Exchange rates: Governments established official rates of exchange for their currencies o Speculation about future stability o Supply and demand  Devaluation  Floating Exchange Rates: Rates determined by global currency markets in which private investors and governments buy and sell currencies o Uses short-term speculative trading in international currencies to adjust rates according to longer term supply and demand for currencies  Managed Float: Government intervenes to manage otherwise free-floating currency rates o Occurs when national governments intervene in financial markets, buying and selling currencies in order to manipulate their value o Industrialized states and powerful actors often work together Why Currencies rise and fall  Short term: Speculation about the future of value of currencies  Long Term: Changes in the supply-demand for the currency  Overvalued Currency o Exchange rate is too high; creates chronic trade deficit  Devaluation: A unilateral move to reduce the value of one’s own currency by changing a fixed exchange rate o Causes losses to foreign investors who hold host currency; reducing trust Effects of Currency Values  Production declines, investment curtails, income is reduces, and then employees are laid off, then plants and factories close International Monetary System  A web of international organizations, national policies, bilateral and multilateral agreements, currency markets, and business behaviors of governments, corporations, and individuals Bretton Woods System (1944)  A standardized code of behavior for international trade, finance and payments  Committed members to the convertibility of their currencies and to free trade  Produced a pegged rate currency regime, all currencies pegged money to gold o Currencies were not allowed to rise or decline by more than one percent o If currencies fluctuated more than one percent, states pledged to draw on reserved and purchase the excess of their own currency o Established the IMF and the World Bank The Collapse of the Bretton Woods System  US fell into chronic debt  More demand for money, outflows of money, increasing balance of payments deficits  Increased in global trading-increasing in disequilibrium  Both Europe and Japan were beginning to dominate world trade  Loss of confidence in the American economy  Trading of dollars for gold resulted in a gold shortage in the US Triffin dilemma:  IF US deficits were controlled, the international economy would face a shortage of liquidity, but if deficits were not controlled, the increasing number of dollars abroad would bring a gold/dollar crisis Monetary Policy and National Accounts  Monetary Policy: The decisions made by states’ central banks to change the country’s money supply in an effort to manage the national economy and control inflation o Changing the amount of money in circulation o Lowering interest rates  Fiscal Policy: government decisions about spending and taxation  Balance of Payments: A summary of all the flows of money in and out of a country Why do states go into debt?  Trade deficits: Trade deficits must be made up; borrowing money to make up these deficits is common  Income-Consumption patterns: If actors spend more than they make, they must borrow to pay the bills; banks may be using the same credit system with foreign lenders  Government spending relative to taxation: Governments spend more on programs than they take in with taxes (deficit spending) in order to stimulate economic growth Foreign Policy What is Foreign Policy?  Foreign policies: strategies gov’ts use to guide their actions in the international arena. o Spell out objectives state leaders wish to pursue in a given relationship/situation.  Foreign policy process: process through which we arrive at and implement policies.  Policy: a form of action involving 3 stages 1. Selection of objectives 2. Mobilization of means for achieving these objectives 3. Implementation or actual expenditure of efforts and resources in pursuit of the selected objectives. How do we determine and predict policy?  Foreign policy behavior defined: the discrete purposeful action that results from the political level decision of an individual or group of individuals. o A behavior is viewed as the observable artifact of a political level decision. o It is not the decision, but a product of the decision (Hermann 1978, 34)  The challenge: a decision not to act or some failure to decide (i.e. indecision) leads to no new action and regrettably results in no trace for us to record.  Foreign Policy Research: each new political decision can (but need not) produce new action, providing a basis for inferring the boundaries of behaviors. o FP behavior is discrete in that it has a location in time and space; it has a beginning and an end. o FP behavior offers the researcher a basic unit of observation. Four Models of FP Decision-Making:  Rational Model  Organizational Process Model  Leadership Model  Bureaucratic Politics Model Rational Model:  Rational Model: decision-makers set goals, evaluate their importance, calculate costs and benefits of alternatives, and choose the option with the highest benefits and lowest costs. (GP 2013, 127) a. Problem recognition and definition (ontology) b. Goal selection c. Identify set of alternatives: can you truly determine a decision-makers goal based on the choice he/she makes? d. Investigation of the consequences of each alternative. e. Choice Game Theory:  Game theory: branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants.  Two Level Games (Putman): a game theoretic model that accounts for the simultaneous formulation of diplomatic (foreign) and domestic policies that achieve both sets of goals. Organizational Process Model:  Organizational Process Model: foreign policy decision-makers skip the process of identifying goals and alternative actions, relying on standardized responses to standard operating procedures (SOPs). o Implies that foreign policy results from “management muddling through.” Leadership Model  History-Making Individuals Model: Sees foreign policy decisions as products of leaders acting on their personal convictions.  The relevant question is not whether leaders’ personal characteristics make a difference, but rather under what conditions their characteristics are influential (KB, p. 72) Bureaucratic Politics Model:  Bureaucratic Politics Model: FP decisions are the result of the bargaining process among various gov’t agencies with divergent interests in the outcome.  Highlights the constraints that organizations in policy networks place on decision makers’ choices and the pulling and handling that occurs among key participants and caucuses. Factors That Influence FP Individual Factors Affecting Foreign Policy  Individual decisions reflect the values and beliefs of the decision-maker.  Individual decisions are influenced by the personal experiences, intellectual capabilities, and personal styles of the decision-maker.  Individuals are subject to misperceptions and selective perceptions.  Individuals suffer from affective (emotional) bias  Individuals suffer from cognitive biases (i.e., cognitive dissonance) and bounded rationality. o Here, bounded rationality refers to the idea that individuals never have complete information, this, we are limited in that we must make decisions only on the information we have. Group Factors Affecting Foreign Policy  Groupthink: the tendency for groups to reach decisions without accurately assessing their consequences, because individual member tend to go along with ideas they think others support. o Groups tend toward optimism o Group decisions are a product of the decision-making process. Situational Factors Affecting Foreign Policy  Crises: FP situations in which outcomes are very important and time frames are compressed. o Time constraints (perceived or actual). o Different (absent) checks on decisions o Subject to individual ability to handle crises. Domestic (State-level) Factors Affecting Foreign Policy  Bureaucracies: The agencies and departments that conduct the functions of a central government or non-state transnational actors; includes diplomats and interagency tensions.  Interest Groups: Coalitions of people who share a common interest in the outcome of some political issue and who organize themselves to try to influence the outcome.  Military-Industrial Complex: the interlocking network of governmental agencies, industrial corporations, and research institutes, working together to supply a nation’s military fores.  Public Opinion: range of views on FP issues held by the citizens of a state. Legislatures (institutions War- Conflicting interests Prof. militaries Organized warfare Use of arms States Political entities Goal in Mind Strategies Defining War:  War: a condition arising within states or between states when actors use violent means to destroy their opponents or coerce them into submission.  War: an actual, intentional, and widespread armed conflict between political communities.  War: organized violence carried on by political units against each other (Bull 1977, 184).  Militarized Interstate Dispute: a set of interactions between or among nations involving: 1. a threat to use force 2. the display of force 3. actual use of military force  How can we define and measure war? Declaration of war Time (calendar year) Number of deaths (1000) Belligerents involved in a conflict *way you define war might lead to differences in outcomes, need to be as specific as possible Defining War: An Example:  Civil War: an armed conflict that meets the following criteria: a. the war has caused more than 1000 battle deaths b. the war represented a challenge to the sovereignty of an internationally recognized state. c. the war occurred within the recognized boundary of the state. d. war involved the state as one of the principal combatants. e. rebels were able to  Battle related death Defining War: Location and the State:  Interstate War: fighting between the reg. military forces of 2+ countries, directed and approved by of by authorities, where at least one thousand battle deaths occur.  Extrastate War: When a state fights a war outside of its borders against a nonstate actor: - colonial wars - imperial wars  Intrastate War: Occurs b/w state and nonstate actors within the territory of a state. -civil war: central control, local issues -regional internal war -intercommunal war  Nonstate war: nonstate actors fighting against each other outside of a particular state's borders- no side is involoved - in nonstate territory -across state borders 5 Traditional types of war, + 1  Hegemonic war: war over control of the entire world order including the rules of the international system.  Total war: (absolute war) combatants engage in the complete mobilization of all available resources and population to destroy the social fabric of the enemy. - less differentiation between combatants and civilians  Limited war: fought primarily b/w professional armies to achieve specific political objectives without seeking or causing widespread/total destruction  Civil War: Fought within a single country b/w different factions who want to control the government, trying to create or prevent a new govt for the entire state or some part of it.  Guerrilla War: one or both combatants use small, lightly armed militia units rather than professional, organized armies; warfare without front lines.  Proxy war: a war fought by third parties rather than by the enemy states themselves. Causes of War  Individual level causes: aggressive traits tied to human nature and individual human behavior.  State Level causes: detrimental national attributes  System level causes: volatile conditions within the global system Individual- Level Causes of War:  Individual-level causes are rooted in human nature; explaining human decision-making and action given individual perceptions, personality, cognitive skills, preferences, leadership skills, and experiences. a. Human cognition - Khong (1990): the process of analogical reasoning involves cognitive mechanisms (analogies) and inferential steps that may lead to simplistic and mistaken interpretations of incoming stimuli. b. Leadership Style: Preston (2001): Need for power: some leaders have a higher need for power than others complexity: some people have a greater cognitive need for info than others prior policy experience: impacts presidential style State-level/Domestic Causes:  Geopolitical factors and length of independence: -location of states (relative to each other and other resources) -relative power -duration of indepence  nationalism and cultural traditions: -nationalism (ethnic vs civic) -cultures of war, violence, cultural understandings of the other -culturally accpeted equities  poverty, relative deprivation, and demographic stress: -low PCI -relative deprivation -population relative to opportunity Researching state=level causes:  Militarization: does having more weapons make you more or less violence prone?  Political System: how does regime type impact the level of state violence.  What other state level factors are correlated with war? - natural resources - rough terrain - heat Brown 2001: RQ: why do we see civil war in some places and not others?  Structural Factors: weak states intrastate security concerns ethnic geography  Political factors: discriminatory political institutions exclusionary national ideologies intragroup politics elite politics Econ/ social factors cultural factors Systems-Level Causes: a. neorealism/structural realism: ex- balance of power theory: as the preponderance of power increases so does the likelihood of war, thus, power parity increases stability b. cyclical theories: -theories of power cycles (i.e. hegemonic stability theory) -war wariness hypothesis -kondrateiff wave: intervals of high and low sectoral growth  Genocide: defined as- Any of the acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnic, or racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm  Genocide: Word established in 1944 December 1948: UN established genocide as an international crime Factors Contributing to Genocide:  RQ- why do some wars become genocides while others do not?  Enduring Internal Rivalry- protracted violent conflicts b/w govts and insurgent group - Last longer, higher death tolls, more prevalent than interstate war, resistance to negotiated settlement.  Nationalism (or Nationalist leaders) and ethnocentrism: - nation vs nation-state; ethnicity vs ethnocentrism -nation: a collectivity whose people see themselves as members of the same group because they share the same ethnicity, culture, or language, and have ties to a particular territory. - nation-state: a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit.  Other contributing factors: - gender inequality - acceptance of human rights - regime type - state failure - income inequality - corruption - ethnic cleavage Sources of Conflict:  Conflicts of ideas: - nationalism - ethnic conflict - genocide - religious conflict - ideological conflict  Conflict of interest: - territorial dispute (i.e., secession, border disputes) - territorial waters - control of govts - economic conflict (i.e., drug trafficking) The Changing Nature of War:  interstate war, total war to  interstate war, limited war to  intrastate/civil war, guerrilla war to  asymmetric war, transnational terrorism Military Force: Influencing Outcomes:  Nonviolent tools: - trade regulations - tax and monetary policies - diplomats - international orgs - foreign aid - economic sanctions  Violent tools: - Conventional forces- conventional armies, naval forces, air forces  Irregular forces: - commandos - guerrillas/ militias  WMDs: - chemical/biological weapons/ nuclear weapons Terrorism: What it is and is not: Defining Terrorism:  No single inclusive definition of int'l terrorism has been excepted by the UN.  5 specific characteristics agreed on by most states to describe terrorism: 1. Violence, whether actual or threatened. 2. A political objective, however conceived 3. An intended audience 4. Non-combatant victims 5. Non-state perpetrators Who are Terrorists? 3 General Categories of Terrorist Groups: 1. National Liberation Groups: seek a new state (i.e. Sandinistas in Nicaragua) 2. Revolutionary Groups: Anti-establishment; anti-capitalist, Marxist (Red Brigade, Direct Action, Baader-Meinhof) 3. Ethnic/religious groups Causes and Motivation: RQ- why do we see terrorists emerge in some places (at some times) and not others?  poverty  failed states  Repression/lack of access/ grievances  lack of education  self determination


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