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Reading Notes

by: Lisa Slysz

Reading Notes PO 410

Lisa Slysz

GPA 3.13
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About this Document

These are the reading notes for the articles for Week One of the course. The articles are One World, Rival Theories by Jack Snyder, Melian Dialogue by Thucydides and The Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
International Relations
Dr. Heather Hollimon
Class Notes
approaches, to, international relations




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lisa Slysz on Friday August 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PO 410 at Brenau University taught by Dr. Heather Hollimon in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see International Relations in Political Science at Brenau University.


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Date Created: 08/05/16
One World, Rival Theories: Jack Snyder Realism Liberalism Constructivism Founders Morgenthau Adam Smith Alexander Wendt Waltz Immanuel Kant John Ruggie Thinkers Mearsheimer Michael Doyle Kathryn Sikkink Robert Pape Robert Keohane Michael Barnett Stephen Walt G.John Ikenberry Martha Finemore Doers Otto von Bismarck Woodrow Wilson Mahatma Gandhi Henry Kissinger Kofi Annan Osama Bin Laden Brent Scowcroft Bill Clinton Anti-Globalization Importan Democra Internation Principle ce tic al d Of Force Promotio Institutions Activism Neoconservatives Human Rights Activists - Realism focuses on the shifting distribution of power among states - Liberalism highlights the rising number of democracies and the turbulence of democratic transitions - Idealism illuminates the changing norms of sovereignty, human rights and international justice, as well as the increased potency of religious ideas in politics - Realism instills a pragmatic appreciation of the role of power but also warns that states will suffer if they overreach - Liberalism highlights the cooperative potential of nature democracies - Idealism stresses that a consensus on values must underpin any stable political order - Is Realism Still Realistic? o At realism’s core is the belief that international affairs is a struggle for power among self-interested states o In liberal democracies, realism is a theory that everyone loves to hate o Realists point out that the central battles in the “War on Terror” have been fought against two states and that states have led the fight against terrorism o Post 9/11 developments seem to undercut one of realism’s core concepts: the balance of power o Coalition for the Realistic Foreign Policy  Its statement of principles is that “the move toward empire must be halted immediately” - The Divided House of Liberalism o The liberal school of international relations theory contends that realism has a stunted vision that cannot account for progress in relations between nations o Liberals expect that democracies will not attack each other  Will regard each other’s regimes as legitimate and non- threatening o The White House’s steadfast support for promoting democracy in the Middle East demonstrates liberalism’s emotional and rhetorical power o Emerging democracies often have nascent (just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential) political institutions that cannot channel popular demands in constructive directions or credibly enforce compromises among rival groups o Contemporary liberal theory also points out that the rising democratic tide creates the presumption that all nations ought to enjoy the benefits of self-determination  Violence may also be directed at democratic supporters of oppressive regimes o It is not clear to contemporary liberal scholars that nascent (just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential) democracy and economic liberalism can always cohabitate Theories: Realism Liberalism Idealism Core Beliefs Self-interested Spread of International states compete for democracy global politics is shaped power and security economic ties and by persuasive international ideas, collective organizations will values, cultures, strengthen peace and social identities Key Actors in States, which States, Promoters of new International behave similarly international ideas, Relations regardless of their institutions, and transnational type of commercial activist networks government interests and nongovernmental organizations Main Military power and International Ideas and values Instruments state diplomacy institutions and global commerce Theory’s Doesn’t account Fails to Does not explain Intellectual for progress and understand that which power Blind Spots change in democratic structures and international regimes survive social conditions relations or only if they allow for changes understanding that safeguard military in values legitimacy can be power and a source of military security; some power liberals forget that transitions to democracy are sometimes violent What the Why the United Why spreading The increasing role Theory Explains States responded democracy has of polemics about about the Post aggressively to become such an values; the 9/11 World terrorist attacks; integral part of importance of the inability of current U.S. transnational international international political networks institutions to security strategy (whether terrorists restrain military or human rights superiority advocates) What the theory The failure of Why the United Why human rights fails to explain smaller powers to States has failed abuses continue, about the Post militarily balance to work with other despite intense 9/11 world the United States; democracies activism for the importance of through humanitarian non-state actors international norms and efforts such as Al Qaeda; organizations for international the intense U.S. justice focus on democratization - Idealism’s New Clothing o Idealism, the belief that foreign policy is and should be guided by ethical and legal standards, also has a long pedigree o Constructivism is a new version of idealism  Constructivism holds that social reality is created through debate about values  The most prominent voices in the development of constructivist theory have been American  Constructivists believe that debates about ideas are the fundamental building blocks of international life  Constructivists often study the role or transnational activist networks in promoting change o Progressive causes receive the most attention from constructivist scholars - Stumped by Change o None of the three theoretical traditions has a strong ability to explain change  Realists failed to predict the Cold War o In lieu of a good theory of change, the most prudent course is to use the insights of each of the three theoretical traditions as a check on the irrational exuberance of the others Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes - The differences between man will even out - Men can acknowledge that others are witty but will not readily admit that someone is wiser than them - From equality of ability arises equality of hope - If two men desire something that they cannot both enjoy, they will become enemies o They will endeavor to destroy each other - There is no way for any man to secure himself o Then, by force, man is to master the persons of all men he can o Eventually, he will see no other man capable of endangering him - Men have no pleasure in keeping company - Three principle causes of quarrel o Competition o Diffidence o Glory - Life is nasty, brutish and short Melian Dialogue: Thucydides - Ten years into the Peloponnesian War, Athens and Sparta signed a treaty of peace and friendship o The treaty did not dissipate the distrust between the nations - The struggle for hegemony by Athens and Sparta was felt by small, hitherto “independent” states who were now being forced to take sides - Melos had remained neutral in the struggle between Sparta and Athens o This was unacceptable to the Athenians - The Melians argued that by the law of nations they had the right to remain neutral o They also pointed out that it was in the interest of all states to respect the laws of nations - The Athenians showed no mercy o They killed all the adult males and selling the women and children into slavery


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