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PSC 231 Tuman Week 1 Lecture Notes

by: Stephanie Smith

PSC 231 Tuman Week 1 Lecture Notes PSC 231

Marketplace > University of Nevada - Las Vegas > Political Science > PSC 231 > PSC 231 Tuman Week 1 Lecture Notes
Stephanie Smith


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These notes include all of the information Tuman writes or projects on the board and all concepts he verbally emphasizes. The majority of midterm and final exam review questions can be answered
Intro to Int'l Relations
John Tuman
Class Notes
political science
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Stephanie Smith on Tuesday August 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 231 at University of Nevada - Las Vegas taught by John Tuman in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Intro to Int'l Relations in Political Science at University of Nevada - Las Vegas.

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Date Created: 08/16/16
Wk 1 Monday Foreign policy - can mean different things in different places: i.e.. In Mexico “We’ll build a wall + make Mexico pay” is seen as a foreign policy issue. Here, it is not. Realism — Kenneth Walls + Marshimer?? @ uchicago Liberalism - Kant + why democracies don’t fight each other, supposedly The World Trade Organization and the UN make the world more cooperative Theories of IR - derived from Marxist perspective —> value of identity + how states identify themselves “sovereign states” - a state is not the same as a nation states may or may not have national identity, which is historically recent states must be recognized by other states —> must be relational IR refers to the relations among sovereign states + between states and non-state actors The international states system is often the focal point of IR but the domestic political level is sometimes important (can be indirectly measured + analyzed) Pattern of IR is structured + stable 3 periods of relations: -1900-45 decline of UK as a global power; imperialism; 2 world wars -WWI set up ongoing conflict between super powers -WWII settled such conflict —> US comes out of isolationism and becomes a super power -1945-91 Cold War, US + Soviet Union, 2 hegemonic powers -actually fairly stable because of mutually assured destruction (neither side had an interest in going to war) —> “proxy wars” where SU supports gov and US supports rebels (see history of Afghanistan and Nicaragua) -“hegemonic powers” - good at forming alliances, attract other states -1949 Communist China — alliance with Soviet Union -1991-Now US Dominance; rise of China -Will the system be “bipolar” or “multipolar”? Main Actors in IR -States -Non-state Actors -intergovernmental organization (World Bank, IMF, UN) -Non-governmental actors (Red Cross, Amnesty International) -Multinational Corporations IR is shaped by + reflects the following strategies: -Diplomacy -norm-advocacy -Military relations -Economic cooperation + relations (purchasing of currency by central banks) The Character of IR is based on certain principles Wk 1 Tuesday “collective goods” problem Dominance as a way to solve the collective goods problem “hegemons” at the top force others to contribute Identity Reciprocity - operates according to incentives eg. free trade (low tariffs for your exports, means you as a state have to have low tariffs on imports) The Theory of Realism: Theories of International Relations Background and intellectual origins -Hobbes: State of Nature as a metaphor for international system -Leviathan is a conjectural history where he speculates about what life was like before there was government —> you should subject yourself to an all powerful monarch, because the State of Nature is far worse -Morgenthau: Ontology - humans are born with “natural” drive to acquire power (note difference between Morgenthau, a classical realist, and others, including structural realists) -this is assumed to be true of human nature -if you conceive of the state as an individual, it follows that states are driven to acquire more power -Kenneth Walls “Man, the sate, and war” “A theory of international politics” -John Meershimer Assumptions of structural realism 1) International system is characterized by anarchy -anarchy does not mean chaos - it implies that states are competing within a system in which there is no centralized authority to impose outcomes, rules, hierarchy; -no state is going to help other states willingly -realists don’t think that the UN or IOs have much ability to restrain the behavior of sovereign states -The UN will just end up reflecting the structure of power that already exists -a range of power distributions (unipolar, bipolar, multipolar) is possible in the anarchical international system, but realists note that when great powers exist, which implies an inequality in the distribution of power in the system, they are the most important actors in the system. 2) States are rational; and their main objective is survival -rational: they formulate strategies to maximize benefits (power), minimize costs. also implies consistency between preferences and behavior -assume that values, altruism etc. have no influence on the conduct of states -i.e. always strive to maximize power, minimize costs 3) States have offensive military capability, although this capacity varies All states have offensive military capability, though it varies across times and across states at any one point in time. Military capability is influenced by economic structure. Realists divide states into great powers (and hegemonic states), middle powers, and minor powers 4) States have uncertainty regarding other states’ intentions Given the structure of power in the international system, one can never be sure if any other state is a revisionist state or status quo state. Difficult to discern intentions of other states. eg. never be surprised when an ally spies on you 5) States are relatively autonomous from domestic interests -controversial assumption -Interests groups, voters, or social classes on state behavior in the international system, realists suggest that states are relatively autonomous 6) States are cohesive when they formulate foreign polity (unitary actor assumption) Assume that the state is a unitary actor; they ignore possible divisions within the state, including bureaucratic competition, or struggles between executive and legislative 7) Regime type is not relevant in explaining state behavior -states are driven to behave in a similar way, regardless of whether state is governed by an authoritarian or democratic regime. John Meerschimer at UChicago says it doesn’t matter whether Iran has a nuclear bomb because Iran will never use it (even though they are oppressive and evil) because states only do things in the interest of their own survival and if Iran used the bomb it would never survive Realist Expectations of IR 1) Power transition and war -war is influenced by the power distribution of the international system Realists hypothesize that war among great powers, in particular, is more likely when: -the system is multipolar (right before WWI) -the system is unipolar by shows great signs of power transition (a single power is in decline, and a challenge has emerged) (Currently, China rising as a challenger) Multipolar systems make balancing less efficient and miscalculations more likely. In a unipolar system, where power is in transition, the single great power may be tempted to engage in preemptive war with a challenger. China’s activities are watched carefully by realist scholars. However, when the system is bipolar, the system tends to be more stable; Great powers are relatively equal and have resources to counter-balance each other. Collective action problems are fewer and miscalculation is less likely. The result: proxy wars, small conflicts, stable international system. Wk 1 Wednesday 2) Cooperations Given the self-interest of the state, realists draw attention to many “collective action” problems in international relations and regional relations. Hegemonic states overcome the free-rider problem by providing selective incentives or forcing contributions through dominance. 3) Alliances States may seek alliances for security and for balancing and counter-balancing (regionally, or internationally) but such alliances are governed by self-interest and may be fluid. 4) Trade, FDI Realists assume that states seek foreign economic policies that increase their power or capabilities. they may sacrifice narrow interests for broader “national interests.” 5) Foreign Aid Foreign aid, according to realists, is not given to promote humanitarian interests. Staes given other foreign aid to promote their national security interests - to counter-balance, to secure access to raw materials that are vital for their security, etc. 6) Questions and Critique of the Theory -Are the assumptions reasonable or tenable? -Is the empirical evidence consistent with the theory? Systemic Theories: Neoliberalism Overview 1. Intellectual Origins Kant, Smith 2. “Liberal” in IR theory has a different meaning in contemporary US political discourse. Classical liberalism here refers to limited government with democracy; economically, it refers to free markets and open trade. Historically, in the European context, these ideas were seen as liberal compared to their predecessors. 3. Difference between Liberal and Neoliberal Approaches Liberal theory acknowledges effects of domestic-level on foreign policy (example: democratic peace theory) Neoliberal theory, in contrast, shares the assumptions of Structural Realism; but it departs significantly from the conclusions of realism Assumptions of Neoliberalism 1. International system characterized by anarchy 2. Stats are self-interest;a nd they’re unitary actors 3. The domestic level does not influence conduct of states in the int. system 4. Although states are self-interested, the can adapt and learn “enlightened self-interest” Neoliberal Explanations of IR 1. International regimes influence cooperation and conflict What are regimes? Regimes may be narrow or brand. They may deal with a single issues area, such as management of whales or conservation of certain species, or they may be fairly broad, such as ones that address security or health. Regimes are often associated with IGOs such as the UN, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, and the International Whaling Commission Regimes include rules, procedures, and norms. Neoliberal hypothesize that the rules and norms associated with regimes restrain the myopic self-interested behavior of states. 2. Regimes overcome the collective action problem; result is cooperation Decision-making procedures in regimes promote transparency because it is easy to see if any one state is free-riding; reinforces effects of reciprocity and helps to overcome free rider problem. Regimes also have mechanisms to resolve disputes, and provided that these disputes resolution procedures are seen as relatively fair and neutral, this keeps states from defecting. Eg. WTO Staff and agencies associated with regimes function to monitor compliance an identify sets who are free riders. Members of regimes meet often, facilitating cooperation (eg. 2008 global economic crisis and the IMF) Vice North Korea Wk 1 Thursday Theories of IR - Dependency and Historical-Structural Approaches Intellectual Background -Marx - view of capitalism, state; significance of social classes -believed that history is progressive -cycle of overproduction and underconsumption -Lenin - focus on imperialism in “solving” capitalist crises; war as caused by imperialist rivalry (scramble for colonies and resources) -force colonies to take excess when companies overproduce -Wallerstein (World Systems Theory) - core / periphery -core (owners) —> US, Japan, China, Germany, periphery (workers) —> global south, and semi-periphery (middle class)—> south Korea, South Africa Assumptions 1. States are not autonomous from social class influences -Reduction of international relations and politics to agenda of MNC and transnational elite 2. Global capitalism is prone to crisis, contradiction -Overproduction, underconsumption are endemic problems in capitalist economies -Finance capital continues to create problem Explanations of International and Regional Relations 1. Transnational elites and networks of influence in periphery Elites in periphery linked to elites in IGOs, MNC’s, and elite in Core Displacement of “nationalist” elites in Global South with “neoliberal” elites Democratization as a project of the Core 2. Global Distribution of Wealth Core-Periphery relations result in perpetuation of poverty in Global South Mechanisms: unequal exchange, commodity chains, effects of FDI, race to the bottom Relative movement of some to semi-periphery exception, not the rule 3. International Conflict


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