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IR Week 2 Notes

by: Victoria Miller

IR Week 2 Notes PSC 204

Victoria Miller

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About this Document

These notes cover lectures from Week 2 of International Relations
International Relations
Class Notes
political science, international relations
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria Miller on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 204 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Rickert in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see International Relations in Political Science at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 09/04/16
IR Week 2 8/30/16  Five Key Historical Periods o Mercantilist Era – 15 18 centuries  Western European states in competition with one another, seeking out oversea colonies to extract wealth  Little trade among European states o Pax Britannica 1815-1914  With British victory over Napoleon, balance of power favored economic cooperation  Concept of comparative advantage, benefits trade between states  No longer zero sum game  Industrial revolution leads to economic growth  More peaceful interactions between European states than in mercantilist era  Monarchies/autocratic governments dominant forms of government shared interest in suppressing social movements  Britain is the hegemonic power in Europe  Dominant over its neighbors  Britain manages global political and economic conflict, maintains the status quo, pushes for more open trade between states which helps to maintain the peace (Liberal Theory)  Gold standard stabilized exchange rates and fostered international trade, investment, and migration  Concert of Europe  Informal agreement between major powers in Europe (Britain, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Prussia)  No written rules or institutions, but served as a forum for discussion among member states o Multipolar system o 30 Years Crisis 1914-1945  Encompasses WWI and WWII  Tremendous bloodshed, economic crises, rollback of democratic government  Liberal ideals of peace, global institutions and cooperation shattered by Axis aggression. Raw power trumped liberal idealism  Realists point to 1930s as a failure of liberal ideology, as appeasement failed to stop Hitler  Realists argue had Allies stood firm and been willing to use military force early on, WWII could have been avoided and aggression stopped o End of WWII  Old mistrust and animosity between US and USSR returned with war’s end, opposing ideologies (capitalism/communism) o Cold War  NATO vs. Warsaw Pact  Bi-polar world: two major powers and their allies, US and USSR  Each bloc included its own security and economic institutions and ideologies  Increase in nuclear arsenals of each side lead to Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)  US implement liberal order with in its sphere of influence, emphasizing free trade, democracy, free market principles. It allowed it access to foreign markets and goods to fuel its economy  As opposed to Soviet command economy  Marshall Plan (1948)  Encouraged democracy and discouraged communism  Provided $13 billion to Western Europe and Japan to help rebuild economies  Bretton Woods system created, dollar became the world’s reserve currency  Nuclear determent  Neither side was likely to attack the other directly (MAD) rd  Fought proxy wars in 3 world  Decolonization during the 1950s and 60s, former colonies became sovereign states, exerted more influence on the global srdge  These 3 world states complained that the international economic institutions favored the West  Gorbachev pushed for economic and political openness to reverse stagnating economies in the Communist bloc o But this released long standing tensions within the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, leading to the overthrow of the Communist regime  Late Cold War saw deepening economic cooperation in the West o Post Cold War  International system no longer bi polar but unipolar  US is only superpower  First significant event: Iraq invades Kuwait and results in 1991 Gulf War  George H.W. Bush’s New World Order speech, painted a picture of a global order characterized by rule of international law and trade among states  Greater UN role in trying to end regional humanitarian conflicts  mixed results  America as a hyperpower o Hyperpower – a state that dominates all other states in all spheres of activity o The US is sole power in world and the global situation is no longer bipolar o Are we in a pax Americana?


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