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PSC 204 Week 3 Notes

by: Victoria Miller

PSC 204 Week 3 Notes PSC 204

Victoria Miller

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About this Document

These notes cover week 3 of International Relations and Chapter 2 of the textbook
International Relations
Class Notes
political science, international relations
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria Miller on Monday September 12, 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 9 views. For similar materials see International Relations in Political Science at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 09/12/16
PSC 204 International Relations Week 3 Notes 9/6 Ch. 2  Types of actors that participate in international politics o States o Groups (interest groups, ethnic groups, etc) o Multinational corporations o International organizations (Red Cross, WTO, Amnesty International, etc.)  What are interests? o What actors hope to achieve  Their preferences over outcomes in international interactions o Main interests are security, economic welfare, and promoting ideology o Vital national interests  Those with which a state won’t compromise and are willing to go to war over/use force  Ex: protection against foreign attack, preventing the spread of communism, maintaining hegemony, protecting resources (oil in Kuwait)  Contrast vital interests with simply interests  Ex: preventing illegal immigration, environmental issues, trade agreements o US interest examples  Truman Doctrine 1947  Official US policy to provide economic, military, and political assistance to all democratic states under the threat of communism  Carter Doctrine 1980  US would use military force if necessary to defend its interests in the Persian Gulf region o Signal to USSR and Iran, and any other regional power  Actors o Actors are rational  They choose policies with the goal of achieving their interests o They’re also strategic, meaning they anticipate the interests of other actors o Interactions can be through cooperation and bargaining  Cooperation allows for mutual gain among states, a positive sum game  Ex: support the war on terror, we’ll give you a sweet trade deal  Is most likely to occur when: o There’s a small number of actors instead of a larger number o Repeated interactions occur among actors building trust (iteration) o Information is available  Bargaining  Zero sum game, where one actor is better off at the expense of other actors as a result of bargaining.  War is a bargaining interaction o US and Iraq: give up your weapons of mass destruction or we’ll go to war o Cuban Missile Crisis: get your missiles out of Cuba or we’ll attack/invade o Taliban after 9/11: turn over Bin Laden, or we’ll go to war/topple your regime  Bargaining is coercive instead of cooperative o Coordination and Collaboration  Coordination  Actors cooperate and benefit from all making the same choices, having no incentive not to comply o Cars all drive on the same side of the road  Collaboration  Actors gain from working together but have incentives not to comply with arrangements  Problems: o Buck passing – shifting responsibility for something to another party o Free rider problem – allowing others to pay the costs of a good while enjoying its benefits  Institutions o Sets of rules within a group that structure political interactions in specific ways o Examples:  UN, Congress, EU o Democratic institutions would be written constitutions; free, fair and frequent elections; independent judiciaries; etc. o Include formal decision-making bodies and informal norms and practices that guide behavior o Can’t usually enforce decisions because of the anarchic system, but they make it easier for actors to detect and punish defection o Are created by and largely benefit powerful states (UN Security Council)  Weaker states argue many institutions are the embodiment of the financial and political power of the strong states o Advantages of institutions  Despite their drawbacks, they help facilitate coordination and cooperation  Often serve as a forum for discussion  States often comply with institutional decisions because in the long run, doing so benefits the state, even if it is disadvantaged in the short run  Have mechanisms to verify compliance  Ex: sent weapon inspectors to Iraq in 1990s to ensure they were complying with the disarmament program  Fact Check o Define power  Ability of an actor to get another to do something it otherwise wouldn’t do; coercion o What is coercion?  Pressure or threat o What are public goods? o Collective action problems? o What problems come from the anarchic nature of the global system?  No one trusts each other  The Prisoner’s Dilemma o Defection is the dominant strategy


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