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IS 2054 Notes on Biohazard, Constructivism, and Marxism

by: windwalkerr

IS 2054 Notes on Biohazard, Constructivism, and Marxism IS 2054

Marketplace > Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University > International Studies > IS 2054 > IS 2054 Notes on Biohazard Constructivism and Marxism
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About this Document

These notes cover the lectures from 2.22.16-2.26.16 on Biohazard, Constructivism, and Marxism.
Intro to World Politics
Courtney Thomas
Class Notes
IS, is 2054, World politics, biohazard, Constructivism, marxism, PoliSci
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by windwalkerr on Saturday February 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to IS 2054 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Courtney Thomas in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Intro to World Politics in International Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Date Created: 02/27/16
Biohazard 2.22.16 Constructivism 2.24.16 Marxism 2.26.16 Biohazard Weapons of mass destruction: biochemical & nuclear.  Soviet threat  Soviet strategy always emphasized a first strike against US & NATO o Believed that superpower conflict was inevitable  Especially true in 1980s w/ Reagan’s arms buildup undermining détente &  threatening Soviet deterrent  US = 2  strike party o Reagan tried to outspend Soviets  Defection  1972: Moscow endorses biological weapons convention o 140 signatories o Pledge “not to develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire” biological agents for  offensive military purposes   Enter “the system: o Soviets were sure capitalists would try to destroy them US Bioweapons Program  US officially ended all offensive biological weapons testing in 1969 o But defensive research often yields offensive info  US army military institute of infectious disease is primary biological testing facility like CDC,  Plum Island, etc o US program must have been limited as they were willing to engage in reciprocal visits to  suspected Soviets facilities  Soviet Players  Biopreparat: the “system” o Soviet state pharmaceutical agency whose primary function was to develop & produce  viral, bacterial, & toxic weapons o Coordinated by VPK  Control of 2/3 of industry  Really hard to sustain  Bugs  US had vaccines & treatments to protect people from accidental exposure  Soviets didn’t bother w/ things that can be cured o Created vaccine­resistant strains of viruses  Anthrax (p. 7­8, 76­78) → no human transmission  An excellent weapon bc it can survive heat & pressure  Weaponized to be more potent, fewer spores needed  Plague  Smallpox (p.109­110) Biohazard 2.22.16 Constructivism 2.24.16 Marxism 2.26.16  India­I  Marburg (received from Germany) & Ebola (4 versions)  Marburg has 50% kill rate    Lassa fever  Tularemia (p.25)  Typhus (p.33)  Machupo (Bolivian thing from US)  AIDs (too long of an incubation period) Role of Eradication  1980 WHO eradicated smallpox bc of initiative begun by USSR in 1958 o This was triumph for liberal institutionalism, one of best moments of international  cooperation   Eradication gave USSR perfect weapon, one for which vaccines would be unavailable but which  had proven itself to be superb killer  **realism  Genetically Altered Weapons  Venom of snakes, spiders, & poisonous plants  How to use them  You want stable, reliable weapons but also means more lethal weapons  Reliability is key  Targets  New York  Seattle  LA  Chicago  Defection was a constant threat. Even when a project was doomed, Russia wanted to be prepared to save  information.  Constructivism  Its construction  Social construction of reality o Doesn’t exclude anything  Agents produced & created by their cultural environments  Focuses on nurture, not nature  State needs vs. state desires  Epistemology shapes ontology Biohazard 2.22.16 Constructivism 2.24.16 Marxism 2.26.16 o Knowledge such as symbols, rules, concepts, categories, etc shape how agents construct  & view world o Knowledge shapes who we are o Constructivists want people to approach politics critically  **social facts o Exist bc we agree upon them (sovereignty, human rights, currency)  State is nothing but collection of people  Very concerned w/ domestic affairs  The Charge  Question everything; especially anything naturalized in discussion of international relations o “age old hatred” o “Natural rights”; who chooses them? o “nation & state” o “citizenship”  Things we take for granted as natural are usually social constructions o Deconstruction is attempt to trace these social constructions back to their inception  Focus on contingencies, not nature  Power is the power to say the definition of states & have people believe you  o **it’s about meaning, how to fix meaning in politics o People too often take it for granted  Key assertions  Alexander Wendt o Father of constructivism.  o Anarchy is what states make of it o System exists through series of recursive constitutive actions & interactions among  agents o Enmity, rivalry, friendship  Max Weber o People are cultural beings, can’t separate it from people  Culture informs meanings people give to their actions   System constructs agents  Politics isn’t that simple Role of Power  Meanings become fixed through international relations and/or world politics o Once fixed, meanings have wide array of consequences  How to define genocide: Article 6 o Power is power to fix meaning  Marxism  Exploitation of workers on horrible level Biohazard 2.22.16 Constructivism 2.24.16 Marxism 2.26.16 o Prevents self­actualization o Capitalism that Marx saw is very different from today   Breaks down stages of economy in 5 groups: o Communalism: hunter/gatherer societies. Property is shared, surplus.  o Feudalism: landowners provide protection to serfs. Marx says its less exploitative than  capitalism, bc workers must be cared for. Fiefs are self­sufficient.  o Capitalism: Bourgeoisie owns means of production. No security of feudalism. Can’t be  sick, no security if you get injured.  only matter of time before there’s a revolution of Proletariat o Socialism: country has natural resources; shouldn’t belong to single person or company.  Profits should go back to people. Everyone has parts.  o Communism: return to communalist ideals w/ industrial capacities of capitalist age.  Complete shared means of production.    Communist manifesto written in English so workers could initiate revolution o Oops! Workers couldn’t read, but Bourgeoisie did. They realized Marx was right, this  isn’t plausible for the long term.   Solution: fix capitalism o Welfare state/social democracy.  o Create structures that pacify workers, enough to prevent revolution o Buy off working class w/ social programs to make their lives more bearable. Possibility  to move up the ladder Continuing Importance of Marx  People assume that the end of the Cold War era meant Marx & his theories were no longer  important  o Cold war had little to do w/ Marx & much more to do w/ realism, totalitarianism, &  command economics o Leninism/Stalinism doesn’t equal Marxism  Marxism still useful & relevant in analyzing capitalism  o Particularly since market systems have become more widespread & complex since end of cold war  Most Marxists acknowledge that the revolution he discussed will never fully happen o It can’t just happen in one place; it must be global  o People must be willing to ignore differences & band together  Marx says class is most important agent of international affairs World Systems Theory  Developed by Immanuel Wallerstein  World divided into two­tier structure o Core o Periphery  Workers worldwide become divided against each other o Bourgeoisie in core use profits derived from exploiting periphery to “buy off” the  proletariat   Declining terms of trade perpetuate poverty Biohazard 2.22.16 Constructivism 2.24.16 Marxism 2.26.16 o Who’d be in the core? US, Japan, most of Western Europe…Where do you put countries  like China?  Semi­Periphery  Intermediate role  Penetrated by core economic interests  Has indigenously owned industrial base  Limits upward wage pressure on core  Provides environment for low­end manufacturing & other uncompetitive industries o Periphery states the same, so does the core. The middle is the confusing part o Can you jump from semi­periphery to the core? **Nation/tribe overrule class every time. 


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