Introduction to International Politics Week 2
Introduction to International Politics Week 2 PSC 1003
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Caroline Jok on Friday September 11, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1003 at George Washington University taught by Farrell, H in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 95 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 09/11/15
Week 2 Intro to International Affairs 08 September 2015 Intro to International Affairs Intro Lecture Why are international politics different to regular politics gt Lack of a single unified actor What consequences does this have What are the major schools of thought about how international politics works In the absence of world government Realism tends towards the dark and gloomy emphasizes problem of anarchy The fundamental international trend is anarchical Liberalism emphasizes how international institutions can sortof provide order World bank UN etc Enforcement mechanisms that allow for cooperation Constructivism emphasizes how ideas and norms shape order in unexpected ways tend to be optimists Realism Sees international politics as dominated by power Relations between the US and China is a question that realist love to explore States contend for dominance through arms and other tools Military power is key to which states win and which states lose States fear for survival in a world where there is no global policeman States are constantly suspicious Realism suggests limits on trade and cooperation If states fear for survival they will have dif culty agreeing with each other Agreements may be broken trust is a mistake that can be taken advantage of Trade may not have mutual bene ts by trading with your potential enemy you may be giving him assets that can be used against you Realists are skeptical of Ideas and Norms constructivism gt There is no necessary reason to believe that states are going to abide by these in international politics Broad norms like truth justice human rights disappear or take second place ot survival Realist see the world as it is not as idealists want it to be deeply skeptical that liberalism and democracy can be spread doubtful that spreading democracy would help security even if it could work Best thing to do is secure your own domestic advantage The world is fundamentally irreformable Liberalism In the absence of world gov states can construct a kind of limited order for themselves based on common interests they can build institutions governing trade where self interests and common interests coincide they also manage aspects of security It matters what kind of state you are democracies create a shared interest in peace WHO World Trade Org gt Do not have physical power to tell the states what to do but because a country has a general interest with the organization it is likely to comply with the guidelines recognizing it is in their long term interest States having self interests that gives them reasons to be cooperatives and power acknowledge the role of power in international relations but tend to focus on other things Assume that actors have common interests which they can pursue if they figure out how assume that institutions help them do this Hence don t need to worry too much about how actors might abuse power Tend to defend the United States value and norms and ideas pay some attention to the norm of democracy spreading democracy is a good idea for American interests think that democracies likely to behave better towards each other than nondemocracies democratic theory of peace tend not to be interested in other norms and ideas Constructivism Focus on the role of norms and ideas in shaping international politics Norms informal rules about what people ought to do Argues that we are all embedded in a web of meaning social animals Suggests that much international politics is about the creation of meaning What is the politics between how norms and ideas come to be gt The creation of meaning suggests there is room for international order By studying change and ow of ideas and norms can see how international politics changes Slavery becomes regarded as abhorrent and interests Tend to disagree with liberals about the role of interests in international politics agree that interests exist but don t believe that they are xed or obvious Instead like to look at the underlying politics where interests come from and how they change and power power is only important within social contexts which are not de ned simply by power relations US and UK V US and Iran Look to how ideas and norms may shape the way in which power is used And how some aspects of power actually depend upon ideas and views of the world argue that power is only important within social contexts which are not de ned simply by power relations US and U 10 September 2015 Intro to International Affairs The Melian Dialogue Part of the history of the Peloponnesian war Different moral and ethical positions on international politics that drove the different actors to take the actions that they did Background on Peloponnesian war Basic Situation Athenian negotiations with Spartan colony Melos Athenians cut off the Melians by blockading the sea Athenians and their allies far more powerful Athenians come in arrogant but they don t think they have this attitude Melians fear being besieged and desperate to make a deal Athenians in a strong bargaining position and unwilling to make any real concessions The Melian Position They have no quarrel with Athens we are not Sparta and have distant relations with them it would be unethical for Athens to attack them Athens has good reason to play fair with neutral states gt For future political relations wants to set good example as if not its own fall would be visited by the most terrible vengeance and would be an example to the world eg Karma The Melians are making a State based argument Melian analysis states may behave in different ways in world politics badly or well But states should have interest in behaving well to those much weaker than themselves States that do not are bad states actors will erode common norms and make it likely that they too will suffer terribly when their time of weakness comes Claims Athens will not be powerful forever gt What goes around comes around Appeals to ethics amp self interest The Athenian Position Ethics and appeals to justice are meaningless in international relations Power and selfinterest are all The powerful do what they will while the weak suffer what they must Hegemon s key concern is maintaining support of its dependent states needs to behave harshly to neutral states to preserve its position within the state system By conquering you we shall increase not only the size but the security of our empire Will use the Melians as an example to the other dependent states Athen s argument for war The Athenian position suggest that the key factor explaining war is the international system of politics Athens is not especially evil but is following its obvious interest given that it is the hegemon other states in same positions would do likewise pretends amazement at melian s failure to understand this Care less what the melians think Thucydides own position not directly stated in dialogue but can be inferred from elsewhere in his history author of this dialogue How Hubristic the Athenians were in their glory Based upon the individual level in Athens This raises the Challenge of war at an individual level War at the state level the level of the international system or that it is the level of individuals Obviously it s hard to change human nature if war is hardwired there are limited options but it may be possible to channel aggression in other directions purpose of many humanist philosophers Hobbes Machiavelli The challenge of war at a state level You can change states because they are human constructs If war is a product of the state level and some kinds of states more likely to create instability than others autocracies v democracies then Policy could aim at limiting and preventing war through turning warlike states into peaceseeking ones Liberal commentators claim that creating democracy around the world will create a more peaceful world The challenge of war at an international level If war is a product of the international system then it is hard to see how to eliminate it without changing the system Realists argue that system cannot be changed Constructivists argue that it is based on ideas and beliefs that may gradually shift Might see changes over time creating more peaceful relations betweens states and possibly a world unified position Ukraine Individual level explanation pride masculine power complex Putin State level Ukraine was seeing widespread protests and having political consequences Russia sees Ukraine as being a part of itself System Level explanation What Putin is doing is what any reasonable leader would do Looking to expand their power and keep options open great powers don t like unfriendly neighbors implication from realist perspective is that this is what the US would do if Mexico or Canada were under rule by anti Americans When does war make sense Last class looked at war as a problem to be solved this class starts from opposite perspective sometimes for some actors declaring war is the best strategy they can adopt when is this so Security Dilemma States self defense measures may have perverse consequences if you set up a military to defend yourself one may make the others states worry that you seek to invade them security dilemma measures taken to enhance state security can lead to destructive spirals The Game of Thrones EX lntemational relations theory of the game of thrones mutual distrust is very widespread offense and defense balance