International Relations Theory Notes
International Relations Theory Notes PSCI 150 001
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sophia Shore on Sunday September 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 150 001 at University of Pennsylvania taught by Jessica Stanton in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 53 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Relations in Political Science at University of Pennsylvania.
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Date Created: 09/20/15
International Relations Notes I State Make and enforce rules within a given territory I UN has 193 member states Taiwan should be a state I Most recently admitted state in international system is South Sudan What do we expect theory to do I How do states behave in the international system 0 Simplify complicated information about the international world simplify understanding of international system 0 Explain why states want to or do go to war with each other over time repeatedly 0 Explain patterns in state behavior Levels of Analysis 0 Individual 0 Are humans basically good and basically evil I If humans have aggressive impulses so it is likely that we can use this to understand complex aggressions in international system I Why do leaders behave the way they do Psychology personality decision making 0 State domestic second image I Characteristics of states 0 Different states behave differently 0 Democratic states vs nondemocratic states 0 International system third image I Characteristics of international system I Structure of system to explain state behavior I Why did Iraq war take place 0 Saddam Hussein miscalculated and underestimated the power of the united states OR George bush wanted to finish what his father started with the gulf war 0 What was going on in the US Domestic pressures neoconservatives importance of 911 in focusing on mass destruction and terrorism OR con ict between a democratic state vs non democratic state democracies do not tend to fight another democracies 0 What was taking place in the internationals ystem The UN was involved with trying to get Iraq to comply to searches and stuff for weapons of mass destruction but they weren t complying that was a threat to the international system OR power within the international system distribution of power in relation to the US being the most powerful state at the time 2003 and it decided that it had a con ict of interest with Iraqi weapons inspections and so it invaded because it thought of Iraq as a threat 0 Four major theoretical approaches to understanding international relations 0 Realism I States are the primary actors in the international system I States behave rationally in pursuit of their interests 0 Choose action that maximizes benefits and minimizes costs by weighing pros and cons 0 Not altruistic only wanting to protect their interests They possess control over a territory and govern themselves sovereign actors All states seek to maintain control and protect security of their citizens and political institutions don t want to be overthrown Assumes that states are unitary actors states behave as single actors in the system We can think of the state as a black box or a billiard ball a unit and behaves as a unit strong Because realists think that constraints placed on states are very The international system is anarchic Does not mean chaos but rather that it lacks supranational body that can enforce rules 0 Hobbes everyone must look out for himself International system is different from domestic system 0 Domestic societies are organized as hierarchies Police forces etc Mayor city council etc state government etc federal government etc 0 In international system there is no single body that can force states to behave in a specific way supranational authority What about UN ICC Realists would say not really supranational authorities They do not have the same power as courts have within states domestically States must ensure their own security International system is a selfhelp system 0 In the selfhelp system power is crucial If they don t have someone looking out for them they must rely on their own resources which is why the most powerful states always win Attempts to maximize their power Always in competition with one another for power the ability to in uence another state Power is determined on population economy and military strength Also moral power is important Scandinavia is very involved in economic development and green tech so they are moral powers States must defend themselves and acting to protect their own interests and citizens Realists think states are very concerned about security 0 States can never know another state s intentions within the international system 0 Whether another state may want to in uence that state s territory or policy 0 Don t know whether another state wants to take them over I Even if we are friends today we may not be friends tomorrow I States look out into international system and must assess the other state to determine their threat level 0 Military strength economic power are all criteria for this examination States must maximize power 0 States are concerned with making relative gains compared to other states I Is this state going to get more from a deal than my state 0 How can states maximize power I Invest in research purchase weapons increase population etc I Develop power by forming alliances with other states as well as trade agreements Con ict and war are always possible in the internationals system 0 Cooperation is really difficult for states I Structure of international system works against cooperation I Concern about unequal distribution of gains I States worry about becoming dependent on other states trade etc 0 Without a police force con ict of interest between states can escalate quickly I If a state invades a violent con ict can occur I War is a key way that states can resolve disputes between one another 0 Cooperation is really difficult for states I Structure of international system works against cooperation I Concern about unequal distribution of gains I States worry about becoming dependent on other states trade etc 0 Without a police force con ict of interest between states can escalate quickly I If a state invades a violent con ict can occur I War is a key way that states can resolve disputes between one another 0 The distribution of power among states determines state behavior and the likelihood of con ict 0 O O O Bipolar Two states are the most powerful Cold War Unipolar Post Cold War US Many states have different effects Balancing I Happens if people think an aggressive action can be deterred both short term and long term I If a state becomes more threatening other states can balance that rising power by acting against it Classical Realism 0 Examples Morgenthau O 0 Make arguments about individual states spanning all three levels of analysis I Desire to dominate is part of human nature I Struggles for power occur across space and time I Charisma of an individual leader can in uence state power Characteristics of states I Some states have aggressive intentions heavy focus on the second level of analysis POWER IS IMPORTANT distribution is everything Neorealism 0 Examples Mearsheimer Waltz O 0 Focus on third level of analysis We don t have to worry about what is going on within states because structure of international system shapes behavior in such a way that each state must behave uniformly Aspects of domestic politics can explain individual wars but the reason why wars chronically occur depends on the structure and constraints the international system places on how states behave What is good about realism is that it helps explain why war occurs Challenges about realism 0 How do we define power 0 How do we explain cooperation in the international system 0 O 0 How do states behave or why do they behave the way they do when security is not an immediate concern Example Why hasn t the US conquered Canada Why do states make treaties 0 Why do states spend so much time justifying its actions 0 Predicting major events in international relations 0 Realists could not predict the end of the Cold War as well as the unipolar environment afterward 0 Accounting for the role of domestic politics 0 Explaining change in the international system 0 Shouldn t we be stable with two states balancing each other 0 Neoliberal institutionalism I Tenets of Neoliberal Institutionalism 0 States are the primary actors I The international system is anarchic 0 States must ensure their own security I Cooperation is possible despite the condition of anarchy 0 Differs from black and whiteness of realism in terms of cooperation 0 Do not think a competitive powermaximizing mentality always wins out 0 What are the conditions and what can facilitate cooperation I Only when states benefit from it I Selfinterest can motivate states to cooperate I Institutions can help to facilitate cooperation and mitigate con ict I Obstacles to Cooperation 0 Coordination problems 0 Occurs when one state has an aversion to a particular problem I Avoiding air traffic problems air traffic controllers all speaking the same language I Fears of cheating 0 Iran Nuclear Deal people were afraid that Iran was going to cheat the deal at some point I General Nuclear Deal Let s say both states are willing to give up their nuclear weapons States have an incentive to cheat on that get one weapon developed and the rest are at a disadvantage if they abide by the agreement I How can states that have trouble trusting each other come to agreements O The Prisoners Dilemma I In the international system it s difficult for states to communicate and trust each other I Collective Action Problems When providing public goods is good but costly Public School System Another problem with public goods is that they are non excludable you cannot exclude anyone or prevent a group from using it When you don t implement laws as to how to pay for it people can free ride How can you implement policies of coming together to provide public goods in the international system I How do you address global warming 0 Public good is healthier global climate 0 Cost is that industries need to change to implement better environmental policy I No one wants to bear that cost I Relative Gains Concerns 0 Prevent cooperation 0 Can make states less likely to be willing to sign onto cooperative agreements I Can create incentives to cheat O In order to make sure they still gain from the agreement 0 If every state cheats problem is that the agreement is void I Institutions Facilitate Cooperation By 0 A set of norms rules etc that tell states how to behave O O Explicit laws Not so explicit I Institution of diplomacy 0 Institutions provide information therefore reducing uncertainty 0 O O Facilitate interaction between groups that normally wouldn t communicate Monitoring each other s behavior by submission of reports trade policy etc Increases transparency within international system Mitigates concerns about relative gains I Institutions prevent large differences in gains in treaties and other agreements Ensure repeated interactions between states I Helps them to be concerned about future outcomes if states agree now states will perhaps try to agree later I Creates options for other thirdparty states to punish your state if you cheat 0 Link issues together I Makes states interests a lot easier to monitor and create continuity O Reduces transaction costs costs of doing business internationally I Business send diplomatic representatives etc I Sets up a set of rules that states can follow to make business transactions more uniform 0 Reducing transaction costs 0 Ensuring repeated interactions among states 0 Linking issues 0 Maintain issues 0 Nuclear nonproliferation treaty I Challenges for neoliberalism 0 Explaining con ict 0 Explaining difficulties in cooperation 0 Addressing the prospects for cooperation in the security realm 0 Accounting for change in the international system I The RealistNeoliberal Debate 0 Points of disagreement 0 Consequences of anarchy O The prevalence of cooperation in the international system I Realists do not believe cooperation can exist I Neoliberals believe that cooperation can exist 0 The importance of relative gains concerns I Neoliberals think that realists exaggerate the importance of relative gains concerns and their effects on cooperation O The role of institutions and the potential for institutions to shape state behavior I Realists think powerful states can violate agreements I Neoliberals think that if we keep institutions constant they can have a great impact on shaping state behavior 0 Constructivism ideas and identities matter I Central tenets of constructivism 0 States are the primary actors but other actors can still play an important role 0 The international system is socially constructed 0 There are set rules as to how states are to behave I These were developed as social constructs over time O Institutions are socially constructive I Institution of sovereignty states that states have control over what goes on in their own borders 0 The distribution of power is not everything I We also need to know what a state s identity is because it tells the state how to behave I Example we would think that the UK would threaten the US based on just material goods but in reality the social construct says otherwise because they share ideals I The international system is anarchic but this does not necessarily lead to a selfhelp system 0 What kind of system develops is based on the social interactions between states I Is it possible that the roles as rivals could change to become friendly within the international system Or otherwise I First someone lies about their identity then something bad happens and then the main people believe that the others are enemies I Identities in uence state behavior in the international system 0 Example India created nuclear weapons in the 1970s conducted tests in 1974 but the US is not concerned like it is with Iran at present I Ideas and norms also in uence state behavior I Constructivism the role of international norms I A norm is a standard of appropriate behavior for actors with a particular identity Finnemore and Sikkink 1998 0 Examples Respect for state boundaries etc 0 Coalition troops in Iraq 2003 I Explaining change in the international system I Process of change is a tipping process more states come to see one another as friends I Norm emergence Campaign to ban landmines 0 Pyramid of shoesIntemational Campaign I Challenges for constructivism I Explaining initial changes in identities and ideas 0 I Understanding how states behave when norms con ict with one another 0 Agreement that states aren t to interfere with other states domestic policy but what about when human rights are being victimized 0 Measuring identities and ideas 0 What ideas and norms are popular What establishes a state s identity 0 Domestic politics and liberalism Domestic politics arguments in general 0 Heavy on second level of analysis I Neoliberals capitalism and free trade leads to peace Domestic political arguments in particular Liberalism and the Democratic Peace 0 Defining democracy 0 Institutions that allow citizens to voice their preferences with regard to leaders and policies 0 Institutionalized constraints on the executive I Limiting the President of the United States I Can the judiciary branch hold the executive branch accountable O Guarantees for civil liberties including protections for political participation I Can anyone run for office Can the people participate in politics ie raising funds or rallying for a particular candidates 0 Whose support does a leader need in order to remain in power I Non Democracy military key elites industry leaders I Democracy political party leaders political party members elites donors etc voters I What is the democratic peace 0 Democracies almost never fight each other only happened once I Dyadic effect of regime type two countries dyad when both are democratic they never fight I Monadic effect Democracies are less likely to fight in general I Democracies tend to fight less costly wars 0 Why is this democratic peace important I Cultural explanations 0 Democracy shares same values compromise peaceful resolution I Democracies expect behavior of other democracies that they assume to be the opposite in nondemocracies I Institutional explanations 0 Slow decision making in democracies 0 More time allowed for diplomacy to work 0 Domestic public constraints in democracies O Democracies are more careful about going to war because the cost falls on the people 0 Leader has to worry about the public s perception when they think about using force I Democracies only fight wars they can win 0 If they fight a losing war leaders may lose support of the people 0 Democracies don t go to war because they know how costly it can be only go to war if it s worth it I Complex explanations for the democratic peace I None of the three is sufficient on its own in promoting peace but together they have a huge impact I Necessary condition you need it to have an outcome I Critiques of the Democratic Peace Similarities in preferences or interests explain the peace among democracies Alliances and historical friendships explain the peace among democracies Liberal hegemony explains the peace among democracies O The US is the hegemon in the international system they corral other liberal states The spread of capitalism and free trade explains the peace among democracies The transition to democracy is dangerous 0 States are volatile and more likely to go to war than democracies and stable autocracies What good are the theoretical perspectives Can they help us to understand the US decision to send 3000 troops to aid in the fight against Ebola Can they help us to understand the US decision to initiate air attacks against ISIL in Syria and Iraq NATO 0 Member states have alliance but also more information about each other s military whereabouts increases Visibility and reduces uncertainty O Reduces transaction costs
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