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Chapter 2: Theories of World Politics. Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.2 Concepts Paradigm: Dominant way of looking at a particular.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 2: Theories of World Politics. Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.2 Concepts Paradigm: Dominant way of looking at a particular."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 2: Theories of World Politics

2 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.2 Concepts Paradigm: Dominant way of looking at a particular subject; structured patterns of inquiry and interpretation Theory: Set of hypotheses postulating relationships between variables; used to describe, explain, and predict; must be falsifiable and stand the test of time

3 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.3 Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Crackdown Click the icon to open the movie

4 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.4 Questions 1.In your opinion, are sanctions the most effective way to handle a rogue state? 2.Will North Korea be more secure if it obtains a useable weapons arsenal? 3.Consider the dilemma: if North Korea does not build weapons it might be attacked, or threatened, by more powerful states. But if it does, it might face additional hostile powers and increase US incentives to attack. Is there any way out of this dilemma?

5 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.5 The Philosophical Underpinnings of Realism Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War (5th Century BC) “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” “Of gods we trust and of men we know, it is in their nature to rule whenever they can.” “What made war inevitable was the growth of the Athenian power and the fear that this caused in Sparta.” “So far as right and wrong are concerned…there is no difference between the two…”

6 Thomas Hobbes (Classical) Liberalism  Thomas Hobbes ( ) Leviathan (1651)Leviathan (1651) –State of Nature: »Humans live in a perfect state of liberty »Humans live in a perfect state of equality »Humans are essentially self-interested »Humans, therefore, are born into a natural state of war with one another…..chaos and conflict with one another…..chaos and conflict »The only law of nature is that of survival of the fittest, each person striving after that which will maximize his/her own person striving after that which will maximize his/her own chances at survival chances at survival »The only real public good that can be conceived of is order…. and so individuals will give their consent to be governed by a force and so individuals will give their consent to be governed by a force with ultimate and sovereign power: an absolute monarch with ultimate and sovereign power: an absolute monarch

7 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.7 Central Assumptions of Realism Anarchy States as the main actors States as unitary actors States as rational actors “Realpolitik”—states should be prepared for war in order to preserve peace

8 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.8 Realism’s Tenets (1 of 2) People are selfish and ethically flawed and compete for self-advantage People have an instinctive lust for power Eradicating this instinct is not possible International politics is a “a war of all against all” The prime obligation of the state is promoting the national interest

9 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.9 Realism’s Tenets (2 of 2) Anarchical international system requires states to acquire military power Military power is more important than economics Do not trust allies Resist international efforts to control state protection and institute global governance Seek flexible alliances to maintain a balance of power

10 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.10 The Security Dilemma Insecurity leads states to arm, but arms create more insecurity.

11 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.11 The Prisoner’s Dilemma Defect Cooperate What are the payoffs?

12 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.12 The Evolution of Realist Thought World War II East–West rivalry of the Cold War Structural realism or “neo-realism”  Used global level of analysis  Focus on anarchy  Kenneth Waltz “Defensive Realism” International Anarchy vs. Human Nature  John Mearsheimer “Offensive Realism”: States seek to maximize their own security by maximizing their power

13 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.13 Variants of Realism Balance of Power Theory Hegemonic Stability Theory

14 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.14 Criticism of Realism Could not explain increased cooperation after World War II Many of its propositions not easily testable: criticized by behavioral scientists Lacks precision in defining key terms Disregards ethical principals Focuses on military might at economic and social expense of states

15 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.15 Other Criticisms: Defining Power in a Meaningful Way is Difficult (1 of 2) What factors make a state powerful? The three tables above list the top 10 states (including the EU as a single state) in three different categories that might be used to assess power.

16 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.16 Other Criticisms: Defining Power in a Meaningful Way is Difficult (2 of 2) The Venn diagram shows which states are in the top ten in one, two and three categories. What does this kind of analysis show us? What does it obscure? What other categories might be used to assess power? Are the different categories of equal importance? All these questions complicate efforts to assess the role of power in international politics.

17 Political Ideologies Liberalism (cont.) Jonathan Locke Second Treatise on Government (1689) –State of Nature: »Humans are born into a natural state of liberty »Humans are born into a natural state of equality »Humans are self-interested and struggle to maximize their chances for survival »Humans must acquire (through their own labor) personal property in order to survive; therefore, the right to personal property is an immutable law of nature, as are the rights to life, liberty and health. »All humans are born with the capacity to reason, and therefore, have the capacity to conceive of the law of nature (they will acknowledge every individual’s right to property based on labor) »Any who would violate the law of nature enter into an unnatural state of war with other individuals in society »Peace and order are maintained by a government that enjoys the consent of the governed so long as it upholds the law of nature and respects the natural rights of its citizens

18 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.18 Liberalism Holds that reason and ethics can overcome international anarchy to create a more orderly and cooperative world Optimistic about the prospects of cooperation Emphasizes establishing stable democracies as a way to reduce conflict Politics is not seen as zero-sum Emphasizes free trade because it helps prevent disputes from escalating into war Stresses the importance of international institutions Also called “idealism”

19 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.19 Three Strands of Liberal Theory Variant of LiberalismLevel of AnalysisDeparture from Realism Liberal InstitutionalismSystem. Retains basic assumption of balance of power theory. Anarchy does not necessarily lead to conflict. Cooperation is possible. Complex Interdependence Theory Sub-state, but not exclusively. Focuses on individuals, firms, NGOs, and organizations within governments as key actors. States are not the only important actors. Actors have diverse interests in international politics. Much of IR has little to do with military security. Democratic Peace Theory State. Focuses on what kind of government the state has. States are not all essentially the same. Liberal (democratic) states can solve disputes without war.

20 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.20 The Evolution of Liberal Thought World War I Collective security International law Disarmament Complex interdependence International regimes Neoliberalism

21 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.21 The Limitations of Liberalism Realists argue that institutions actually exert minimal influence on state behavior. The prospects for cooperation are more likely in issues of low politics than of high politics. Realists also argue that liberals tend to turn foreign policy into a moral crusade.

22 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.22 Neorealism Accepts much of realism States’ behavior determined by differences in relative power All states have same objectives, but different capacities to realize them Distribution of capacities determines structure of the international system Global level of analysis

23 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.23 Neoliberalism Developed by critics of realism/neorealism Focuses on how IGOs and other nonstate actors promote cooperation and peace Examines how states cooperate with each other and de-emphasize conflict Points to regional integration, especially the European Union

24 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.24 Economic Structuralism Also known as Marxism Focuses on the distribution of wealth

25 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.25 Assumptions of Economic Structuralism Economic determinism Class system (bourgeoisie and the proletariat) Surplus value

26 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.26 Constructivism Focus on the impact of ideas World politics is socially constructed Focus on the role of norms as constitutive, constraining, or enabling Power in international relations revolves around actors’ ability to persuade others to accept their ideas

27 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.27 Important Constructivist Terms Identity Norms

28 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.28 The Limitations of Constructivism Inability to explain why and how ideas change over time Privileging of structures over agents in understanding international events

29 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.29 The Radical Critique Socialists focus on class conflict Dependency theory: Poverty in the Third World stemmed from the exploitative structure of the capitalist world economy World-system theory: Views the world capitalist system as consisting of a core, periphery and semi-periphery; the core shifts over time from one area to another Radical critiques tend to overemphasize economic interpretations of international events

30 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.30 The Feminist Critique Examines the exclusion of women in discussions about international affairs and the injustice and unequal treatment of women this prejudice caused Explores how gender identity shapes foreign policy decision making and how gendered hierarchies reinforced practices that perpetuated inequalities between men and women Feminists differ in the importance they place on the inherent differences between men and women Need to focus on the role of women as a whole, not just female leaders

31 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.31 Schools of Thought in Feminist Theory Feminist Empiricism Feminist Standpoint Theory Feminist Postmodernism

32 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.32 Lost Girls—The New Slave Trade… Prostitution Click the icon to open the movie

33 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.33 Questions 1.What factors have contributed to the increase in sex trafficking in Albania? 2.Explain how each of the three schools of feminist theory (feminist empiricism, feminist standpoint theory, and feminist postmodernism) would approach the problem of sex trafficking and prostitution as described in the video.

34 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.34

35 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.35 Theorizing about Theory Deconstructivism Epistemology Behavioralism

36 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.36 Questions for Critical Thinking (1 of 2) 1.What are the strong and weak aspects of realism? 2.In the liberal paradigm, how does anarchy create incentives to cooperate? 3.How does neoliberalism differ from liberalism?

37 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.37 Questions for Critical Thinking (2 of 2) 4.Which theory has the best explanatory and predictive power regarding the 2003 confrontation between the United States and Iraq? 5.Which theory has the best explanatory and predictive power for world politics in general? 6.Does the nature of the international system change over time?

38 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.38 Web Links Contemporary Philosophy, Critical Theory, and Postmodern ThoughtContemporary Philosophy, Critical Theory, and Postmodern Thought Data on the Net Feminist Theory Website Niccolò Machiavelli President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen PointsPresident Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points


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