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MDAW 2013: DCH & MBK.  Realism  Idealism  Liberalism  Marxism  Critical Theory(s)

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Presentation on theme: "MDAW 2013: DCH & MBK.  Realism  Idealism  Liberalism  Marxism  Critical Theory(s)"— Presentation transcript:

1 MDAW 2013: DCH & MBK

2  Realism  Idealism  Liberalism  Marxism  Critical Theory(s)


4  Posits that states are motivated by a desire for military and economic power / security  Assumes that the following things are true:  The international system is anarchic  Sovereign states are the dominant actors in the international system  States are rational, unitary actors that maximize their own interests  The overriding interest of each state is its security/survival  States pursue security by amassing resources  Relations between states are governed by their relative power

5  Defensive Realism  Offensive Realism


7  Idealism (Wilsonianism)—a state should make its internal political philosophy the goal of its foreign policy  Is an important precursor of liberalism  Has been embraced by left- and right-wing perspectives  Liberalism: state preferences, rather than state capabilities, are the primary determinant of state behavior

8  Liberalist theories assume…  States are not unitary actors  Preferences vary from state to state, depending on culture, economic system, government type, etc.  Interactions between states are determined by culture, economic exchange, etc—not just “diplomacy” and “high politics”  The international system has an underlying order  Cooperation can generate absolute gains


10  Rejects the focus on states and instead explains global politics based on the economic/material aspects of the international system and how that system is connected to class structures at the local, state, and trans-state levels

11  Assumes that economics trumps all other concerns—class is the focus of explanation  Posits that the international system is an integrated order designed to protect/facilitate capital accumulation  Strongly informed dependency theory—  Wealthy countries maximize their power by penetrating Southern countries with political advisors, experts, MNCs, etc.  Designed to appropriate natural resources and foster dependency of the South on the North


13  Schools of thought that criticize traditional conceptions of international politics  Often share a “constructivist” orientation— assume that ideas/language/ideology shape international politics  Feminisms  Post-colonialisms  Queer IR  Post- and anti-modern political theory as applied to IR (Foucault, Heidegger, Nietzsche, etc.)


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