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POLI-105 (International Relations) NotesInternational actors: Nation states, studying politics among nations.Map quiz: study Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin-AmericaGoals of IR theory include: Logic and debate, solving and predicting problems to improve the world.Generalizability, generalize explanations (know this)***What should theory do?Provide a: Casual explanation, use empirical evidence, make a general argument. Work from a solid and coherent core logic and strong evidence. Logic and evidence are key.***When testing a theory, your goal is 51% of cases the theory applying or not applying to before you can prove or refute a theory.The higher the number, the better your empirical evidence looksStrong logic and empirical evidence are the cornerstones of a good theory.Theories can be diagrammed into component parts, these are variabes.x----------------------- y Where X causes Y with intervening variables in the middle of the story: The “story” is the causal“tale” or casual chain (------) or the process between causal and outcome variables (causation)X is the INDEPENDENT VARIABLE, or the variable that “does the causing” or the explanatoryvariable.Y is the DEPENDENT VARIABLE, or the variable that is being caused or the outcome variable (range of outcomes)Example: Dictatorships cause wars, dictators is the X or independent variable,wars it the outcomes, or what is being caused by X.We seek to generalize these explanations. Instead of asking what caused WW1, we ask and answer: WHAT CAUSES WAR?IR theory, like most social science theory seeks to be PARSIMONIOUSParsimony: Least amount of variance in the explanation of the outcome. Reduced to basically: The smaller the number of independent variables that cover the most outcomes, the stronger the theoretical explanation. Reduce all explanation to only the variable that ACTUALLY CAUSES THE OUTCOME. Adding variables is not seen as productive, instead degenerate.Theories should not be “degenerated,” theories should be falsifiable , or falsifiability, theories areNOT laws, especially social theory.Actors: States. A state is a primary actor in world politics.States are SOVEREIGN, and SOVEREIGNTY is a criminal concept: Political and territorial autonomy: A state is defined by its sovereignty, self-rule: Sovereignty generally defines statehood.1648 Peace of Westphalia (official start of sovereign state system)***Krasner: Sovereignty is “organized hypocrisy” (recognition/power)Anarchy-not chaos, but the absence of any known authority over the concept of the sovereign state: Anarchy implies there is no possibility of world govt.Map quiz September 11Systems: All states are in multiple systems. States, institutions, people, etc.Structures: All systems have multiple structures and fit into larger structures.Individuals Ultimately execute decisions for states, but how much choice do they have, how much do they matter as agents of change.Structure of a system will matter a LOT to realists.Framework for theorizing based on three levelsImportant figure: Kenneth Waltz: Man, the State, and War. Three images.Correspond with level.1st image is INDIVIDUAL LEVEL2nd image is STATE LEVEL3rd image is SYSTEMIC or STRUCTURAL LEVELEach has a set of assumptionsFirst image: Individual level (Great Man Theory)Cause is found in individuals or small groups based on their characteristics. Biological, psychological, THEY CAUSE.Not as theoretically rigorous as others.Second Image: Domestic Level/State level of analysisState centric-whatever goes on in the state or is attributedWhat are the attributes of domestic/state level: domestic politics, regime change, crisis or changeWITHIN THE STATE, nationalism—WITHIN THE STATE, ANYTHING THAT IS CENTRAL TO THE STATE—not an individual or something beyond the stateGDomestic and Individual levels are considered UNIT LEVEL, not STRUCTURE, but UNITS WITHIN THE STRUCTURE Third image: SystemsStructures or system wide causes-power, interdependence, more general.Systems theory means SYSTEMIC OR STRUCTURAL variables are CASUALLY/ANALYTICALLY PRIOR to unit level variables.Structure of any given system is what matters as an independent variable.MAP QUIZ SEPTEMBER 11Actors in international relations are states.Non state actors: Multinational corporations, Nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s), Intergovernmental organizations (IGO’s), International organizations (IOs), blurred line of state vs non-state.Lepgold key arguments: IR is composed of many groups beyond this rift, institutions support integration, shared goals of these groups and institutions-make better policies based on good assumptions about actors, motivations, etc. HELP THE STATESMEN to HELP THE STATE, which informs theory. Some theories are more helpful than others.You need to be able to answer 3 questions at the end of each reading: Who wrote the article, generically what is the title of the article, in three sentences or less what is this aboutRealism: Practical Reaction to Idealism – Which was not a theory, but an approach or worldview(seen as a failed idea of the post WW1 era)Historical roots of Realism: Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Hobbes -State of Nature, state of war, Bismarck – Realpolitik, Hand Morgenthau – Politics Among Nations, 1946 – First real IR text devoted to explaining world politics with balance of power.Hans Morgenthau – Politics Among Nations, 1946 – First real IR text devoted to explaining world politics with balance of power.Early Realism (classical realism) – States seek power, also emanates from a natural lust for power, accept anarchy and the competitive nature of international system, unit level causation is possible-diplomacy, individuals, etc. (but usually systemic), philosophy and science.Measure of power for realists: Material, military, economic, these are the primary measures for realism.Core Assumptions of Realists.1: States are the primary actors, rational actors, primary but not sole actors (for example, Statesmen matter to Morgenthau)2: States seek to have more power (logical, ethical, natural)3: Balance of power is key determinant of international politics.For classical realists, POWER is a means AND an END. It is rooted in the importance of the balance of power (systemic) but also in a human/philosophical idea that men seek power (individuals and states might matter) and this aggregates up to the state.Power is ZERO SUM, gain of one state is loss for another in any given system. Power is finite.Realists

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