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Theories of IR

TermDefinitionAuthorsHistorical Examples?
Balance of power In realism: States try to balance each other out, so the BoP is unstable because of sovereign nations' interactions. States act in their own self-interest, damaging the status quo
Classical realism States are the only actors, and they want to maximize power Hobbes Morgenthau 19th C Europe
Neorealism Cares more about the structure, which is anarchic. States want to survive within an anarchical system. Relative power and distribution of resources matter. Resources constrain states. Polarity! Split into offensive and defensive. Jervis Glaser Waltz Mearsheimer (offensive)
Defensive realism States are security maximizers. Security dilemma! Jervis and the security dilemma Waltz's Theory of IS says bipolar systems are most stable Glaser and the security dilemma
Offensive realism States are power maximizers. States want to be hegemons and will alter the international system to make it happen. Great powers seek more power at the expense of everyone else. BOP changes based on states' responses to the BOP status quo. Mearsheimer: Great Power Politics says Great Powers will alter the status quo to suit their interests
6 Principles of Political Realism 1) Politics governed by objective laws from human nature 2) Political realism relies on nat'l interest in terms of power 3) Survival is core goal 4) Amoral 5) Govts should care abt natl int, not morality 6) Int'l politics autonomous from other fields Morgenthau as a rebuttal to liberalism
Criticism of realism 1) It overlooks other dimensions of IR/politics 2) It doesn't account for change 3) Statism and self-help are flawed concepts 4) Realism omits nonstate actors Gilpin's response: 1) econ is important, but the state is centrally important 2) patterns of relations between the states are the most important determinants of IR
Anarchy IS is non-hierarchical. Realism, liberalism believe it; Constructivism explains it as 3 cultures: Hobbesian/competitive-->enemies Lockean/individualist-->rivals Kantian/cooperative-->friends can coexist at same time in different places Wendt
Polarity Split into unipolar, bipolar, & multipolar Aron: Poles = party system Small states create coalitions and change the balance Homogeneous w same types of states, heterogeneous less stable bc dift values Aron: - Perception of others' power is important (vs Waltz - power is power) - Unipolar is an anomaly, won't self correct (vs Waltz) Waltz: writes on polarity - see other polarity slides Homogenous: 18th C Europe Heterogeneous: Cold War
Unipolar Hegemon; error in the system (Waltz: mechanisms will automatically correct; Aron: maybe they won't) Mearsheimer: leads to war bc power vacuums Waltz: leads to war bc hegemon can't be restrained Waltz, Mearsheimer US in the 1990s, potentially led to rise of EU and China
Bipolar 2 Great Powers that have to negotiate each other, not leaving much room for much miscalculation Other states can't challenge but will try to balance to maintain or change the status quo Waltz: this is the most stable system. Power is objective, not perceived. Cold War
Multipolar Oligopolistic with 5-9 Great Powers Shifts in alliances can lead to uncertainty Waltz: More risk because of miscalculation and war Mearsheimer: most stable bc no magnets Mearsheimer: Most stable Waltz: Not stable because more risk of miscalculation Europe pre-WWI
Hegemonic Stability Theory the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the dominant world power. World less stable when the hegemon falls or when there is no hegemon. Hegemon develops the rules and enforces the system. Kindleberger WWI & WWII: no real economic hegemon --> states interfighting
Future Polarity Haas: Nonpolarity: IS has lots of centers with meaningful power where lots of actors can possess and exercise various kinds of power (nonpolarity) Ferguson: Apolarity: Post-hegemon world will be a power vacuum which could lead to a Dark Age as the major powers decline (US mil/econ, Chinese econ collapse, EU falls apart/ages) Acharya: Multiplex with no poles where the foundations of the LIO have declined. Extremely globalized. Laidi: multipolarity that can't replace western hegemony. Multilateralism is harder bc no consensus - emerging economies are too diverse.
Liberalism 1) individuals & societies are key actors 2) ppl want wealth & freedom, leading to cooperation & peace 3) liberal dems are special 4) world is cooperative, interdependent anarchy Kant Doyle Ikenberry Keohane (neoliberal)
Neoliberalism Liberalism that believes institutions will save us Keohane
Criticism of Liberalism 1) Too idealistic 2) RtP vs nonintervention 3) West-centric 4) Can you transpose econ onto high politics? 5) States aren't always rational 6) Int'l institutions have their own agency
Collective security Liberal concept: alternative to BOP/alliance system that says states should be committed to each other's mutual defense NATO
Responsibility to protect Protection of populations and universal values outweighs sovereignty (basis of liberal interventionism/neocon doctrine)
Prisoner's dilemma Repeated games lead to trust
Liberal International Order The US's transition away from hegemony will be stable because the US is liberal and has established a liberal international order. Hegemony will fade but the LIO will not. Ikenberry
Democratic Peace Theory A separate peace exists among liberal states. Established democracies are special and interdependent due to trade, leading to more peace. Doyle: Republicanism and cosmopolitanism leads to peace btwn liberal states. Kant: Perpetual Peace Refined by Doyle's notion of liberal internationalism (as opposed to liberal pacifism or liberal imperialism) All liberal states fought on the same side in WWII
Alliance (2 definitions) Snyder: Alliances are formal associations of states for the use/nonuse of military force in specified circumstances against states outside their membership Walt: formal or informal relationship of security cooperation btwn sovereign states. Assumes level of commitment & exchange of benefits A way to build up power - and balance power. And a key feature of US hegemony.
Constructivism An analytical approach to IR that emphasizes the inter-subjective character of reality, i.e., states' perceptions of each other. Identity informs interests. System comes from interactions among states. Sociology matters. Wendt: Process leads to outcomes. Interactionism! Adler: Institutions are social constructs. Constructivism is between rationalism and poststructuralism Finnemore & Sikkink: Norms matter. Cold War, War on Terror
Identity Constructivism Subjectivity on an individual level. Historical experiences and culture color your interests bc events are filtered through your cultural lens
Inter-subjectivity Constructivism: collectively held beliefs: sovereign states/alliances/institutions exist because we believe in them Adler
Logic of Appropriateness Constructivism What is rational is a function of what is considered legitimate according to shared values and norms
Norm dynamics Constructivism Norms = standards of appropriate behavior for actors w a given identity Norm entrepreneurs make them. They hit a tipping point where states adopt them. They cascade/peer pressure. Then are internalized. Finnemore & Sikkink
End of the Cold War & Constructivism If the US & USSR decide they are no longer enemies, the CW is over CW ended through a redefining of identities, not conflict. Gorbachev embraced the market (socialization of a norm) and the CW ended. Wendt
War on Terror & Constructivism US: freedom is good; it is patriotic to fight OBL: we're fighting infidels and Muslim humiliation Language: war vs war on terror rhetoric Legitimization for US to attack
Criticism of Constructivism Wendt over-emphasizes the states without opening the black box It isn't predictive and can only explain the past
Interactionism Const. Anal. of the system-level; system composed of interactions of states; interactions interpreted by states; system affects states & vice versa. Syst changes as a result of interactions. Culture matters! How the states view anarchy changes it! Wendt
Black box of the state Theory that the state is a unitary actor and we can't/shouldn't look inside it. Realists agree: FP should be the domain of the prince But in reality - complexity of state systems and constraints should be relevant, no? Ppl who open it: Horowitz, Allison & Halperin, Putnam, Moravscik
Banalization of Foreign Policy Foreign policy becoming trivial and bureaucratic as international and transnational actors diversify. See also: Bureaucratic Politics Model (Allison & Halperin)
Why Leaders Fight Leaders differ from each other in terms of risk (which is quantifiable) as a circumstance of their life experience. Military experience may make a leader more risky. Horowitz et al
Bureaucratic Politics Model Mearsheimer is wrong with this unitary actor model nonsense. The government actually acts as a result of bargaining w/in a hierarchical bureaucracy, so organizational processes are important. Where you stand is where you sit. Allison & Halperin Krasner critiques: this is misleading and dangerous. The president actually shapes bureaucracies.
Double-Edged Diplomacy/2-level games You can't understand IR without understanding DP interactions. Domestically, consider interest groups, politicans. Int'lly, nat govts try to satisfy domestic pressures while minimizing adverse consequences Robert Putnam Game set up: L1: bargaining between int'l negotiators L2: domestic ratification Win set: all agreements that can be made int'lly and pass domestic rat. Depends on power, prefs, and coalitions.
Liberal Intergovernmentalism 1) Social actors like interest groups and parties matter 2) Domestic institutions, econ interdependence, & public good shape state behavior by leading to preferences (=constraints) 3) Bottom-up view of politics where states act on behalf of ppl in them. Moravcsik, Taking Preferences Seriously Classical liberal
Marxism social ideas and facts should be understood in terms of the struggle for justice neo-marxism: understand IR through international division of labor, capitalism, and imperialism
Gramscianism ruling class extends its power not only by coercion but also through ideas embodied in institutions neo-gramscianism: power relations in IS must be understood through capitalist production
Feminism Belief that a good understanding of gender helps improve the traditionally white male understanding of global politics. Gender is socially learned behavior. IR cares about domination. Feminism broadens security. Tickner: mainstream IR doesn't take fem seriously. Fem cares about individual security. Blanchard: IR isn't just about power; it's also about collective security. Should care abt womens treatment inside of states - structural violence
Post-colonialism Considers core-periphery dynamics of imperialists and colonized. 5 types of colonialism: economic, political, military, communication, & cultural. We should know more about nonwestern states. Cox: colonialism exists Galtung: 5 types of colonialism Bilgin: Should understand more about nonwestern states. non-west modernized through nukes, secularization, & entering int'l community—partly to pre-empt Western intervention.
Core-periphery Core: does the producing/inventing/creating/innovating Periphery: followers who have raw materials Galtung economic: c - processing; p - materials, markets political: c - decisions; p - obedience/imitation military: c - protection/destruction; p - discipline communication: c- news/means; p - events cultural: c - autonomy, teaching; p - dependence, learning
Transnationalism Are the LoA enough? - differentiates the state from aggregate behaviors of individuals, nonstate actors, and transnational networks - any relevant actors working on an issue. Transnational activity reflects asymmetries between states Keohane & Nye - all interdependent, lots of actors. Anyone w autonomy, controls resources, uses them to influence others Badie: Interactions > Sovereignty. State, transnational, ID entrepreneurs Haas: outcomes shaped by distributions of info & power
Westphalian Paradigm & Challenges territory-based conception of international politics; identity is conceived at the level of the nation-state, creating an inside/outside distinction Challenges: 1) Econ globalization - multinational corps transcend borders thru investment, aid, etc 2) loss of relevance of borders 3) rise in comms methods = less loyalty to the state 4) politics is more complex
Return of the State 1) Increase in nationalism, border controls, and economic protectionism 2) Continued territorial claims and ethnic fragmentation 3) Territorialization of nonstate actors like ISIS
Epistemic Community Network of professionals w recognized expertise & the ability to influence & frame issues, which has policy consequences over time. Outcomes shaped by distributions of info, power. Epistemic communities -> control of info, bureaucracy, new agencies Haas
US hegemony (& American Preponderance Strategy) Neoliberals (Nye): US hegemony bc soft power; other states follow it despite relative military & econ decline Neorealists (Layne): Hard power capabilities makes us hegemons. Lots of states don't think we're role models. Offensive realists (Wolforth): US has overwhelming military power, which it uses to maintain the geopolitical status quo. It incorporates regions in alliances and prevents potential adversaries from regaining strength, e.g. Japan and Germany. Defensive realists (Waltz, Layne): American preponderance risks imperial overstretch. We've already alienated China & Russia. Lots of rebalancing will happen - BoP inevitable.
Benevolent Hegemon The hegemon protects all states' interests in economic and security areas. Realists say this helps you avoid the cost of war. Neoliberals say a liberal hegemon leads to a LIO. Liberals say a democratic hegemon is benevolent. Kindleberger (hegemonic stability theory) Realist: Gilpin Neoliberal: Keohane, Ikenberry Liberal: Doyle US hegemony --> peace in Europe
Benevolent Hegemon - Criticism 1) 1 pole is not healthy 2) Democracies more interventionist, pursue worldview that doesn't suit everyone 3) power projection a threat - to nondem like Chi & Rus AND dem like EU (EDC) 4) Relative gains and uncertainty still matter! Neorealist (defensive): Waltz, Layne
Hard Balancing & Limits Traditional: states balance (increasing capabilities for weaker party thru mil or alliances or war or tech) or bandwagon (align w greater power). Balance preferable. Walt (neorealist): Balancing threats States ally with or against a power that poses the greatest threat based on power, geo proximity, & aggressiveness. Power not necessarily a threat (Japan doesn't see US as a threat) Limits: 1) mostly cares about military, not soft/econ power 2) assumes multipolarity 3) assumes clear enemy 4) no evidence since end of CW
Soft Balancing & Limits TV Paul: Tacit Balancing Not alliances - states develop ententes or security understandings to balance a state of rising power, thru arms build up or collab in int'l institutions Pape: Non-military int'l institutions and econ statecraft have indirect effect on a unipolar actor's military power Limits: 1) is it actually different from just regular diplomacy? 2) is it effective? US still intervened in Iraq and Kosovo
Alliance Dilemma Should you be friendly? isolationist? Who should you ally with? Fear of abandonment and entrapment Abandonment: alliances never that firm; Entrapment: fear of being dragged into someone else's fight Strategies of weak commitment best Glenn Snyder, Security Dilemma in Alliance Politics Charles de Gaulle's doubts of the US/NATO made him want to pursue nukes
Alliance Limits 1) Security threats are complex 2) The broader your idea of security gets the less automatic your response can be 3) Dilemmas not clear cut when alliances co-exist 4) Hard when no single identified adversary
Leash-slipping States don't worry about being attacked by the hegemon, so they build up military capabilities to maximize the independence of their foreign policy. Not hostile - alt to bandwagoning Layne (defensive realist) European Defence Cooperation - helps exit the alliance dilemma w/the US and acquire autonomy
Contemporary System Structural realists (Waltz): Structure is distinct from entities within it; distribution of resources distinguishes states Liberals, neoliberals, transnationalists: it's about distribution of power/resources and states. IS shaped by state policies, nonstate actors. IS can be a community of states or world order. Critical theorists: IS inherently unequal bc imperialism, hegemony, core-periphery relations, class struggle, capitalism Constructivists (Wendt): System is composed of interactions
Levels of analysis - Causes of War Macro level: - anarchy or polarity - BoP, alliances, security dilemma - perceptions Meso: - Regime type - ideology - bureaucracies, governments, decision-making systems Aggregate power, offensive capabilities, geographical proximity - State capacity/failed states Micro: - Human nature/greed/glory - Availability of information and miscalculation - Preferences/leadership of the executive
Precipitating, Intermediate, and Deep causes Precipitating causes: immediate cause, like individual leaders' preferences or events or accidents - e.g. US's entry into WWII Intermediate causes - consequences of prior policy choices, changes in dominant ideas - e.g. Civil War Deep causes: long-term economic, social, and technological trends
Realism 1. States are key actors. 2. States are self-interested; interests can conflict. 3. The world is zero-sum. Power is relative. 4. Might makes right. 5. The world is anarchy characterized by distrust and conflict 6. Statism, survival, and self help. Hobbes: nature of mankind is anarchy Morgenthau: classical realist Jervis: defensive; security dilemma Glaser: defensive; security dilemma Mearsheimer: offensive Cold War WWI US hegemony and European Defence Cooperation as balancing
Security dilemma Key in defensive realism The lack of trust between states leads to a build up of defenses, leading to fear and instability between different states Jervis (defensive realist): for states to increase their own security, they have to decrease the security of others Glaser (defensive realist): the greed of an adversary and unit level knowledge of an adversary shape the magnitude of SD Cold War arms race Thucydides - Athenians and Melians
Created by: nidale



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