INR Notes

INR Notes - 1/11/07 I. What is politics? A. Definitions 1....

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1/11/07 I. What is politics? A. Definitions 1. Webster’s: the art and science of government 2. Socrates: it’s about wealth, acquiring wealth, freedom, and peace 3. Textbook: how leaders decide to go about acquiring and allocating scarce resources (budgets) a) The authoritative allocation of value b) The art of determining who gets what and who pays for it c) All political decisions result in winners and losers II. International Relations A. What it isn’t: 1. Not simply interactions between nations B. What it is: 1. The process by which foreign policy leaders balance their ambitions against international and external threats with their policy objectives and their prospects of political survival C. FAQ 1. Why does war occur? a) War is the continuation of politics by other means b) War uses violence to continue political negotiation 2. Why does trade occur? Why do states adopt protectionist policies? a) Protectionism: implementing tariffs 3. How do international organizations regulate state behavior? a) There is no standing international army; how do organizations regulate behavior if at all? 4. Why do states form and keep military alliances? III. Political Science A. Goals 1. Understanding, advocacy, and predicting 2. Explain why events occur 3. Identify and understand causal mechanisms B. What is Science? 1. The unity of all science is in its method 2. The search for valid generalizations use data to make inferences IV. Central IR Themes A. Coordination 1. Finding ways for states or leaders to act together in pursuit of common interests 2. Basic idea is trust trust must be increased to foster coordination 3. Ex. of common interests: protecting endangered species B. Distribution 1. Allocation of scarce resources among citizens, leaders, and states C. Monitoring 1. Detecting cheating on an agreement 2. Particularly in terms of armed agreements
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D. Sanctioning 1. Punishing cases of cheating V. Three Governing Principles A. Leaders seek political survival 1. Their concerns for national interests are subordinate to personal interest 2. Self-interest motivates those in power to do the best they can for the people who keep them in office 3. This principle draws attention away from focus on nations, and places the emphasis on leaders and leadership 4. It compels us to explore questions about the extent to which we can speak about a ‘national interest’ B. Domestic politics and international relations are interconnected 1. Every foreign policy action is undertaken in the shadow of domestic political consequences the action is expected to produce 2. Policies with long-term benefits for a nation, but not for its leader, are unlikely to be chosen C. Strategic interaction drives international relations 1. Decisions are made with an eye o the reaction they are expected to elicit 2. Leaders compare policy options and select policies expected to yield best possible outcome 3. This places an emphasis on reasoned decision-making VI. Factors Affecting Leaders
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INR Notes - 1/11/07 I. What is politics? A. Definitions 1....

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