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Realism vs. Idealism

Global Politics

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Political Science 014 Monday, January 25th, 1999 Announcements: Make sure you know who your TA is and what you section number is. You will need to know if for the test. Lecture notes: I. Topics in the News A. Secretary of State Madeline Albright goes to Russia and is talking about the Star II Treaty: nuclear weapons (reduction) B. United States has a plan to protect itself from nuclear weapons (under current law, U.S. can not protect itself from nuclear missile attack. II. Two things that will help analyse world affairs: A. Realists - deal with the world around them, they view the world as it is. B. Idealists - want more structure in the world, they believe that realists are too pessimistic. They view the world as it could be. C. Things to look for in international politics: 1. Actors - people who run the world 2. Preference - what the actors want to happen 3. Structure - anything that can limit actors from reaching a
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Unformatted text preview: goal D. Realism vs. Idealism Actors : Realism— heads of government Idealism —Countries Preferences: Realists – are concerned with security, the absent of threats to this security and the affects of military capabilities. Idealists —they believe people should live and let live; " Don’t bother them, they won’t bother you." Structure: Realists —Believe in not rocking the boat; but also always have an incentive to arm themselves Idealists —Believe that more institutions there are the more order there is in the world E. Security Dilema – in the absences of the knowledge, what a country does to protect itself from another country; to always be on the defensive F. Think of theories as always being wrong, because they can not observe like theories in science A. We are always applying a theory, even if we don’t know it...
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