Chapter 1 - Approaches to International Relations 1...

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Approaches to International Relations : 1. International relations in daily life a. International Relations- The study of interactions of various actors that participate in international politics. i. States, international organizations, NGO’s, sub national entities, individuals b. Approaches- How to answer foundational questions i. History- individual or multiple cases ii. Philosophy- develops rationales from core texts and analytical thinking iii. Behavioralism- finds patterns in human behavior and state behavior using empirical methods iv. Alternative- deconstructs major concepts and uses discourse analysis to build thick description c. Theories- allows political scientist to understand the causes of the events, describe what’s happening and predict what will happen in the i. Liberalism- historically rooted in several philosophical traditions that posit human nature is basically good. Individuals form into groups and later states. These states generally follow international norms and procedures that have been mutually agreed on ii. Neoliberalism- a reinterpretation of liberalism that posits that even in an anarchic international system state will cooperate because of their continuous interactions with each other and because its in their self interests to do so, institutions will provide the frame work for cooperative interactions iii. Realism- states exist in an anarchic international system, each state bases its policies on an interpretation of national interest defined in terms of relative power, the structure of the international system is determined by the distribution of power among states iv. Neorealism- reinterpretation of realism that posits that the structure of the international system is the most important level to tudy, states behave the way they do because of the structure of the international system, includes the belief that general laws can be found to explain events v. Radical- rooted in economics, actions of individuals are largely determined by economic class, the state is an agent of international capitalism, and the international system is highly stratified, dominated by the international capitalist system d. Philosophers: i. Plato- argued man is intelligent, society should submit to people who have insight into what is good. ii. Aristotle- addressed problem of order in the state used comparative method, looked at patterns in history. iii. Aquinas- developed framework of natural law, it is a fusion of classical philosophy, Christian theology and roman law, natural law is followed by man instinctively and it releases mans good
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tendencies iv. Hobbes- life is a state of nature that is solitary, selfish, and brutish. Individuals and society can escape from the state of nature through a unitary state v. Rousseau- describes the state of nature in both national and international society argued that the solution to the state of nature is the social contract whereby individuals gather in small communities where the general will is realized.
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