17 - IR 210 Buzan and Little English school of thought...

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IR 210 17/01/2008 13:59:00 Buzan and Little- English school of thought Critique American IR With the rise of the US, the US IR theory dominated the scene The 5 corrosive shortcomings of American IR theory 1. Presentism: Insisting or assuming that what prevails today also prevailed in  every other time and place o Imperialism of the past in the present o Realists – Greek city states, Machiavelli, nation states 2. Ahistoricism: Studying the past, but only to discover  general laws  that apply  to all times and places o Buzan and Little want to study the course of change and developlment o Won’t presume that laws are waiting to be discovered 3. Eurocentrism: Assuming that what happened in Europe and the broader  West is a microcosm of what happened everywhere o You can only explore IR by comprehending non-Europe history  o Explore the non-west because Europe is fading 4. Anarchophilia: Assuming that anarchy is natural and, at root, eternal o Absence of ruling entity above the West o Neorealism and Neoliberalism – world is a prisoners dilemma Usually not cooperate with each other under anarchic conditions Usually not the norm for all times and places Models and assumptions that flow from them are flawed
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Though much times anarchy has prevailed, there are times that  times are not anarchic with spectrum from empire to anarchy  (extreme conditions) that push the normal to the middle Don’t reify anarchy 5. State-centrism: Assuming that states are always and forever the dominate  actors in international relations o Focus on the states and their military o Buzan and Little focus on other factors o Feminists believe that IR believes that IR focuses on states and “war”  and not cultural and other factors that are “effeminate” and get  marginalized International system level of analysis
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