Evolution of the international system (Fri, Sept 7th, 2018 - Class 2-6).docx

Evolution of the international system (Fri, Sept 7th, 2018 - Class 2-6).docx

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Evolution of the international system (Fri, Sept 7th, 2018 - Class 2) The modern state system No authority above whoever is ruling the state (Internal). In order for a political unit to become a sovereign state, you need other sovereign states to recognize you (External). Everyone else is under the ruler, no one above. For international anarchy, political authority is decentralized in the international system, and centralized within the states. You have to rely on your own government, not other foreign governments. The evolution of the international system Rationalism and International Relations (Fri, Sept 7th, 2018 - Class 2) Rational Choice Approach Explaining international politics as the outcome of individual goal-seeking decisions. Very flexible and very broad A rational choice THEORY will need to make more substantive commitments Theory embedded in the rational choice approach What is rational about the choice is not the goal it seeks but rather the relationship between goal and choice. A goal is never rational; an action is rational (in light of a given goal) Rational choice explains behavior (endogenous), not goals (exogenous) Power maximization is the ultimate goal that drives states. Rationalism and its disconnects Explanatory claims: Equilibrium vs. causality Did the actor behave rationally or as if it were rational?
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