Introduction to International Relations_Towns_Date__021210

Introduction to International Relations_Towns_Date__021210...

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Int’l politics works with theoretical perspectives Realism, liberal, critical/Marxist, constructive theories REALIST THEORY - Has a very long history (allegedly thousands of years) o Ex) Machiavelli The Prince , instructions on how to be a shrewd ruler o Ex) Nixon Deeply influenced by realism (advised by Henry Kissinger) o Ex) Condoleezza Rice Carried strong realist perspective through Bush Administation - Our trust in members of society and social structures (and, therefore, their ability to function) is rooted in authority, according to realists; if we had no police or military, for example, people would have few, if any, inhibitions regarding theft, violence, etc. Brute force would become a very real possibility in our day-to-day lives. People therefore need to be subject to a greater power (the state) in order for society to function. CORE OF REALISM Four core assumptions: Statism , survival , self - help and anarchy STATISM - The state is the dominant actor, and has a monopoly on the use of force o Other actors are not as important, or are outgrowths of the states themselves o Ex) United Nations controls very little due to lack of police/military authority, so it’s not a state; if any country decides to disobey the UN, there is very little it can do on its own accord to punish them. - The state also has sovereignty (supreme domestic authority and international independence) o Supreme domestic authority Laws, courts, police, prisons; the state can back up its power with strength - Therefore, there is a fusion of state and power o “Machtstaat” – every state is fundamentally a power state - Power o Definition: The ability of a state to control the behavior of others Power is relational Requires an inferior and a superior; a single person or entity does not
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Introduction to International Relations_Towns_Date__021210...

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