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Unformatted text preview: AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY-MIDTERM LECTURE NOTES Realism Anarchy- no single government controlling different states as a whole Zero-Sum for realists states are always concerned about gaining more than other states. If rival states gain more than you they can translate that advantage into economical and militaristic advantages which allows them to challenge you- there is always a competition between different states Self Interest- the ultimate goal being securing your own position- protecting your sovereignty and securing your own interests and goals- either secure your own position or be controlled/dominated by others Has been the dominant school of thought especially during the cold war- not only in school but also in policy making Translate into a pattern called the security dilemma The measure a state takes to increase its own security usually decreases the security of other states- turns into a conflict spiral Liberalism 2 strands Domestic- political culture, political systems, as determinants of state interest (in contrast to realism where state interest is seen as a given) International- focuses on international institutions- provide incentives for cooperation- thereby mediating the security dilemma They can provide a framework with binding rules (debatable to what extent they are binding) Constructivism Different view of anarchy Anarchy is what states make of it A. Wendt Cooperative/Conflictual social identities Anarchy is not a permanent feature of the international system Willing to recognize that it has been a dominant principle in international relations (cold war) but through the socialization of states- but through different actors and institutions it can bring about change- how it could be differently ordered- gradual change and have an anarchy of friends There have been certain instances of change in IR- through international institutionalization war is no longer an acceptable way to deal with FP unless it is for self defense They see an interaction between agencies of states and constraints of the international structure (multi, uni, bi-polarity) They see states as agents and the international structure as a constraints as a process they both cause each other opposed to how realists see it from one way only There is no direct line- A can cause B and B can cause A Anarchy is something that states can help, depending on the process of social interactions you can either have cooperative or conflictual relations Societal level explanations The Role of Ideas in AFP Political culture: refers to the political values, ideas and ideals about American society, and politics held by the American people The Liberal Tradition The social contract- basic belief that the purpose of government is to secure basic rights for its citizens (right to life, liberty, happiness) American Exceptionalism (rooted in civic nationalism) the absence of religions and ethnic conflict- geographical isolations- removal from great...
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