Lecture+03+-+short - Slide1...

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Slide 1 Lecture 3 - 3 August, 2009 Dynamics of the international system - Realism Slide 2 – Atomic Bomb Slide 3 – What’s in the News? Slide 4 - Introduction 1. Theory in IR 2. IR as an American discipline 3. Major Realist writers 4. 5. 6. Realism in action 7. Criticisms of Realism 8. Slide 5 – Power Mud-Map Slide 6 - Theory in IR Theory performs a number of vital functions in the study of IR: It   provides   a   basis   for   (critically)   reflecting   on   the   broader   implications   of  viewing IR in certain ways (e.g. ethically); Helps us recognise biases/pre-conceived ideas we bring to subject; It provides a conceptual basis for the exploration of empirical issues/processes  that we will be undertaking in following weeks; for our understanding of what is going on. Different theories do different things:  Can aim at explanation or at normative change;  Can help understand process of change. Theories can combine different elements:  E.g. the Australian government defines security as the  preservation of the nation- state from external threat  (Realism),  Also based on domestic political calculations (post-structuralism); And/or conceptions of history, culture & identity (constructivism).
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Slide 7 - Praxis: The Theory-Practice Relationship things that the policy makers decide on: implications of theorising/conceptualising IR. Dimensions of theory-practice relationship Theory emerges in particular historical context: e.g. Liberalism/Realism, optimism/pessimism in post-war/pre-war worlds; But events are influenced by theoretical assumptions: Our beliefs/theories encourage certain ways of acting;  If, e.g., we think states are aggressive, we’ll be militaristically defensive, we will  be unlikely to trust or pursue co-operation;  Security dilemma.  In understanding historical events or practices, we need to be aware of the ‘common  sense’ of the time (theory);  And in looking at theory, we need to think about the historical context in which  theories emerged;  particular set of circumstances.
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Lecture+03+-+short - Slide1...

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