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Poli 260 - Week 2 (Lecture)

Poli 260 - Week 2 (Lecture) - Poli 260 Lecture 2 The...

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Poli 260 Lecture 2: The International System Two fundamental changes: Two levels of organization/system o International (relations between states) o Domestic (relations within states) Look at different types of governments in states, then figure out how they will behave Two big changes: o International: from feudal system to imperial system to interstate system Nature of system has changed Shift from imperial to anarchic international system o Domestic: from monarchy/autocracy to democracy (in many places) From monarchic kings/dictators to democratic rulers Why do these changes matter? International system is not static – has changed a lot over time o ‘Globalization’ is not that new – increasing financial, commercial and cultural integration Similar period in early part of 20 th century Change happens at two levels: o Between units (interstate relations) o Within units (domestic politics) Change happens through learning from the past o Eg end of empire o Good thing: we are not condemned to repeat the past o Bad thing: we often repeat the past anyway What is a system? Butterfly effect o Butterfly flaps wings in China o Small change in surrounding atmosphere o Small change ripples over distance o Can affect tornado in Manitoba o Point: small events in one place can have huge effects elsewhere Two key elements: o Interconnectedness Parts of a system don’t exist and function in isolation from each other – they are linked together o Uniqueness The whole is greater than the SUM of the partner broader unity is different from the interactions between the components Implications: o Unintended consequences What happens in a system can’t always be captured in a cause-effect explanation Security dilemma Increase in one state’s security makes another state insecure 3 Types of International Systems Feudal System Overlapping authorities at local level, no central authority at system-level o Eg. Lords and kings can tax peasants System is always autocratic, never democratic o Peasants have no power Rules is very decentralized don’t really implement power/control alone; give power to others o No common legal system (arbitrary/unpredictable)
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Poli 260 Lecture 2: The International System Imperial System A central authority at system-level controls the policy of its peripheral states: o Core-periphery relationship System can combine autocracy and democracy, but always contains autocracy o Can have empire/core that is democratic at its core but its peripheral states are autocratic Eg France and Algeria, Britain and India While there is central authority, government functions are decentralized o Several overlapping legal systems Anarchic System (International System) Several states interact with each other, with no central authority at system-level o Units of system are independent of each other do NOT overlap Eg government of US have no say over citizens of Canada
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