Theories of International Relations

Theories of International Relations - Theories of...

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Theories of International Relations Theories of International Relations Concepts Paradigm : dominant way of looking at a particular subject; structures patterns of inquiry and interpretation Theory : set of hypotheses postulating relationships between variables; used to describe, explain, and predict; must be falsifiable and stand the test of time
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Concepts Concepts State : legal entity with permanent population, well-defined territory, and government able to exercise sovereign authority Nation : collection of people who identify with one another on the basis of ethnic, linguistic, or cultural affinity (Hard) Power : ability of one actor to get another actor to do what it otherwise would not have done (use of military force, for example)
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Concepts Concepts Soft Power : This concept refers to a nation winning influence abroad by persuasion and appeal rather than by threats or military force. Does China have “soft power?” Give examples Does the U.S. have “soft power?” Give examples
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Realism Realism This theory holds that anarchy characterizes the international system. World politics is a struggle among self- interested states for power. Classical – states act selfishly, like people. Goal of domination creates “security dilemma.” “Realpolitik”--states should be prepared for war in order to preserve peace
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Realism’s Beliefs Realism’s Beliefs People are selfish and ethically flawed and compete for self-advantage. Human nature is bad? ( 荀荀 : 荀荀荀荀 ) People have an instinctive lust for power. Eradicating this instinct is not possible. International politics is a struggle for power. The prime obligation of the state is promoting the national interest.
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Realism’s Beliefs (continued) Realism’s Beliefs (continued) Anarchical international system requires states to acquire military power. Military power is more important than economics. Do not trust allies. Resist international efforts to control state protection and institute global governance. Seek flexible alliances to maintain a balance of power
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Criticisms of Realism Criticisms of Realism This theory could not explain increased cooperation after World War Two many of its propositions are not easily testable: criticized by behavioral scientists It disregards ethical principals It focuses on military might at economic and social expense of states
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Liberalism Liberalism This theory holds that reason and ethics can overcome international anarchy to create a more orderly and cooperative world It stresses the importance of international institutions It is also associated with “idealism” Human nature is good? ( 曰曰曰 : 曰曰曰曰 ) It is optimistic that change is “progress.” Economic interdependence promotes peace, so Globalization is good.
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