POLI 243 Lect Notes Jan 5-14

POLI 243 Lect Notes Jan 5-14 - Poli 243 – Wednesday...

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Unformatted text preview: Poli 243 – Wednesday January 5th 2011 International Politics of Economic Relations Course Objective Introduce theoretical approaches to the study of international politics – theories, applies theories, all about theory. Also to illustrate differences between theoretical approaches, we will apply theories to issues in the politics of economic relations. Not a course about one ‘right’ way. Need to one which tool to use in what situation. Overview – 3 Major Parts 1. Introduction of different perspectives on the explanation of foreign economic policy. (January) 2. A brief introduction to the substantive issues on international political economy (February) Trade and international monetary relations – how economists explain the basics of trade and how that creates politics. 3. Applications of various theories to specific cases – particular historical episodes where one country made one decision about it’s trade/monetary policy and how different approaches and competing interpretations describe the situation – why one policy was chosen over another etc. Specific cases – one foreign state. Contact Information Mark.brawley@mcgill.ca Phone: 514 ­398 ­5064 Friday 11:35 – 1:35 (office hours) – Leacock 330 Grading and Requirements 2 Midterms (25%) – 1 Essay question to answer and IDs. (In class) 1. February 16th (Strange, abstract ideas, conceptions of how theories work) 2. March 16th grounded in historical cases. (Easier than the first 1) Participation in conferences (10%) – Do the readings. Difficult, won’t get everything. Final Exam (40%) – 3 parts, IDs, Short Essay choose 1 of 3 topics (About the readings, difficult ones), longer essay (comparing theories, cases, across one another.) What do we mean by ‘theory’? • Relate cause and effect. Big thing that make polisci different  ­ may study the exact same historical episodes. History is about learning what happened, polisci is to generate theories about cause and effect. What happened to cause some result? If, then, statements. When you make a policy decision, you’re trying to effect the result, you want a particular result. What got international relations off the ground? People study causes because they want to prevent particular events. • Theories are also probabilistic statements – we don’t have things that we can state as cause and effect, that are perfect statements, like laws in science. Closest thing we have in IR we have democratic peace. Almost all the time we’re talking about this. If x happens then 75% of y will happen. Etc. There isn’t one that we latch onto, they’re competing. • Composed of independent and dependent variables, breaking down the If (independent) and then (dependent) – language adopted from statistics. There is variation. We’re mainly interested in the dependent variables, it’s the outcome that varies. The Qualities of a Theory This is how we start to compare theories. We have different takes on what causes different outcomes, how do we compare them? How do we choose? Look at: • Accuracy o Not the most important thing, while obvious) • Parsimony or leverage o How simple the theory is, how much info do you need to make it work, theories that give accurate answers require a lot of info which some times policy makers don’t have to apply it and make it work. • Generalizability o How widely can you apply a theory? Almost always have trade ­offs. To gain accuracy you tend to lose parsimony. When you start creating more general theories you tend to lose accuracy. Different theories, depending on what they focus on, are going to make different trade offs. There isn’t a simply obvious answer. If you do have two theories and one scores better on all of those qualities, then it’s better. Tasks for a Theory 1. Description • Asking our theories to describe something that’s already happened. If our theories are really bad about describing why things happened then they aren’t decent. 2. Prediction • Looking to say, if then, about the future. Historians look at the past, but people are interested in making predictions – that’s political science. You can only make predictions if you’ve got a theory. The political scientists will make explicit theories, making them central to an argument. 3. Prescription • We want to influence the outcome. Theories guide policy decisions, to shape the future. 4. Provide normative goals • Help us think about what a better world would look like due to the prescription. The forth is often left out and some things are taken for granted. January 7th 2011 Theories begin with assumptions. What a journalist does, when they see something happening, they try to explain why it’s happening. They have tight constraints, a journalist in Moscow for example has editors telling them that they have two and a half minutes to explain what’s going on and what’s going to happen. The person sees a lot of things going on, the price of gas, the cold, the parliament. There are numerous things that may seem important, so they choose what they think and ignore a whole bunch of things. Poli ­sci people have to do the same thing. The challenge is to create theories and models that take complexity and simplify it. Textbook comparison of theories to maps; a map is useful, it tells you where to go and theories are the same. Theories don’t capture every detail of what’s going on. A dot representing a city on a map is helpful. Theories start with assumptions for the same reason, stripping away non ­essential complexity. Theories are built on assumptions. Assumptions shape the qualities of each theory. o The kind of assumptions that you make will affect what the theory looks like, how it works and the qualities it has (generalizability, accuracy etc.) An assumption is something that we assume to be true, to help create a simplified picture. • We assume something to be true, because we know it is not always true. o If it were always true, it would be a given then and we wouldn’t have to worry about it. Assumptions allow us to look at a complex picture, to see a part that’s too confusing to understand so we assume it to be true so that we can build a simplified picture. • We cannot test an assumption with a true/false example. o There are limitations to the theories we create due to the fact that they won’t always be true, due to the assumptions we use. We test an assumption on the theory itself. Are it’s qualities (generalizability, accuracy, parsimony, etc.) better than another? o The output of the theories that flow from theories can be related to the starting assumptions. Grouping theories by their shared assumptions Two ways: 1. By Paradigm • A paradigm can mean an example, a perfect example. Refers to someone going out to create a new theory, making a series of assumptions, creates a causal theory and says that it’s really good. • A paradigm can mean an approach, people copy a good theory by ripping off the assumptions but make a different ‘if ­then’ statement, meaning that the new theory has many of the same characteristics, sharing the same assumptions which creates a group of theories which can be labeled and categorized into a group. o Idealism o Realism  The two first big paradigms in IR historically speaking o Liberalism o Marxism  Brought into IR, addressing economic subjects in particular. o Institutionalism o Constructivism  Emerged in the 1980s, blossomed in the 90s, relatively new, and most work in IR falls under the latter two, or liberalism. 2. By Level ­of ­Analysis • Social sciences typically divide their subjects into levels, depending on the phenomena they are studying. o Example, an economics course is divided into macro and micro levels. In IR it’s done on the level of between state interactions, inside a state, a part of the state (the government itself) or traced all the way down to individuals. • In international relations, we can also divide the levels where we find politics – where we locate the key actors. o Continuing with the Russian example, you may look at the interaction between Russia and Georgia itself, state by state interaction, or Putin may be having a bad week and is trying to regain popularity. Will a probable war go away if Putin regains his popularity? It’s up in the air. The key actors need to be thought about, and the key action as well – locate the politics. • • Categorizing Theories by Levels Continued… 1. Systemic Level • State to state interaction 2. Domestic Level • Cultural, economic, political characteristics 3. Bureaucratic Level • How decisions are made on policy in the government) 4. Individual Level • What does so and so think, does it matter that this person is president, etc. The Beginnings of Theorizing in International Relations The original paradigms developed in competition with one another. If you want to understand why we have the theories we have today, we have to reflect on the previous debates where we’ve recognized limitations and eliminated schools of thought. The starting point is in the early 1900s. Political science is really only taking off at this point, specifically in the 1890s when the American Political Science Association is formed in 1901. International relations, in that way, is still that young and got a significant boost from World War I. There’s a constant interplay between what’s happening in the world and what academics are talking about. 1919, end of WWI, picture of the major allied leaders (examples) One of the men is Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to change the world and do something. One of his big ideas was the League of Nations, to say that we can do something and create a political, international, institution to prevent future wars. WWI shocked people, they looked at the end of the war and tried to understand what happened and what they wanted to accomplish from killing so many. Governments became much bigger because it was the first industrialized fight between states. People didn’t want the war to happen again. You see it in art, surrealism, because people think that the world doesn’t make sense. One set of people in the early stages of international relations were coming after questions from a background in international law, people who had been studying international politics before political science existed from the perspective of lawyers. They learned how to apply the law, the individuals who are ambassadors but it’s mainly about the law. The thinking they brought with them was that. The League of Nations was a law creating body, passing laws against war etc. These people became idealists, or utopians, and at the time the connotation was a good thing. They wanted to aim for establishing a utopia. They wanted something better. They strove to make things better by creating international laws and institutions. Classical Idealism The assumptions that lie behind their thinking: 1. Human behavior can be perfected. 2. A ‘harmony of interests’ (shared interests) exists between people and between states. • Looked at WWI and saw that everyone suffered and lost from it, there were no winners due to the kind of conflict incurred. 3. Therefore war s never an appropriate way to resolve disputes. Instead, the harmony needs to be uncovered. • Don’t solve disputes through war 4. The correct laws and institutions can guide behavior, thus revealing the harmony of interests (exposing the goodness of man). Idealists tend to share these sorts of assumptions when they made arguments for policy prescriptions. They largely shaped policy in the 1920s, even into the 30s. The other side of the perspective was the people criticizing the idealist. Pictures: Hans Morgenthau, Ryan Niebuhr (1940 ­41 wrote a book questioning the US’ neutrality and as a theologon he looks at the assumption the idealists that men can be perfected and disagrees, knowing that (as a Christian) that men are sinful (bible)), E.H. Carr (20 years crisis, a book that stated that for the past 20 years states have been locked in a political crisis rooted in Germany becoming powerful, it’s silly to think of peace being good. If you’re sitting in London in 1939 peace looks good from there, but there are a lot of people who are unhappy – Germany, or people in India (parts of the British Empire) and these other people have a different view thinking that what they want is more important than peace so when they think that they will start a war.) were important figures of the group. The realists collectively critique the idealists and come from diplomatic historians. A historian in 1919 would typically say that ‘of course we’ve had wars, as long as we’ve existed there are been wars, it’s the way that people settle disputes, why would you expect any different’ and inject this view into early IR. They’re called realists because they’re being critical of the idealists. Classical Realism Look at the idealists assumptions and disagree for the most part. Assumptions include: 1. Humans have a will to survive, which makes them selfish. • People are self interested, they will do what’s best for themselves. They aren’t good. 2. The will to survive equals a will to dominate. • They want to affect their ability to survive, which puts them in a competitive position against someone else. 3. This creates a competition to dominate, which in turn creates a search for power. Realism scored the big victory when WWII broke out. People looked back at the idealists and felt that they failed. People tried to be peaceful and limit arms, to make compromises with states they thought had issues but it all failed. A lot of people swung towards the realist perspective. Yet idealism doesn’t go away. They know they failed but they try to try again, to establish the United Nations to replace the League of Nations. Realism evolves though. The key character who dominates their new school of thought in the 50s ­70s, is Kenneth Waltz who wrote Man, the State and War, and Theory of International Politics. His perspective is interesting. The IR debates following WWII include really smart people arguing about the key difference between idealists and realists: human nature. They’re wheeling out philosophers and slogging it out over whether or not man is good or bad. It’s a fundamental issue. Waltz comes at it from a different perspective, addressing it but saying that if you want to understand the world you have to think in theories to give you a perspective of nature. There’s a development in social sciences, changing the debate, driving realism away from the classical set of assumptions leading us to: Structural Realism Assuming that man is always good or always bad is not useful. Sometimes we have peace and sometimes we have war. As a causal variable, it does not vary. You cannot say man is good today, tomorrow but on day three you have war. It doesn’t help. An independent variable that never varies is not useful. Human nature doesn’t change. Waltz turns to states where people are using the same argument. There are good states, US (democracies) and Germany (nazi) and we know that democracies start war, they start as many wars as anyone else. The question has to be posed differently. Why do we do the bad thing? States do it because of the situation that they’re in. The conditions around them change and you have to focus on that. The most important thing if you’re talking about war is to look at state behavior, and look at the systemic (international) environment. Assumes: 1. States are the most important actors. 2. States are unitary and rational actors. • States take on the mantel of sovereignty and recognize no higher political authority. 3. The international system is anarchic. • Everyone has to help themselves, there is no higher authority in a dispute to appeal to. 4. States seek to maximize their power. January 10th 2011 Liberalism and Marxism The central ideas of IPE, a longer tradition and pure IR approaches previously discussed. They both have been focused on the domestic side. Liberalism Emerges Emerges in the 1700s, as a critique of mercantilism in the late eighteenth century. • As markets began to emerge and become more meaningful, with trade emerging, monarchs saw this trade and wanted a cut of the action. They wanted to collect taxes. On a practical level, the border is a great level to control taxes, controlling a road or port. It was a difficult attempt. They wanted to collect taxes on goods coming through the border. Mercantilism emerged earlier and was developed by kings as competition between states. Adam Smith writes The Wealth of Nations; formal arguments were made by David Ricardo. • The mercantilists equated wealth with power. Mercantilists thought power and money were the same thing because if you’re a king in the 16 hundreds, where do you get an army? You make it, you hire them. People don’t fight for their country, or draft them either. You needed gold. Gold was collected by taxation. If you want a powerful kingdom, you have to have wealth which means you have to collect taxes. • Smith comes along and questions the meaning of the word wealth. If you say a country is wealthy, how is that measured? Mercantilists based wealth on the amount of gold a person possessed. Smith said the mercantilists had the wealth aspect wrong. What’s important wasn’t gold, was what could be consumed, what you have to consume. If you want to spend your money buying more food for your country, why is that a bad thing? He also looked at the way things were being done internally, where production comes from and how wealth is produced. He came up with ideas about comparative advantage. He tells the story of a pin factory. Goods were being manufactures, made by hand in houses (farm wise). Smith depicts the division of labor. Smith said that people had to be worried about the production, so that we could consume more or sell more to have more gold at the end of the day. It’s all about producing more goods. He criticized the mercantilist policies, particularly with monopolies over certain industries established by the monarchs. Smith’s is the most famous • Ricardo came on later, and took the story of the pin factory and lifted it up to the level of states. What’s important is the notion of comparative advantage between countries. Some countries are better at producing certain goods than others. If they specialize and maximize production together and trade, there will be more to go around at the end of the day. He made his argument logical and very persuasive with simple graphs and math. Britain adopted classical liberal policies internally and externally in the early nineteenth century specifically after they lost the American colonies. They wanted to move towards a more domestically market arranged system, leaving behind feudalism. They gave the people markets internally and then in the 1840s they opened the markets externally by removing tariffs. Classical Liberalism 1. Individuals (households) are the primary actors. • Later individuals would be both people and firms. 2. Individuals are rational unitary actors. • They have a sense of why they act, they have goals and they seek to reach their goals. 3. Individuals maximize utility • They want utility, meaning that it’s up to the individual to decide what they want to consume. 4. Everything can be traded. • When Smith was thinking about this, there wasn’t a market for everything or well ­developed markets for basic things. There were laws in Britain affecting whether you could buy or sell land, or whether you could move around (serfdom). This assumption implies the ability to establish a market which people will go to and make exchanges so long as its good for them. 5. Individual indifference curves can be summed into societal indifference curves. • If allowed, the individuals make their own choices, they will make utilities based on countries. The Indifference Curve Liberal Ideas • Individuals should determine their own desires • Voluntary exchange (through markets_ works well to satisfy individuals’ desires. • Cooperation can effectively resolve most problems. o Realists emphasize conflict, the desire to be selfish and the power complex. Liberals don’t talk about power, they talk about what you can consume. • One big problem, classical liberal theories shaped by Smith and Ricardo were saying that they didn’t like the way things are currently being run, we should do X. That should part remained very important in the liberal tradition as different forms were created. The normative bit was carried through. In the split between politics and economics around 1900, when IR got its start, econ stuck with the normative bit (predictions, but sticking with the sense of how society works but we’re not going to talk about the power dimension.) The politics side would say that power is very important and the good and bad uses of it should be studied objectively. Classical liberalism remains normative. • Analytical liberalism concentrates on the role of domestic politics – as the source of states’ goals. Individuals voicing their preferences in domestic politics establish state aims. o Moravcsik article says that liberalism can do more than emphasize the normative. o Liberal analysts will say now that states won’t do what states do what’s best for society. We can think about individuals but what the state does is based on what certain groups do, fight it out is told what to do by the winners. Working from the bottom up gets things screwed up. The benefits outweigh the losses overall, but there are losses which are distributed domestically. This is the dominant perspective in journals today. Marx attacked Liberalism Marx criticized liberal politics by claiming they failed to deliver the promised results. Dickens would also attack liberalism for the ‘evil market system’ from the right. Marx would come from the left. • Arguments based on dialectical logic (different ideas of thesis and antithesis to make something new, systems evolve because they have contradictions in them and over time that contradiction will cause the system to fall apart and become something new) (i.e. events are driven by contradictions) o The exchange wasn’t voluntary for people who were forced to move, no good jobs, and wasn’t a voluntary decision. • Contradictions are defined as logically identified inconsistencies which may or may not appear obvious • According to Marx the key one that will kill market capitalism is the pursuit of profit. • Marxism relies on the Labor Theory of Value (i.e. all value is created first by labor, it’s the base for everything – you wouldn’t have a building built without workers, you wouldn’t have crops without people to harvest or plant them. Classical Marxism Assumes: 1. Social Classes are the primary actors. 2. Classes act in their own material interests. 3. The expropriation of surprise value is exploitation • Goes back to the labor theory of value, if workers produced everything and capitalists get a big chunk of what’s produced, that’s not fair. The Labor Theory of Value V = K + W + SV V stands for value K stands for capital W stands for wages SV stands for surplus value. A liberal looking at this would have no problem with it. Capitalism says that the SV is the reward for the entrepreneur. A Marxist would look at that as the SV would belong to the workers, the source of all value. The fact that the entrepreneur is getting the surplus means the workers are being exploited. Marx’s Model of Capitalism Surplus Value is created Two trends: 1. Concentration of capital per worker a. You start using more machinery per worker. Marx looked more at industrialization in England. 2. Creation of Reserve Army of Labor a. He says we’ll find unemployment, a reserve army of labor, because you can produce more goods with fewer workers. There’s a labor market and due to that people have no jobs. Which leads to: • A crisis of underconsumption • Producing a lot of goods with no market Which leads to: • Falling rate of profit for firms • Rise of class consciousness (social repercussions) The fact that you’re in the working class will become more apparent. Which leads to: • Economic crisis/revolution Marx started this critique in the early 1800s. In the 1870s this was not what was happening. January 12th 2011 At a certain point not long after Marx died, people thought we were progressing to the economic crisis and revolution. In the 1880s there was a crisis of overproduction because at that point we had economic globalization going on. There had been huge increases in transport (railroad) and communication (telegraph) and other improvements (fridges, steam ships) meant that a lot of goods were competitive on the global market. Various commodities flooded markets. Marx appeared right. Marx, above (see flow chart), isn’t talking about anything international at this point. It’s all about domestic changes. Marx never talked about the international dimension of political economy. The followers of Marx looked at this though and watched as nothing happened. Everything seemed right but they didn’t reach revolution. It was the followers who looked to the international side of things, seeing that there were other things that work that delay the crisis and off setting the pressures that are supposed to be building. They noticed: 1. The most industrialized countries were sending a lot of investments abroad. a. Some of this capital for the worker isn’t building it up because extra capital is being send elsewhere. 2. The capital exports, investments abroad, needs to be protected. This leads to imperialism. Lenin would mention that imperialism would eventually run out. He wanted to lead a revolution in Russia but Russia was backwards, they hadn’t industrialized enough to get to that point. The weakest of the great powers during WWI would have a crisis because of the war. In the process of Lenin’s thinking they change the underlying assumptions of the theories. So, the flow chart can be seen as: Lenin’s Extension Assumes: 1. Social classes are the primary actors 2. Classes act in their own material interests 3. The expropriation of surplus value is exploitation 4. States act in the interest of their own national capital class a. Capitalists dominate internal politics. This leads to war. In Germany, however, the view is different. There’s fear of Marxism and the falling rate of profit. From the ‘reserve army’ of labor aspect Bismarck implements a social democracy starting in 1879. He ensured that that the injured worker couldn’t go after a company and get frustrated and lead to a revolution. He would institute rules on cartels and rates of profit, tariffs, to protect industry and work against falling rates of profit. Tariffs would be implemented against competing goods. To move against the rise of class ­ consciousness he institutes a nationalism that the workers are a part of the nation and are a part of the country. There are conscious policies being pursued to offset Marx’s predictions. Nationalism helps fuel war and arms races. Tariffs will lead to a cutting off of liberalized trade. So the protections lead to problems on the international system. We take Marx’s model seriously. Similar ideas come back at later points in time. Bran and Sweezy’s Cold War Interpretation Falling rates of profit lead to the military industrial complex. They look at this as it’s there (the military complex) so that war is always profitable. Companies get these monster contracts to create goods that will never go back into society. The US’s reaction to Marx is to create the military industrial complex. The readings are iterations of earlier arguments that are meant to save Marx’s core story by looking at the international dimension. Institutionalism and Constructivism Newer paradigms in International Relations Idealism is the first of four paradigms we’ve discussed. It was dominant in the 1920s, 30s and the realism would come to be as a counterargument. It would be popular in the 40s, gain a resurgence in the 50s, and in the 60s would be popular due to the cold war but it would also change. The kind of arguments you get from realism tend to be amoral. Realism says its about competition, there’s anarchy in the international system and it’s all about survival. Things change in the 70s when economists can no longer make accurate predictions. On the academic side the perspective is that the realist perspective is not useful anymore. The realist story that states in competition and conflict doesn’t work. In the 70s there’s a lot of other things going on. International investment, MNCs are huge actors with control of funds larger than the GDP of small states. Realism wasn’t capturing what was going on. Robert Keohane and Nye would write a book called Complex Interdependence, the first book detailing IPE. They challenged the realist perspective; describing a lot of things we’d describe economic globalization. Why start with an assumption about states as primary actors? Why not talk about corporations dealing with states, foreign states, or other corporations? Doesn’t it matter if American Greenpeace members cross the border to protest in Canada? Complex interdependence makes the argument to look beyond realism. The bad side of it, they give you core assumptions like all actors matter which isn’t very useful. Comparing Realist and Liberal Theories • International investment o How secure is it, what happens when there’s a crisis?  Liberals say that this is driven by individuals driven by a desire for profit. People lend capital to a foreigner hoping to be paid back and be given interest. This means however that we should always see international investments, which we don’t always see. There are ups and downs.  Realists would tell us that you don’t make international investments if you don’t think that they will be secure. Investments are shaped by concerns for security. • Free Trade o We have periods, brief windows, when many countries adopt free trade. We’re currently at a high point. It’s not the norm.  Liberals say that free trade is driven by mutual desires and free exchange.  Realists say that it’s shaped by underlying political rules, it won’t always be happening. Politics has to be a part of the story to understand outcomes. International Political Economy Re ­emerge Comes up again in the 70s when you have the academic side saying that realism isn’t capturing the whole story. There are outcomes in the 70s that disrupt the picture that economics can tell you what you need to know. In the 50s and 60s the economics models functioned well. Then the Bretton Woods Monetary Regime collapsed; the way exchange rates were managed had been following a set of rules meant to make a kind of economic rational and at the center of it was the US dollar with agreements with key allies to keep exchange rates fixed, stable. In the 70s was that the promise had been made was no longer a realistic evaluation of the US dollar versus these other currencies. They needed to change the promise in order to keep it. To make it change they had to have government to government bargaining and they don’t agree. The US wants to one thing and all the other states want to do something else. It becomes a political battle. What people had taken to be normal suddenly is hotly contested. The US is trying to tell states what to do and they don’t listen. Realists pick up on this. Bretton Woods was written in the 40s and the US wrote the rules and told everyone what they were going to do because they didn’t have any options, the US was too powerful. By the 70s the other states felt that they didn’t have to put up with it anymore. They wanted to change the rules. Realists looked at this as showing the political underside of what we took to be normal and natural. It could only exist because it had a certain foundation established though certain political means. Other events also showed this. The OPEC oil embargo underscored the politicization of international economy. There were a lot of politics driving the outcomes we’re observing hence the push to regard economics and politics together. International Regimes Rules, norms, principles and procedures…around which actors and expectations converge. It was a long ­winded and broad definition because a committee wrote it. Other things were included because things hinged on the norms and principles of society, not merely the rules that were explicitly written into a contract. So we want to look at the rules but also take into account the norms and notions driving the rules. Examples: The WTO (a regime today that governs a particular set of policies or issues about trade, tells you what you should and shouldn’t do, what’s good or bad in terms of a state behaving) and the Good Standard (there were no actual written contracts forcing countries to adhere to the gold standard) Where do regimes come from? One of the first countries as IPE resurfaces in the 70s. Looking at regimes like GATT (now WTO) and Bretton Woods, they emerged at the end of WWII through conscious efforts to come up with rules to govern the international economy where American power shaped the two in specific ways. It was easy for the realists to say that the rules were written by powerful states. If the realists are right, that the US was critical for the rules to be written, and those rules have persisted but now in the 70s US power is waning and therefore there’s conflict over the rules and the rules go away, what does that mean for our other regimes? The realist perspective is that the same story should work with GATT, where all the rules we took for granted in the 50s and 60s all become areas of conflict as the distribution of power changed. Why do some regimes persist, while others evolve or even fail though? Because what the realists said didn’t say. Explaining the Emergence and Evolution of Regimes Realists: hegemonic stability theory So long as a powerful state is backing them they’re powerful. Eg. Bretton Woods. But in the 1980s did not follow the expected patterns. Not only did GATT not collapse but also more states joined, they expanded what free trade covered and then they transferred GATT into the WTO which was more binding than the original. The realists were wrong. Institutionalism is Keohane’s response to the issue. January 14th 2011 Explaining Regime Persistence Bretton Woods fell apart. The realists explained it by saying that the US was losing its power and was unable to impose its will on other. This was in the 70s. They predicted that other regimes would fall apart. As the US was declining relative to these other states, things would fall apart. Yet GATT would survive and make progress, covering new dimensions of trade, gain members and become a binding organization. It would become bigger, stronger since the rules became binding. This went against the realist perspective that led to the emergence of new ideas in the 80s trying to explain the evolution and persistence of such regimes despite our sense of politics being there that the US was no longer in a position to dictate terms to other states. Keohane said to think of regimes as institutions. Look to see what the regimes do, what they provide to their members; states adhere to them because they’re doing something they like for them. It’s not a story about power because we’ve already said the US doesn’t have that dominant position. They’re members by choice. Why choose to stay in? Because it’s doing something for them. He labeled this theory with Joseph Nye, complex interdependence. When you want to look at something like the WTO you’re going to talk about states. You can’t be a member unless you’re a sovereign actor, states. He took realism and took their core assumptions and tweaks them to create new theories. In After Hegemony Keohane argues states may share interests; regimes help them attain jointly desired ends. GATT emerged as a reflection of the distribution of power in the late 40s. The rules did something for the members. It encouraged them to have mutually beneficial interests. Having free trade was good for both states. They learned to like the rules. Even though the US wasn’t there to tell them to be members in the late 70s early 80s they’ll choose to be anyways because it gives them an advantage and better access to GATT member markets. You want to be in. What Keohane tries to describe is the demand for regimes. (Reading). In this case we’re talking about trade when it comes to mutually advantageous benefits. Institutionalism Assumes: 1. Actors are self ­interested, rational utility maximizers. 2. International regimes can facilitate agreements and cooperation. 3. Some of the actors’ goals are not zero ­sum. • Sometimes what states want are things that aren’t power. If you have two actors and think of power, it’s a relative concept: one state gains power and the other loses. Territory is the same way. We don’t think of trade as one person’s gain is another loss. If we trade more with the US and they more with US then both countries will have more goods to consume. It becomes a win ­win, or positive sum relationship. Assuming Rational Action When we move to levels of analysis and start sorting them almost all of those categories will have assumptions about rationality. There’s a whole series of other assumptions that lie behind assuming rationality: • Actions are purposive. • Actors have perfect information. • Actors know their preferences and can rank them. • Actors know all possible options, including the consequences of each. • Actors calculate the costs and benefits associated with each option. When paradigms assume rationality, behind them all of these assumptions remain. These are assumptions that aren’t going to be true in reality, which is why theories are probabilistic. More Challenges to Realism In the 1990s we see paradigms blossoming that are rival approaches to realism. Realism emphasizes security along with power and competition. As more questions were posed about IPE, many other paradigms would emerge. The biggest shock for everyone at the time was how realism failed to predict the end of the cold war. In fact Ken Waltz who introduced structural realism would write theory of international politics in 1979 and it summed up the thinking of the theory, was widely used, and one of the points he made was that bipolarity was really stable: two competing powers who knew who to focus on and neither state in the cold war would allow the other to gain an advantage. It would be a race with no clear end in site. Then once say things started to change and it gained steam. Realists were left confounded. Alternative paradigms gain popularity: • Alexander Wendt: varied responses to anarchy.  Self ­help  Institutions  Collective Security o He read Waltz, got what he was saying about states wanting to be sovereign. The system is anarchic but I don’t understand why that produces one result. Why accept that states would in that environment compete for power. Self ­help is the possibility that realists describe but there are others. There are institutions that now govern the anarchy in the international system. Wendt called his book social theory of international politics, drawing on literature in sociology. Constructivism (Social) Assumes: 1. Interests, preferences and identities are socially constructed. • We all have identities, so when I woke up this morning the first thing I did after a cup of coffee is I shall now lecture because I’m a professor, my first thought was I am a Dad and I have lunches to make etc. Two identities: professor and dad. When you move from one setting to another your identity is a reflection not only of yourself but of the actors you’re surrounded with. Cues come from the behavior of other actors. Say we brought a six year old in the class. They would run up and down the stairs but eventually take the cues from the rest of us to sit quietly. Relationships between actors change depending on the setting. Identities are much more flexible than other paradigms. Identities are the base for thinking about interests and preferences. If identities are flexible then they can change which means that preferences and interests can change as well. 2. Ideas are important forces shaping identities, preferences and interests. • Ideas and norms have an influence and define identities such as the idea that duals are no longer appropriate for solving conflicts or that the use of land mines is a terrible practice. States no longer do so, people no longer do so, because it’s seen as ‘wrong’ to do so. Or states may be required to do something because it’s expected of them. 3. Rationality is always contextual • You have to understand the context to understand the identity to understand the flexibility of rationality in a given case. Have we come full circle? Constructivism stresses the potential for change and the role of ideas. Through action that we can do today we can change the world in some really important way. Not because we have a lot of money or power or popularity, you don’t need those kinds of resources, you simply need to push certain kinds of ideas to affect what actors think is right or wrong. Questions over evidence exist though and how best to promote change. Why are some ideas successful and others aren’t. How important are norms measured? Ideas and norms can’t be simply measured which also means building predictions with this approach is difficult and guessing which norms matter. With a variety of paradigms to employ, how to do chose between them? The answer is that we test them against each other. Competing Paradigms Think about how each paradigm might explain the end of the Cold War: • Realism: competition o Predicted continued competition with the expectation that the Soviets would remain strong • Liberalism: domestic political change within the soviet union o The collapse of the domestic political system was its downfall. • Institutionalism: cooperative goals emerge • Constructivism: Gorbachev’s new thinking, gave the country a new identity. ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2012 for the course POLI 243 taught by Professor Markbrawley during the Spring '09 term at McGill.

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