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poli 12- midterm-1

poli 12- midterm-1 - 1 Interests a Definition Interests are...

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1. Interests a. Definition: Interests are what actors hope to achieve through political action. More specifically, interests are the preferences of actors over the possible outcomes that might result from their political choices. b. Significance: Interests is one of the primary tools of analysis in politic science, and as a fundamental building block of politics, it serves as an explanation of how international political events begin by specifying the relevant actors and their interests; thus interests tell of motivations not results. c. Example: An interest in security prompts states to take steps to suppress potential enemies and protect friends whose security is linked through their own. In the case of the United States, such a desire to remove the regime of Hussein in Iraq, a country that threatened US allies in the region and was suspected of developing WMD, revealed the interest of the US to suppress a potential enemy, Iraq, and protect allies in the region in the interest of security. 2. Interactions a. Definition: Interactions refer to the ways in which the choices of two or more actors combine to produce political outcomes. b. Significance: Interactions are of two broad types: cooperation and bargaining. Most situations combine both, but some are exclusively characterized by one or the other. In cooperation, actors have a shared interest in achieving an outcome and they must work together to do so (eg. states protecting the global environment). In bargaining actors must choose between outcomes that make one better off than the other (eg. Taxes and social spending). c. Example: The War in Iraq resulted from the interaction of many choices from many different actors. The US decision to threaten war, Hussein’s decision to resist American demands, and the decision of other states to join or not join in on the war are all examples of interaction. 3. Prisoner’s Dilemma a. Definition: A Prisoner’s Dilemma is a game theory in which there are two players and although it would benefit them both to cooperate, the lack of credible commitment results in a situation in which, when given the choice, they prefer to defect. b. Significance: In international relations and often used as a metaphor for dilemmas of common interests, including arms races and public goods. Concerns about cheating can lead states to pursue strategies that leave them well below the Pareto frontier; instead of cooperation which would achieve a Pareto improvement that would make them all better off (or at least not worse off). c. Example: The US and Soviet Union’s arms race. They both have the opportunity to continue making weapons or stop; so if one country deters and the other has the highest advantage, if they both defect they will equally continue to toward the slippery slope of brinksmanship.
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4. Stag Hunt a. Definition: Stag Hunt describes a situation in which hunter can work together to hunt a stag by having some hunters scare the deer out of the forest and others wait to shoot (CC) or each hunter can hunt for their own
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poli 12- midterm-1 - 1 Interests a Definition Interests are...

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