POLI 243 NOTES - POLI 243 NOTES Objectives-Introduce...

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POLI 243 NOTES Objectives: -Introduce theoretical approaches to the study of international politics. -To illustrate differences between theoretical approaches, we will apply theories to cases. The course is divided into three parts Jan-Introduction of different perspectives on the explanation of foreign economic policy. Feb-A brief introduction to the substantive issues in international political economy. (Trade and monetary relations) Mar-Applications of various theories to specific cases. Office Hours: Wed. 12:30 – 2:30 Leacock 330 First Midterm: Feb 29 th Second Midterm: March 21 st What do we mean by theory? Theories of international relations? It relates to cause and consequences. (If this happens, then something else happens.) Kenneth Watz says our theories are probabilistic statement. We have theories that are probabilistic but there is no certainty in international politics. They are from all over the map. We are talking about human behavior, which is why it is not always predictable. We are going to look at it as independent or dependent variable. Outcome is the dependent variable. What are the qualities of a theory?
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1-They need to be accurate to be a good theory. 2-You also want a theory to be simple, leverage. You need money and time to come up with a simple theory. 3-Generalizability, find theories that do all these three things well. However, it is hard to do these three things together. Usually when you do very well in one of the 3 qualities, you might have some slack off in others. Theories are like maps except Canada is way bigger than a map is haha. Theories are script down pictures of reality but they are not what really happen all the time. Different maps have different criteria. Visual of two maps, one with only boarders and provinces and the other with relief. Tasks for a theory: -You want to be able to use a theory to describe something, often the past. 1911, tries for free trade and how it did not work. When he brought that plan to his voters, his theory lost. -We also want to predict what might happen by looking at past examples. What we have learned from one case might help us predict what might happen in the future. -Then prescribe things. -Provide normative goals. Give us a picture of what this theory will do. (We are not good at providing normative goals in real life politics.) Theories begin with assumptions as we brainstorm what we are thinking about using those theories for. Assumptions are very important about giving us that balance between the qualities a theory must have. An assumption is something we assume to be true. We assume something to be true, because we know it is not always true. How do we test an assumption? Is the theory giving you clear ideas, is the theory giving you assumptions. Grouping THEORIES by their shared assumptions.
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POLI 243 NOTES - POLI 243 NOTES Objectives-Introduce...

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