International Politics Notes

International Politics Notes - How is International...

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How is International Relations like Shrek? It has LAYERS! Levels of Analysis Why bother? First Level: Individual o Nature of humans (individuals) o Nature of men, not women Is there some kind of genetic reason for men being more aggressive than women? Looking at the fundamental differences between males and females Yet, there have been instances in history where women have led countries into war o Misperception: Cognition The way we perceive reality is intrinsically flawed People have trouble overcoming their pre-existing preferences Leads to incredibly dumb decisions – people cannot see things for what they are, rather they see what they wish to see o Smart vs. Dumb – Bush o Sane of Insane – Hussein Why did Sadam Hussein risk the destruction of his entire country in order to protect weapons that did not exist? Circular logic
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There is no way to prove whether someone was insane or not Actions are justified because someone is insane someone is insane because of the decisions they make o Circular reasoning is intrinsically flawed o Strengths How do you explain variations in our behavior? o Weaknesses Second Level: State aka Unit Level o The supreme authority within a territory o Where does authority lie? Monty Python – the annoying peasant Sovereignty has been an internal problem States have the ability to do what they please with their own people Today, states must answer to the global community o 1648: Peace of Westphalia Ended Religious War Each King/ Prince would be highest authority How close to ideal type? o Examples Regime type Democracies tend to war less often than authoritarian states Domestic political dynamics
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Party politics parties take positions of certain foreign policy issues in order to pressure the government in power Bureaucratic Politics Competition between bureaucratic entities can cause certain issues to fall through the cracks (Canadian prisons in Afghanistan) Certain political systems make it difficult for politicians to resist public opinion U.S. has Congressional elections every 2 years Politicians have very little opportunity to take large risks without getting instant results o They will be out of office Third Level: System level o How does the external environment shape the behavior of states? There are no global police forces National governments are forced to react to the external environment that they have no control over o System The world system has become so international, and so easily affected by anything all over the world that it has made it more difficult for individual governments to react to external forces o Globalization o International Institutions o Global Norms Standards of behavior
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We expect countries not to engage in slavery, piracy, etc.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course POLI 244 taught by Professor Saideman during the Fall '07 term at McGill.

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International Politics Notes - How is International...

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