Buzan and Little
Neorealism and Neoliberalism
The 5 Corrosive Shortcomings of American IR Theory
After WWII America largely dominated IR therefore US is largely as
August 27, 2012
Objectives of IR
1. Explain origins of contemporary international system.
use history to apply to current policy making
2. Convey core findings from the very smart peoplewho have been studying the subject
3. Show how the r
Theoretical Interest in the Pre-International
Waltz believes that when states first form, they initially lack the power to have any impact on
neighboring states. Only when the power of states rises to the point where they can begin to
impinge (make an im
1. Anarchy in the IR Sense
a) Units must adapt to a situation in which there is no world government
b) Realists: Structure is present in the form of the balance of power and distribution of
power (e.g., bipolar vs multipolar, etc.)
c) Neo-liberals: struct
1. The 3 Types of International Systems
a) Full international systems: These feature significant and sustained military-political,
economic, and socio-cultural interactions, or at least their potential.
b) Economic international systems: These lack milita
1. Three Conceptions of the Nation
a) The nation is a primordial entity.
Emerges of common community, bloodlines, etc. Bonds are created based on some sort
of common entity. Everyone has a sort of shared destiny.
b) The nation is a civic community.
1. Advantages of the Modern State
a) It lowered transaction costs and created a more predictable environment for economic
b) It provided defense as a public good and could coerce citizens into paying for it.
c) It could more effectively guarantee
1. 5 Macro Changes in Process
a) The resulting new global system was shot through with inequalities, most notably center vs.
Those at the top of the hierarchy are very unlikely to give up their positions
2. Three important Change
1. Niccolo Machiavelli
a) Published The Prince in 1532
b) Refers to the state as a sovereign, territorial state
Unrestricted by religious, moral, and ethical restraints
Did not diagnose it, he stated that as a realist that it was simply how things were
1. Mastanduno's Four Fundamental Realist Assumptions
a) The most important actors in world politics are territorially-organized entities
b) State behavior can be explained as the product of rational decision-making
c) All states seek power, but they don't
1. Things to Note:
d) Hunter-Gatherer Bands
Increased interaction and interdependence among states
an ongoing process whereby increasing interaction capacity (communication,
technological) is facil
1. The Great Depression:
a) %25 unemployment in US
b) The world has decolonized
c) Since WWII, the West has remained at the world's material Center, but is no longer seen by
most as the world's moral center. This decentering has proved profoundly unsettli
1. Dominant Discourse
a) Can also be used to refer to the language of the elite.
As elites use certain language, they influence the people.
b) Fukuyama: End of History (1989)
End of revolution
Triumph of liberal democracy
1. Cox's Three Fundamental and Unchanging Substrata of Neorealism
a) The nature of man is portrayed as competitively lusting after power and always willing to
use violence to get it
b) The nature of states is portrayed as identical in their fixation on pu
1. Chapter 16
2. Interaction capacity
a) technology/industrial revolution
b) physical/social technologies
3. What is changing and how?
there is no longer any land for states to colonize aside from under the sea, the moon, or
Nature of System
Thucicydesstability of system
1. Question 1
a) Explain what the five fundamental flaws they perceive are
Belief that whatever is true and works in the present is and always was true
The past will tell us how to behave in the fut
Talking about and focusing on something so much that it seems to become an actual reality even
though it wasn't necessarily a reality to begin with
Levels of Analysis
The different levels and sub-levels that individuals, organizations, etc. ca