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115 terms

International Relations

International Relations
Concerns the relationships among the world's governments. Connected to other social and political structures.
Collective Goods Problem
Problem of how to provide to an entire group despite member contributions. Harder to conceal in small groups.
Establishes a power hierarchy where those on top control the on the bottom. Fighting for positions.
Rewards behavior that contributes to the group and punishes behavior that pursues self-interest at the expense of the group. Disadvantage is that if may lead to punishment of "interpreted" negative actions.
Does not rely on self-interest; members care about others in the community and are willing to sacrifice for their benefit.
Territorial entity controlled by a government and inhabited by a population. Exercises sovereignty over its territories and is recognized by others. Population forms a human "civil society", also known as a nation. Has a capital city and state leader.
Democratic Peace Theory
Democracies do not fight each other, but they are as war-prone as non-democracies. Emphasizes unit level attributes in explaining conflict, with regime being the most important variable. Foreshadowed by Kant in Perpetual Peace (1795). He believed that constitutional republics were more peaceful. Thus, if all states were constitutional republics with proper checks and balances in place, there would be no war since people would never vote to go to war, unless in self-defense (liberalist paradigm). Not believed by realists.
Monadic Hypothesis
Single state. Democracies are more peaceful in general. Democratic states are less war prone than their non-democratic counterparts because they are satisfied status quo powers; state affairs are okay.
Dyadic Hypothesis
Two States. Democracies do not fight each other, but are as war-prone as non-democracies.The dyadic hypothesis is said to operate based on two different mechanisms: Normative and Institutional logic.
Normative Logic
Assumes norm externalizations, which means that democracies adopt their internal norms of conflict resolution in an international context.This in turn implies that democracies both trust and respect one another when conflict of interest arises between them.
Institutional Logic
Presumes that democracies do not fight each other because of democratic institutions and processes, which make democratic leaders accountable to various social groups.
This accountability derives from the fact that political elites want to remain in office and since elites care about public opinion, they will not want to engage in unpopular wars.
Five causal mechanisms: Public Constraint, Group Constraint, Slow Mobilization, Surprise Attack, Information Mechanism.
Joint-Freedom Proposition
The argument that democracies are less conflict prone than autocracies has normative implication for the systemic level of analysis: if politically free states do not fight one another, then the more democracies, the less international conflict. When extended to everyone you get Kant's notion of eternal peace—a peaceful world composed of a federation of politically free republics.
Immanuel Kant
Concerned with notion of league of peace, which seeks to end all wars; treaty of peace to end a given war, a single conflict.
Kantian Triangle
Triangular peace: link of organizations, democracy, and interdependence: peace. Wars non-existent.
One superpower in the world; hegemon. "A unipolar system would have one superpower, no significant major powers, and many minor powers. As a result, the superpower could effectively resolve important international issues alone, and no combination of other states would have the power to prevent it from doing so."
Two superpowers in the world dominating the entire international system. There are no peripheries: each superpower has interests in all outcomes of world politics. No expansion can be decisively successful; counterpressure is always applied. Each confrontation discourages the next one. Nothing escapes calculation in terms of the international balance. Each action offsets an equal reaction. Nearly constant pressure and recurrence of crisis is a good thing. If crises do not occur, it means that one side or the other is neglecting its interests. But crises are handled with caution because there is no uncertainty of an "equal and opposing reaction." One pushes to the limit but not beyond. The preponderant power of the two superstates means that minor shifts in the balance are not of decisive significance.
Three or more great powers. Affords greater number of interactions. The number of relationships increases with the number of poles. This plentitude of interacting partners means that there is a greatly reduced danger of mutually reinforcing antagonisms between two states. Availability of alternative partners makes possible a response other than direct challenge or military threat. Diminishes attention paid to other states: as the number of independent actors increases, the share of attention that any nation can devote to any other must necessarily decrease. Dampening effect on arms races.
Only three great powers.
International System
Units are states. Structure is defined in terms of 1) the number of major powers and 2) the distribution of capabilities among them. The rules of interaction define how states behave towards each other in general or in specific situations.
Systemic Approaches
Attempt to account for stability and change in international relations. A focus on the relationship between systemic structure and historical processes. Do not typically focus on specific units; exceptions: great powers.
Systemic Stability
Systems theories define stability (equilibrium) not necessarily in terms of war and peace. Rather, stability in systems terminology is preservation of the basic structure of the system. The principal characteristics of systemic equilibrium:
1) Lack of change one equilibrium is reached
2) Return to the basic equilibrium when the system is out of balance
Change in the System
Occurs when the distribution of power changes across actors, but neither the number of actors nor the structure of the distribution changes in any fundamental way. The rise of one power is accompanied by the parallel decline of another power. There is a change in the identity of the system's leaders, but not in the structure of systemic leadership. Similar to a government change in domestic politics. May be a result of war.
Systemic Change or Systemic Transformation
Takes place when either the number of (key) actors changes, when the distribution of power changes in fundamental ways, or both. The rise of one power does not necessarily parallel the decline of another power. The change in the distribution of power is such that the new distribution of power is quite different from the previous distribution. Systemic change is like regime change, and can also be the result of a major war or of a long-term but nonviolent process.
Classical Balance of Power
- Multipolar world provides flexibility and peaceful international system
- 5 states: balances each other's influences; 5th state balances power
- Shifts alliances conductive to peaceful system
- Ideal; (ex: Concert of Europe)
- Rules of the Game
1) Increase your power, but negotiate rather than fight
2) Fight rather than lose power
3) Stop fighting prior to the elimination of an essential actor; international system is put out of balance
4) Act to block the rise of a single hegemon or a coalition of states aspiring to hegemonic status; balancing to prevent growth of superpower (ex: Russia, China, United States)
5) Act to oppose the formation of an international organization with hegemonic capabilities; predominant culture poses a threat to everyone else
6) Restore defeated actors to their previous position in the system
Uni-Veto System
No prevention; widespread nuclear proliferation. Each state is capable of causing total destruction of other states. Each state has a veto over any significant outcome in the system. Kenneth Waltz.
Bipolar Systems
Great "superpowers;" two dominate states. Tight bi-polar system: smaller states aligned to each side. Loose bi-polar system: some states not aligned with either side.
Just ad bellum
- Proper authority: (war must be waged exclusively by states)
- Just cause: (self-defense, defense of human dignity, humanitarian intervention)
- Last resort: (all other options must be tried before resorting to war)
- Formal declaration of war
- Reasonable hope of success
- Principle of proportionality: (damage that the war entails must be proportionate to the injustice that it seeks to remedy)
Just in bello
- Non-combatant immunity: (non-combatants should be immune from attacks)
- Principle of proportionality: (actions taken in war must be proportionate to the objectives
Just War Theory
If ad bellum and in bello theories are satisfied, then a war can be considered justified.
International War
Refers to a series of battles among the armies of two or more states, which cause a thousand or more battle-related fatalities per year of combat. Moreover, each of the states involved in war must have activated at least a thousand troops and must have suffered at least a hundred deaths per year.
New democracies are often more war-prone than long-established ones. More specifically, it is the transition to democracy that is dangerous as it often implies institutional instability. In such settings, elites often involve nationalistic appeals in order to maintain power; this can lead to militarization and violence.
Externalization of Violence
Rally round the flag' occurs at times of foreign policy crisis or war. Elites (having anticipated the rally) are tempted to undertake risky foreign ventures or hard-line foreign policies. Since outside conflicts increase internal cohesion and political support, leaders create or maintain external conflicts to serve their own purposes. Likely before elections, during periods of poor economic performance or at times when political support is low.
Polity Change
New governments tend to be more aggressive as they often look for ways to "bolster internal support, as well as establish an international reputation for toughness." Neighbors may "see an opportunity to press a claim over some disputed issue because they see the government as less in control."
Theory of State Formation
Revolutionary state formation processes are rapid and often generate external opposition:
o Insecure
o Politically unstable
o Economic problems
Evolutionary state formation processes take place over a long period of time and typically involve little or no violence. Are politically stable and legitimate.
Alliance/Defense Pact Membership
Mechanisms of war diffusion; chain-ganging. Capability aggregation mechanisms allow states to pursue bolder courses of action.
Arms Races
"Two states build their military armaments in response to each other's purchases and manpower mobilizations, leading to an action-reaction cycle" of military spending. Each cycle leads to:
o Increased level of hostility
o Increased level of fear
o Increased uncertainty
o Increased perception of predatory intentions
Inadvertent or deliberate armed conflict.
Preventing attack through fear of retaliation. The greater the potential costs (either human or material) that the attacker is facing, the smaller the likelihood of aggression.
Expected Utility
States' behavior is modeled as a result of leaders' rational choices. Leaders with complete, ordered, transitive
preferences choose the strategy with the highest expected utility. Leaders choose the most beneficial options.
Rational Miscalculation
State leaders miscalculate their chances of victory. This produces a disagreement about relative power that only war can resolve. "Wars usually end when the fighting nations agree on their relative strength, and wars usually begin when fighting nations disagree on their relative strength."
Unintended Consequence
Wars occur not only because the statesmen prefer war over peace (benefits>costs), but they also occur as an unintended consequence. Even when states are motivated defensively and care about their own security, their defensive armaments, alliances, or deterrent threats are often perceived as threatening, which leads to conflict.
Geographic Contiguity
Contiguity is a necessary condition for war between most pairs of states. Contiguous states are more likely to have unresolved disputes. More contact, more conflict.
Nuclear Deterrence
Nuclear weapons -> Peace. Why?
o MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction
o Cautious behavior
o Unacceptable amount of damage
Collinearity (war weariness, bipolarity, interdependence).
Power Transition Theory
Hegemons rise and create norms of conduct as well as economic and political structures, which enhance stability. When the power of a hegemon declines and the power of some challenger raises, war is likely to occur. War is the most likely before "the point of the intersection."
Liberal Theory of Trade Interdependence
Increased international trade and trade interdependence lowers the probability of conflict. Trade generates economic advantages. Wars and conflicts -> trade disruptions. Wars are more likely at times of economic stagnation or in the absence of trade.
International Political Economy
Trade and financial relations among nations. Focuses on how nations have cooperated politically to create and maintain institutions that regulate the flow of international, economic, and financial transactions.
Nation States
Large states; perceived nations v. boundaries. Differences in population and gross domestic product (GDP), which is the total annual economic activity.
Nonstate Actors
Actors not affiliated with or considered states. Transnational actors when operating across international borders.
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
Private organizations. IGOs and NGOs.
Multinational Corporations (MNCs)
Span multiple countries. May prop up government and provide revenue, but act according to their own interests.
Levels of Analysis
Perspective in IR based on a set of similar actors or processes. Individual level concerns perceptions, choices, and actions of individuals. Domestic level concerns the aggregations of individuals within states that influence state actions in the international arena. Interstate level concerns the influence of the international system upon outcomes. Global level seeks to explain international system upon outcomes. Global level seeks to explain international outcomes in terms of global trends and forces that transcend states.
Encompasses many trends; "widening, deepening, and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary social life. Emergence of global values and organizations.
North-South Cap
Rich, industrialized countries in the north and poor in the south.
International relations in terms of power. Dominance. Coined by Hans Morgentheau. States are unitary rational actors, worry about their own security and pursue power, and act rationally and in predictable ways. States are the only important actors. Believes that morality is separate from politics, and that power is an innate drive and pursued by all people. Maximization.
Emphasizes international law, morality, and international organizations, rather than power alone, as key influences on international events. Human nature is basically good. Must work together to overcome mutual problems.
The ability to get another actor to do what it would not otherwise have done.
Use of geography as an element of power.
Lack of central government that can enforce rules.
Norms of Behavior
Shared expectations about what behavior is considered proper.
Security Dilemma
A situation in which a state's actions taken to ensure their own security threaten the security of other states. Prime cause of arms race.
Balance of Power
General concept of one or more state's power being used to balance that of another state or group of states. Maintains stability of IR system. Stability by means of recurring wars that adjust power relations.
Great Powers
Considered the half-dozen or so most states. Tend to share a global outlook based on national interests far from home territories. Strong military and economy.
Middle Powers
Rank somewhat below great powers in terms of their influence on world affairs.
Explains patterns of international events in terms of the system structure and structural constraints. Coined by Kenneth Waltz. Assumes international system is an anarchy, states are unitary and rational and are the most important actors. Self-help. No importance in domestic politics.
Use of force to make another actor take some action rather than not.
Game Theory
Branch of mathematics concerned with predicting bargaining outcomes.
Zero Sum Games
One's gain is another's loss.
Prisoner's Dilemma
Rational players choose moves that produce outcome in which all players are worse off than another set of moves.
Internal Sovereignty
Exercising authority over territory.
External Sovereignty
Recognized as sovereign by other states.
A situation in which there is some degree of mutual dependence or reciprocal effects in relations between or among states. Almost always asymmetric.
Public Goods
Goods that are non-rivalous and non-excludable.
Tragedy of the Commons
Multiple individuals acting rationally and independently on their self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource despite that being in no one's long-term interests.
International Regime
Set of rules, norms, and procedures around which the expectations of actors converge in a certain issue area.
Collective Security
Formation of a broad alliance of most major actors in an institutional system for the purpose of jointly opposing aggression by any actor.
How state's construct their interests through their interactions with one another. Interested in how actors define their national interests, threats to those, and interest's relationships. Based on ideas rather than materialism.
Broad approach to scholarship--no single, objective reality, but a multiplicity of experiences and perspectives that defy easy categorization.
Powerful classes oppress and exploit the less powerful by denying them their fair share of surplus they create. Class struggle. States are very important actors. Capitalism is linked to imperialism. Classes conflict to control state policy.
Conflict Resolution
Alternatives to violent forms of leverage to implement peaceful strategies.
Third party who mediates conflicts using non-violent methods.
Glorification of war, military force, and violence through different mediums.
Positive Peace
Peace that resolves the underlying meanings for war. May be brought through world government.
Difference Feminism
Valorizing the feminine
Liberal Feminism
Men and women are equal.
Postmodern Feminism
Gender differences are important, arbitrary, and flexible.
Rational Model
Decision makers set goals, evaluate relative importance, calculate costs and benefits of each course of action, then choose high benefits/low costs.
Government Bargaining
Foreign policy decisions result from the bargaining process among various government agencies with somewhat divergent interests in the outcome.
Misperceptions and Selective Perceptions
Taking in only some information and biased screening of information.
Organization Process Model
Labor-intensive process of identifying goals and alternative actions skipped; standardized responses and operation procedures relied on.
Picking the best option.
Prospect Theory
Two phases: editing phase; frame options and possible outcomes associated with each outcome. Evaluation phase; access and choose.
Tendency for groups to reach decisions without accurately assessing their consequences.
Interest Groups
Huge, interlocking network of governmental agencies, industrial corporations, and research institutes, working together to supply a nation's military forces.
Public Opinion
Range of views on foreign policy in democracies than in authoritarian governments. Propaganda.
Diversionary Foreign Policy
Wartime focus from issues.
Anarchy does not inevitable give rise to security dilemmas because we have ways to mitigate anarchy. Positive sum-game: international cooperation is possible. States driven by national security and economic welfare. Institutions, international regimes, and interdependence mitigate effects of anarchy. States behave on basis of reciprocity. Plurality of actors. Succeeded Liberalism.
Hard Power
Military power.
Soft Power
Power through culture and influence.
Smart Power
Effective combination of hard and soft power.
Anarchy does not inevitably give rise to security dilemmas. International cooperation is possible because politics is a positive-sum game. It is not power and survival, but national security and economic welfare that are at the top of states' priority lists. Institutions, international regimes, and interdependence mitigate effects of anarchy. States behave on basis of reciprocity. Plurality of actors.
Hegemonic War
War over control of the entire world order--rules of the international system as a whole, including the role of world hegemony. Global war, systemic war, world war, general war.
Total War
War staged by one state to conquer and occupy another. Seeks to capture capital.
Limited War
Military actions carried out to gain some objective short of the surrender and occupation of the enemy.
Civil War
War between factions within a state trying to create or prevent a new government for the entire state or some territorial part of it.
Truth Commissions
Hear honest testimony to bring the past to light. Not always humane.
Armed conflict; with conflict bargaining, states develop capabilities to achieve more favorable outcomes.
Devotion to the interests of one's own nation over the interests of other states.
Ethnic Groups
Large groups of people who share ancestral, language, cultural, or religious ties and a common identity. Basis for national resentments.
In-group bias, out-group hostility.
Stripped of humanity and rights. Outgroup.
Systematic extermination of ethnic or religious groups in whole or in part.
Created separate from religious organizations.
Goal of regaining territory lost to another state.
Ethnic Cleansing
Populations are driven out or massacred.
Territorial Waters
Waters near shores. Borders are difficult to find.
Area above a state.